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How did you learn Japanese?(or your other language)
#1
For the people who can speak both the parents language or trying to
raise a bilingual child.

How were you brought up?
Were your parents strict about being bilingual? or did you naturally become
bilingual?

My father was very strict about talking Japanese inside the house.
Because once your outside it was all English (living in the U.S.)
But my parents were both Japanese so it was easy to maintain the language
inside the house.

My husband(American) cannot speak Japanese what so ever.
So we talk English only. We also live in the U.S. so outside would mean all English.
I am the only source for my daughter to be able to speak Japanese.
She is 6 months old right now so she wont be talking for awhile but still I try talking
Japanese to her and I didn't think it would be this hard!

It's hard because first my husband doesn't understand what I'm saying so instead of
translating every single time it's just easier to talk English.
Second, because everything else is English (T.V., radio, shopping, friends, at work etc.)
the English words come out easier.

Also there are no Japanese schools here where I can have my daughter attend once or twice
a week. So it is really up to me for her to speak Japanese or not.

I was just curious how other people became bilingual.
It would be great if you can share your story [Image: smile.gif]

thank you
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#2
I was born, and lived in Japan for 6 years, and attended an international kindergarten and the first year of an international primary school. In that sense I had a head-start on becoming bilingual. However, I think I may have stated in another post, but with my total lack of interest, I quickly lost fluency in Japanese after I moved to England. Although I went to a 3-hour a week Saturday school, that didn't last long either. The reason I regained my Japanese was purely for myself. I learnt most of what I know on my own, using the basics I was taught as a child.

In your case, your child doesn't seem to have the same surroundings as I was lucky enough to have, which is a shame as they say immersion is the best way to learn a language. Truth be told I don't know how easy it will be for a child to learn Japanese without some sort of schooling. I was taught the basics, and even so I was a lot older when I started learning Japanese for myself.

Are there any Japanese people around you? Family, friends etc. I'm sure there must be some Japanese TV offered on cable or something (if not, there's always the internet!).
[center]Nobody knows who I am on this forum...!

Except that I'm in all the Tokyo meetup pics... hah

[/center]
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#3
My dad's Japanese is pretty bad; he knows a lot of 'tango', but when trying to construct a sentence he makes heaps of mistakes. Also, his pronounciation is terrible. Bottom line - his Japanese is not that good.

Anyways, I speak to my mum in Japanese 100% of the time and with my dad I speak English. When we're all together, we speak Japanese and my dad answers in English (half the time I can tell that he didn't understand because his answers make no sense).

My parents were definitely not strict about being bilingual. We were allowed to express ourself in any language we wanted to. I guess the only strict thing was that we were sent to Hoshuukou - my parents wanted us to be able to read/write Japanese too.

<!--coloro:#FF00FF--><!--/coloro-->Since there is no Japanese school close to you, is it possible to send your daughter to Japan in the summer time so she can perfect her pronounciation/learn words and expressions used by kids her own age?
<!--colorc-->

<!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#9932CC--><!--/coloro-->Also, if/when your friends and family from Japan ask what they can send your daughter , ask for only Japanese books and music.<!--colorc-->
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<!--coloro:#008000--><!--/coloro-->Finally, you can be the parent that your daughter speaks Japanese in and your husband English. Don't answer her until she speaks to you in Japanese.<!--colorc-->
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#4
Both of my parents speak English and I was born and raised in America so I learned it the way anyone else would learn a language.

I did, however, learn some Japanese in HS and college (but that never sticks if you don't stick with it).
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#5
Thank you all for the reply!

Yes I am planning for my daughter to visit Japan as much as possible and
buy Japanese DVD's and books.

I also would want her to be able to read and write but I don't think I would be able to teach her.
Trying to teach her how to talk is already hard enough! and it's only a oneway conversation right now
too!

It's just that I intend to talk Japanese but English comes out and I'll be like oops...
だめじゃん、日本語だろぉお!又英語で言ってるよおい!って自分につっこみを入れっぱなしって感じ?
In English I'll be like "HELLOOO?! your talking English AGAINNN!!"

I read that you shouldn't mix a sentence with two languages which will confuse the child.
If you're going to talk Japanese complete the sentence all in Japanese if in English complete
it all in English.
But I tend to mix and I'm trying to change that and of course will try to talk Japanese 100% to her.

I just hope I will be able to fix this before my daughter starts to talk.

By the way my cousin who is a halvsie was so embarrassed to talk Japanese when we were growing up
and told her mom not to talk Japanese to her in front of her friends.

