Aloha, all, and happy holidays! I just bought Adam's book on my Kindle and also wanted to start using this forum, so joined up.
I'm Erica, and I live in Honolulu, Hawaii. I have two young daughters, ages 6.5 and 3 who are bilingual in English and Japanese. I speak a little Japanese, but my husband is fluent (although he only has elementary kanji reading ability) and we also have a Japanese-speaking nanny who is with our girls when they are out of school three days a week. (I am home the other two days.) She's been with us since our older daughter was 3 months old, and is like family to us.
It hasn't been easy, but it also wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be initially with our girls yet. They have taken to it really well. They love Japanese language and culture, and we keep it as a big part of our own family culture too. For example, we celebrate major Japanese holidays and almost only watch Japanese language media together, like movies and cartoons, etc.
We are also very lucky in Hawaii to be relatively close to Japan and we visit every two years at least (we just got back from a three-week trip to Okinawa and Tokyo), and there is a lot of Japanese culture and language opportunities here. We have Japanese schools for children which my girls attend, for example, and my oldest is in a kanji-level class now and my younger daughter just started morning classes twice a week, similar to immersion preschool, but the focus in on Japanese language.
Anyone else Japanese/English bilingual? I'm here just to hear about others' experiences and share resources.
Erica, welcome! It sounds like your bilingual journey with your daughters is going very well! The combination of the many efforts that you and your husband are making, as well as the helpful access to Japanese language and culture, is clearly paying off in strong, steady progress. Good for you, and good for your family!
Of course, when it comes to Japanese, the larger challenge is the written language because kanji is so time-consuming to learn. (I know this challenge very personally. ) So it's great that the girls have begun this process early and that they have such positive feelings toward the language and culture.
While our two main languages are the same as yours, for us Japanese is the majority language and English is the minority language. As my kids have always attended Japanese schools, they've acquired Japanese from school (and from their mother) and English mainly from me. But you'll find a lot more about my family and our situation in my book. I hope you enjoy it!
And do let me know if your family ever plans a trip to Hiroshima! We'll welcome you to the city!
Adam Beck is the author of the popular nonfiction books "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!" (illustrated by Pavel Goldaev) as well as the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear" (illustrated by Simon Farrow).
You guys are lucky to be so close to your target language, have an ml-speaking nanny and access to bilingual ML-ml schools. By the sound of it, things are going very well for your family in the bilingual front. If you want to share any tips, feel free!
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Mayken: Last night, I couldn't think of the ml word for puffin, and my daughter beat me to it, in a cute way: It's Papageitaucher (literally parrot diver) but she said Tauchpapagei (diving parrot).
Oct 14, 2019 23:11:32 GMT 9
Amy: It's a relief to hear you're all safe Adam Beck! Mayken, I loved that cute story and I love how your ml structures its words, it is always so much fun and interesting.
Oct 15, 2019 4:00:34 GMT 9
Nellie: So glad to hear you and your family are safe Adam.
Oct 16, 2019 4:35:04 GMT 9
Marisa: "Victory moment:" My almost 4-year-old daughter told me yesterday in the ml (rough translation): "mom, there's something wrong with the cartoons, can you fix it, please?"... she was accidentally watching TV in the ML! So I gladly obliged
Jan 18, 2020 4:15:02 GMT 9
Amy: Awww bless her, Marisa!!! That was so cute!! <3
Jan 18, 2020 5:25:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Marisa, give that little minority language lover a big hug from me!
Jan 18, 2020 8:04:49 GMT 9