Raise your child bilingual, but pick the right second language:
In order to speak a language like Guugu Yimithirr, you need to know where the cardinal directions are at each and every moment of your waking life. You need to have a compass in your mind that operates all the time, day and night, without lunch breaks or weekends off, since otherwise you would not be able to impart the most basic information or understand what people around you are saying. Indeed, speakers of geographic languages seem to have an almost-superhuman sense of orientation. Regardless of visibility conditions, regardless of whether they are in thick forest or on an open plain, whether outside or indoors or even in caves, whether stationary or moving, they have a spot-on sense of direction.
By 7 years old, a child who speaks the Australian Aboriginal language Guugu Yimithirr knows north from south from east from west, wherever he is, every moment of his life. Because he uses these terms to describe the relations of objects to other objects. He doesn't refer to his left hand. He refers to his north hand, or his east hand, which could be either hand depending on which way he's facing.
While we don't know what languages the people who originally settled Australia and Polynesia spoke, a tongue like Guugu Yimithirr would be a positive boon to people migrating from Asia to, say, New Guinea, or even in stages to Hawaii.
On the other hand, speakers of Guugu Yimithirr, literally, don't know left from right. And of course epic feats of navigation have been undertaken by relatively primitive people, like the Vikings, whose languages didn't require them to develop a built-in compass.
What I quoted above is just a tidbit from a longer article by Guy Deutscher, whose book "Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages," will be published this month. The article is well worth your time, and I look forward to the book.
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