We examined if and when English-learning 17-month-olds would accommodate Japanese forms as labels for novel objects. In Experiment 1, infants (n = 22) who were habituated to Japanese word–object pairs looked longer at switched test pairs than familiar test pairs, suggesting that they had mapped Japanese word forms to objects. In Experiments 2 (n = 44) and 3 (n = 22), infants were presented with a spoken passage prior to habituation to assess whether experience with a different language would shift their perception of Japanese word forms. Here, infants did not demonstrate learning of Japanese word–object pairs. These findings offer insight into the flexibility of the developing perceptual system. That is, when there is no evidence to the contrary, 17-month-olds will accommodate forms that vary from their typical input but will efficiently constrain their perception when cued to the fact that they are not listening to their native language.