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How did you learn Japanese?(or your other language)
#21
Japanese was my first language as I grew up in Japan... I picked up English when I moved to New Zealand at the age of nine. -.-' Over the years I spoke less and less Japanese. I'm now fluent in English but need to scratch up on my Japanese. Gahh. It's like a never ending cycle. I guess you always have to keep up at it. Luckily I haven't completely lost my Japanese. ahaha...
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#22
Cremebrulee and Aya
good luck to us! [Image: happy.gif]
I am in the same situation, have a 2 1/2 months boy, and really would like him to be bilingual at least, but Japanese and Portuguese. We are living in japan, so our challenge would be teach him portuguese as much as we can...
Nas horas difíceis da vida você deve levantar a cabeça, estufar o peito, e dizer de boca cheia: Agora fudeu...!!
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#23
I was born in Japan and lived there for a total of 9 years - I finished 小学校 there at a public school.

It's funny how languages come and go... because, at that time when i was 小6 I was completely fluent in Japanese and had no clue about English... (well more so than an average Japanese kid) I was much better at Japanese than at English...

Now... 7 years later... I am living in Australia .. much better at English than at Japanese..

I have tried to keep my Japanese and I speak Japanese with my mother and watch Japanese dorama, but I rarely get the chance to go back to the country... and if I do, it's only for a few days or couple of weeks... never a long holiday..

I also look very caucasian so its hard for me to go back to Japan and be immersed in the language.. ah well.
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#24
did anyone do a kikokushijo (returnees) language program? i.e. native speaker of Japanese but not good enough to study at a Japanese uni.
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#25
My first language that I learned was Japanese but we came to Australia when I was a little over 4 years old. At home my parents would speak in Japanese to me, although my mum would speak some English. I eventually forgot most of my Japanese because I wanted to fit in and speak English. I could still understand some Japanese but couldn't speak any. But once I got to highschool I relearned my Japanese and now I can carry a normal conversation (although not confidently!). My mum has stopped speaking much Japanese, just cause she's not used to it. My sister used to always speak in Japanese at home, but now it's become more and more peppered with English. I always wished that we went to Japan often so that I could keep my Japanese but not such luck. Manga helps a lot though!
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#26
<!--quoteo(post=190851:date=Aug 27 2007, 06:43 PM:name=Hanako)-->QUOTE(Hanako @ Aug 27 2007, 06:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->did anyone do a kikokushijo (returnees) language program? i.e. native speaker of Japanese but not good enough to study at a Japanese uni.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Hehe...moi. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blush21.gif[/img]
Though I did mine AT uni...ICU offers an intensive Japanese program for all levels of Japanese speakers, and I did a one year kanji crash course (called "Special Japanese"). Everyone else in the class had attended hoshuko overseas, so didn't have too many problems, so I was the odd one out (with only hiragana/katakana under my belt at that stage).
It was intense, but time well spent.

Why do you ask? Are you thinking of doing something along those lines?
[color="#9ACD32"]Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