Has any of you had this feeling? Of not wanting to speak the other Language? Made you embarrassed?
Maybe it's the "wanting to blend in" and didn't want to be "different"?
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#6
^
That reminds me !
Whenever my sis gets into trouble and uses the phone, my mum will purposely pick up the phone from a different room and scream at her in Japanese. [Image: laughlong.gif]

Good luck ~ it is a challenge, but she will most definitley thank you when she is older. [Image: smile.gif]
Do you know the SNS called MIXI?
Maybe you can find Japanese mums in your area and start a children's play group?
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#7
<!--quoteo(post=170726:date=Mar 11 2007, 10:26 PM:name=Marisuke)-->QUOTE(Marisuke @ Mar 11 2007, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->^
That reminds me !
Whenever my sis gets into trouble and uses the phone, my mum will purposely pick up the phone from a different room and scream at her in Japanese. [Image: laughlong.gif]

Good luck ~ it is a challenge, but she will most definitley thank you when she is older. [Image: smile.gif]
Do you know the SNS called MIXI?
Maybe you can find Japanese mums in your area and start a children's play group?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


What is the SNS called MIXI? is it a web site?
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#8
my parents weren't strict, but learning Japanese was a big focus when i was growing up... my mother spoke all Japanese to us, and my father, all English. up until i was 3, i was speaking a mixture of both. once i started going to school, my first language became established as English. at the same time, i always had Japanese around me. i absolutely ADORED japanese anime as a kid, and my mother would have family ship videos of Doraemon and ObaQ and Lupin Sansei all the time. i wasn't allowed to watch american cartoons, but i could watch as much japanese vids as i wanted.

also--in kindergarten, my mom played a lot of Hiragana and Katakana flash card games with me. i also had to complete writing workbooks. i usually thought that was fun.

the single hugest factor, though, was that i spent a lot of entire summers in japan. being completely surrounded by japanese people and having to figure out how to play with the other japanese kids, forced me to use it more than anything. because of those summers, i think i was able to retain a level of fluency i probably would have lost.
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#9
<!--quoteo(post=170734:date=Mar 11 2007, 09:49 PM:name=cremebrulee)-->QUOTE(cremebrulee @ Mar 11 2007, 09:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->What is the SNS called MIXI? is it a web site?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

mixi is a Social Networking Site (SNS) kinda like Myspace, but a Japanese version, and has LOADS of members. There are communities within mixi where you can find people in your area (even overseas), and there's a wealth of information to be gotten. There are, for example, communities about bilingual education, hoshuukou, halvsies, etc. etc...:

mixiについて、ウィキペディア

↑
これを読めば大体どんなもんか分かるはず。 [Image: smartass.gif]

You need to get invited in by someone already inside - and for this, you'll need to give an e-mail address to that person (a free web-based email address will do, like yahoo or gmail, for example). Once you're in, you can choose which communities to look at/participate in, find old friends (同級生), write a blog, etc.
基本的に全部日本語なんで、海外に住んでて日本の友達などと連絡取るにはもってこいですよ~。
もし興味あったらメッセージ送ってね。招待状送ってあげますよん。

As for how I learned Japanese - VERY similar to Eddie, eccept I was in Japan till age 8, and attended int'l school till Grade 2. After that, I didn't go to hoshuko (in the UK, where I lived till I was 19) or do any Japanese studying at home...just kaiwa with my mother (which limited my vocab a lot). I went to uni in Tokyo, and studied kanji basically from scratch. It CAN be done, but it all depends on how interested the individual is in learning. It's easy for kids to become disillusioned with things like hoshukou (bullying, or looking down on Halvsies is quite common), and once they're put off, it can be really hard to encourage them to learn once again. 色々意見があるんだけど、長くなるのでこの辺まで・・・。

(Since this is the Nihongo forum, please excuse me for not providing English translations for everything)
[color="#9ACD32"]Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