[/color]
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#27
The 'official' language in my family seems to have changed a couple of times and often switches depending on the situation. My parents met in Milan (my Dad's first assignment abroad), and at that time my Mom was a highly accomplished linguist who was fluent in Italian, English, German and French, but needless to say knew no Japanese. Like most Japanese businessmen, my Dad could speak passable English (with terrible pronunciation!), but thanks to an intensive Italian course his Italian was quite good, so Italian became their official language throughout their courtship. When they moved to Tokyo, my Mom having a gift for languages, learned Japanese relatively quickly and easily and Japanese soon became their language. Then I came along and to avoid confusion they both spoke only Japanese to me. However while I was still mastering speech, we moved to the US, so my Mom decided that it would be best to speak to me in English, while my Dad continued to speak to me in Japanese. As I was only 2 years old, English quickly became my first language and although I understood some Japanese, I was completely unable to speak it except for a few words here and there, so English became the family language while my parents continued to speak Japanese between themselves. (I do however have one memory from when I was two or three. There was a squirrel in our backyard and my mother was trying to teach me the English word and I stubbornly kept saying "risu!") When we moved back to Tokyo, being only 6 years old, I picked up Japanese fairly quickly and since my father sent me to a regular shogakkou, my mother continued to speak to me in English. Needless to say, although English remained my first language, I became completely fluent in Japanese to the point where (according to my grandfather) I even had a Tokyo accent. When we left Japan, I attended an international school, but my Dad made me go to Japanese school on Saturday mornings in order to keep up my Japanese. However I was going through my Japan-hating phase and so quickly forgot it. Nowadays I speak enough Japanese to hold a basic conversation, but I still have the vocabulary of a child and I'm unable to use adult constructions and I've forgotten how to write kanji, so it's not something I can really use in a work situation where more formal language is needed. With my parents, my mother and I still speak English and my father still speaks to me in Japanese and still I respond in English and they speak Japanese between themselves (although when my Mom's mad, she switches to Italian, since swearing in Japanese just isn't the same!). When we need to discuss something serious or important, we all use English. This situation works fine for me and my Mom, but I have a lot of problems with my Dad, in that we don't seem to understand each other most of the time. To begin with my father is not very good at communicating with people, throw in his highly eccentric personality and a linguistic barrier and you've got a recipe for serious miscommunication. I've tried different strategies but still haven't found one that works. When he says something that I don't quite understand, I paraphrase it to check if I've understood correctly, but he always says "No! You don't understand!" and then repeats himself using the exact same phrasing, so I'm never sure if I originally misunderstood him, or he didn't understand my paraphrased version. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif[/img]
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#28
<!--quoteo(post=190913:date=Aug 28 2007, 10:09 AM:name=chiquita)-->QUOTE(chiquita @ Aug 28 2007, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}><!--quotec-->Hehe...moi. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blush21.gif[/img]
Though I did mine AT uni...ICU offers an intensive Japanese program for all levels of Japanese speakers, and I did a one year kanji crash course (called "Special Japanese"). Everyone else in the class had attended hoshuko overseas, so didn't have too many problems, so I was the odd one out (with only hiragana/katakana under my belt at that stage).
It was intense, but time well spent.

Why do you ask? Are you thinking of doing something along those lines?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I had a feeling that Lady Banana might be the person to ask! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif[/img]
I had a look at the ICU website the other evening and saw the kikokushijo oriented classes.

In a nutshell, yes, I am thinking of doing such a course. It wouldn't be for some time as I would need to come to Japan (earliest next September) and that may or may not mean I would have to take a career break, negotiate with work etc etc etc. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/crazy.gif[/img]
I'll PM you with the specifics!
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#29
Creme Brulee--Haha..I like your Halvsie name.. thats actually the nickname of one of my friends.

I learned Japanese b/c my mommy raised me by only speaking Japanese to me.
Her English was not that good so I was forced to speak only in Japanese to her.
I didn't appreciate this as a kid but now as an adult, I am so grateful to my mom
for speaking to me only in Japanese.
I grew up in NY all my life and didn't go to Japanese school so if it wasn't for my mommy I wouldn't know any Nihongo at all.

Creme Brulee-- You bring up a good point and its something that I have thought about and worried about.
I am not married yet and far from having any kids but I have worried that if I end with someone
who cannot speak any Japanese at all, then my kids will never be able to speak Japanese and that side of my culture will be lost.
My Japanese is not really strong so I would probably default to English like you have if my
husband didn't speak any Japanese.
But this makes me sad b/c I dont want my Japanese side to be lost and my children not be able to speak it.

I think maybe the best solution would be to send them to Japanese school from a very young age and to have a nanny/babysitter who is native Japanese and will only speak Japanese to your kids.
When school ends in the US, you can also take them to Japan for summer school --My mom's
friend whol lives in the US did this w/ her children.
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