[/color]
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#10
College. Japanese I and II. My mom was told by the teacher and my father when I started Kindergarten to speak only English to me. That was a real mistake. My mom would basically speak Japanese to me if she was mad or frustrated or complaining about something. So, I quite fluent in exclamations of distress. I am also quite fluent in giving orders. You can also sell me just about anything in Japanese. I'm struggling with not watching QVC Japan. I keep reminding myself it is about $1 per minute to call them with my cell phone. I can basically understand the cooking shows too. The news is still giving me problems but instead of understanding one word per segment, I now can understand 3 or 4 words per segment. It's an improvement. However, I still can't understand my family in Kyushu. Luckily I have some family members that speak standard Japanese so they can translate for me. My husband is limited to food vocabulary and my children are picking up a word here and there. However, amazingly we went over a list of survival phrases and my husband knows them all! He knows more than he is letting people know about. Not bad for a California surfer dude!
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#11
<!--quoteo(post=170820:date=Mar 12 2007, 05:11 PM:name=MsYumiBr)-->QUOTE(MsYumiBr @ Mar 12 2007, 05:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->My mom was told by the teacher and my father when I started Kindergarten to speak only English to me. That was a real mistake.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Yeah, people told my mom that, too. They told her that we'd be confused and we'd do poorly in school. As a result, my mom NEVER spoke Japanese to us, and the only times we ever heard her speak Japanese was the few times her family would call or when some of her random friends would come to visit. As a result, we dont' speak any Japanese at all. I didn't even get a chance to take the language in college the first time because my mom, again concerned about my grades, pressured me to take German, which was what I took in high school, so I'd do well. I'd still like to learn Japanese, but it gets tougher when you get older, just to even find classes. Especially where I live.
"Soccer is crystal meth. It's very addictive, but really messes up your teeth. I guess I've never viewed soccer as some sort of controlled substance. To me, it's probably more like Nutella. The rest of the world clearly loves it and puts it on almost everything, but here in America we're like, "I don't know, man, it tastes like almonds." -- Jon Stewart
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#12
i was brought up speaking japanese with my mum and english with my dad. I also went to hoshuuko every saturday and kumon on mondays and thursday evenings.
I hated it at the time and I would never speak Japanese outside of my home...
i'd hate it when new kids would find out i was half japanese and their first comment would always be: 'say something in japanese then'... and id hate it...

But now... Im glad I did it and im glad I speak japanese :-)
lots of advantages with work, with going to Japan and being able to speak to my family and get around by myself (just about!)

I think the main reason my mum wanted me to learn japanese was so that i could communicate with her family in japan...

cremebrulee - maybe a kumon is a good thing as you can work with your kids and teach them at the same time... i also found it quite fun at first!!!!
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#13
<!--quoteo(post=170803:date=Mar 12 2007, 05:05 PM:name=chiquita)-->QUOTE(chiquita @ Mar 12 2007, 05:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->mixi is a Social Networking Site (SNS) kinda like Myspace, but a Japanese version, and has LOADS of members. There are communities within mixi where you can find people in your area (even overseas), and there's a wealth of information to be gotten. There are, for example, communities about bilingual education, hoshuukou, halvsies, etc. etc...:

mixiについて、ウィキペディア

↑
これを読めば大体どんなもんか分かるはず。 [Image: smartass.gif]

You need to get invited in by someone already inside - and for this, you'll need to give an e-mail address to that person (a free web-based email address will do, like yahoo or gmail, for example). Once you're in, you can choose which communities to look at/participate in, find old friends (同級生), write a blog, etc.
基本的に全部日本語なんで、海外に住んでて日本の友達などと連絡取るにはもってこいですよ~。
もし興味あったらメッセージ送ってね。招待状送ってあげますよん。

As for how I learned Japanese - VERY similar to Eddie, eccept I was in Japan till age 8, and attended int'l school till Grade 2. After that, I didn't go to hoshuko (in the UK, where I lived till I was 19) or do any Japanese studying at home...just kaiwa with my mother (which limited my vocab a lot). I went to uni in Tokyo, and studied kanji basically from scratch. It CAN be done, but it all depends on how interested the individual is in learning. It's easy for kids to become disillusioned with things like hoshukou (bullying, or looking down on Halvsies is quite common), and once they're put off, it can be really hard to encourage them to learn once again. 色々意見があるんだけど、長くなるのでこの辺まで・・・。

(Since this is the Nihongo forum, please excuse me for not providing English translations for everything)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Thank you very much! Marisuke has invited me in.
There were alot of different topics and many moms who wanted their kids to be bilingual as well.

It's VERY interesting because everybody is different (of course) and have different opinions [Image: happy.gif]
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#14
Thank you all for your comments.

I went and looked up Kumon but they only have Math and English no Japanese in the U.S.
But there might be some other TUSINKYOUIKU for Japanese I'll have to look it up.

The reason I want my daughter to speak Japanese is so that she will be able to communicate
with my family and if she decides to live in Japan it would be alot easier if she can speak the language.

Also from my experience (at home Japanese, outside English) it wasn't like I LEARNED the language
it was very natural. If she can do that then she wouldn't have to go through all the effort and time
to learn it when she gets older.

But I guess it'll be up to her. I wouldn't want to force her or anything. [Image: smile.gif]
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#15
My mother actually would send my brother and me to Japan every summer for two months. We would bounce between our grandparents' place and our aunt and uncle's place for the summer, which helped lay the foundation for our language abilities. Unfortunately, most of our relatives spoke at least broken English, so we ended up speaking Jinglish most of the time, but we learned all the basic grammar, pronunciation, and listening skills that we needed. It also helped that we were really into manga and games, so we studied furiously to learn how to read [Image: tongue.gif]

Without that foundation, though, I don't think I would have gotten anywhere near my current level of fluency (studied Japanese literature in college, then got a job at a Japanese company - both of which helped tremendously). So, even if you just seed her with the basic, home-spoken Japanese, that will go a long way. The rest, like you said, is up to her. [Image: smile.gif]
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#16
Yeah, I think summer holidays in Japan helped me a lot.
That and mangas (comics rather than animation). A lot of my education is based in Drangonball [Image: wink2.gif]
Make every moment count!
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#17
<!--quoteo(post=175916:date=Apr 5 2007, 05:50 PM:name=danielyuki)-->QUOTE(danielyuki @ Apr 5 2007, 05:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->A lot of my education is based in Drangonball [Image: wink2.gif]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

A man after my own heart [Image: wink2.gif]

Though for me, it was a mixture of Dragonball and Kinnikuman...
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#18
II think this will actually be very difficult for you, but if you are determined... you will find success.

I too, grew up in America, couldn’t go to Japan or to any Japanese schools and never had a Japanese friend. So, I grew up speaking very poor and broken Japanese, which never really improved. When I reached my teens, I decided that it was very disappointing that I was losing so much of our culture and with every generation it was only going to get worse.

So I studied, studied hard. Now my Japanese is much improved, but even now... not perfect. I am actually still studding, because I WANT my Japanese to be... PERFECT. lol.

I know much how you feel, because I am 6 1/2 moths pregnant with my first son and I want him to be perfectly bilingual and fluent in Japanese too.

My husband is a great support, but he too, is poorly spoken in Japanese. We have given our son an American and Japanese name and intend on raising him with both languages and cultures in his environment, but as you can surely guess.. it will be as difficult for me as it is for you.

He will get to go to Japan as he grows too, and I think this will help both of our children relate to the country and speaking in Japanese… but it will never replace America as their real home [Image: sad.gif]

Your daughter may never truly be 100% fluent or even want to be… BUT if you raise her with it in her environment 24/7 without forcing it upon her, or ever discouraging her in anyway (or embarrassing her in front of friends, lol) I think she will be much attracted to her mother’s culture and receive it from you.
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#19
<!--quoteo(post=170600:date=Mar 11 2007, 07:02 AM:name=cremebrulee)-->QUOTE(cremebrulee @ Mar 11 2007, 07:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->For the people who can speak both the parents language or trying to
raise a bilingual child.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--quoteo-->QUOTE<!--quotec-->How were you brought up?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--coloro:#a0522d--><!--/coloro--> In the U.S. first by my parents and then seperated from them at age 7. I was passed around the neighborhood to many of the people in my neighborhood where I was forced to stay at their homes until age 10. They convinced me my mother was dead from cancer. She returned later and I had difficulty accepting her.<!--colorc-->
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<!--quoteo-->QUOTE<!--quotec-->Were your parents strict about being bilingual?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--coloro:#a0522d--><!--/coloro-->I was bi-lingual until my Japanese story books were taken from me and I was physically punished for speaking anything to my Obaasan or Ogesan over the phone.<!--colorc-->
<!--/colorc-->
<!--quoteo-->QUOTE<!--quotec-->or did you naturally become
bilingual?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--coloro:#a0522d--><!--/coloro-->I was allowed to speak some Japanese in class at high School as a comparative experiment with the white german culture in Pennsylvania. One of theirs compared to me. So I got straight A's in Japanese... and she did the same for 2 years. However, some of our pronunciation was different.

I have a good ear and can mimic somewhat well. Though, because of the mindsets that exist with the government in Japan and U.S. there is a large misunderstanding. I do not speak the same Japanese that my relatives speak in Japan, nor do i speak the same Japanese that they speak here in the United States. I do not even speak the same type of Japanese that other Haafu's speak. They are merely words and phonetic sounds. The mind that is or isn't attached to those words and phonetic sounds is a different instrument comparatively. There is no way that I can possibly compare myself, though general, speech, rhythm, and inflection vary upon the moment. It is all sadly influenced by a smattering of words in Thai, French, German, and Spanish as only European art and phonetic forms were encouraged in my lifetime to date outside of the Japanese/ US experiment. <!--colorc-->

<!--/colorc-->
[color="#dddd00"][center][font="Tahoma"][size="1"][/size] [/center][center][size="1"]"for Zen's belief in Sudden illumination, a fleeting glimpse of existence just as it really is."[/size][/center][/color][/font]
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#20
Though I don't want to have my mother in trouble, she purchased some writing books for children in Japan after my Ogesan died. And though she screamed loudly about not teaching my brother or I Japanese, we knew the books were in the cabinet where we could reach them. So, once in a while my brother and I would ask for a snack, and then sneak a book or two out and try to study.
[color="#dddd00"][center][font="Tahoma"][size="1"][/size] [/center][center][size="1"]"for Zen's belief in Sudden illumination, a fleeting glimpse of existence just as it really is."[/size][/center][/color][/font]
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