This is Blair and Eddie (and their parents) from Canton, Missouri, USA. We have lots of questions, but decided to ask only four here (for now)...
1. What language do you use most with each other? 2. Do you dream in English or Japanese? 3. Do you ever use your "other" language as a secret language? For example, if you're among your Japanese friends, do you ever talk to each other in English when you don't want them to understand what you say? 4. Have you ever seen a Japanese giant salamander? Are they slimy?
We're looking forward to hearing from you (especially about the salamander)!
Blair and Eddie
P.S.: Eddie wanted to make sure we thank you here too for taking such good care of our Alfonzo! He's in Sweden now, hopefully staying warm.
(For those who don't know who Alfonzo is, you can learn all about his travels on his website here. He had a wonderful time in Hiroshima with Lulu and Roy, their Mommy and crazy Daddy!)
[Adam's note: Before they entered our local elementary school, they used English more than Japanese as their shared language. However, since they now think in Japanese throughout most of the day, it has naturally become the "default" language for their interactions. This isn't really a concern, though, because their English is now firmly grounded and they can switch languages as necessary.]
2. Do you dream in English or Japanese?
Lulu: Japanese, and a little bit of English. I usually dream about Mommy, like when I went on a candy airplane and Mommy was the pilot.
Roy: Nobody talks in my dreams. They only open and close their mouths, but they're not saying anything.
3. Do you ever use your "other" language as a secret language?
Lulu: No. When my friends tell me to talk in English, I say no.
Roy: No, but my friends and I speak a little bit of Spanish. I'm teaching them.
[Adam's note: They seem to have mixed feelings about their English ability when among their friends. I know they take some pride in it--because English ability is somewhat rare in Japan and earns respect from others--but they also feel a bit shy about speaking it so openly.]
4. Have you ever seen a Japanese giant salamander? Are they slimy?
Lulu: Yes, at the zoo. It's ugly and it looks slimy, but its eyes are cute.
Roy: Yes, we saw it at the zoo. It was really big. I don't know if it's slimy or not because I never touched it. I want to touch it, though. I want it to bite my finger.
[Adam's note: Japanese giant salamanders actually live in our area, but we've never seen one in the wild. But if we find one, we'll put it in a box and send it to you, Blair and Eddie!]
Blair and Eddie, thank you for your questions!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide. Please support The Bilingual Zoo through Adam's Patreon page www.patreon.com/bilingualmonkeys.
As always, we love learning about you monkeys! Blair says she dreams in Hungarian, Eddie dreams in French - he only speaks the few words that he has picked up from Alfonzo when he was in Paris, so his dreams must not be very detailed (and must involve a lot of crepes). He's also 3, so if we ask him again, he might say Chinese... or Japanese... or Gibberish (he's fluent in Gibberish).
We all hope you'll find a Japanese giant salamander, we'd love to have another pet!
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Amy: Last year, a new colleague joined my team. She's trilingual in the same languages as me. It was like magic. We change languages and even code-switch several time a day. I had missed that so much!! My monolingual colleagues must think we're freaks! lol
May 8, 2019 4:56:12 GMT 9
Amy: Unfortunately, she has resigned and is leaving shortly. I was so proud to introduce her to my eldest, one day that I had brought her to show her round my office. And to introduce other bi/multilingual colleagues. Show how important languages are.
May 8, 2019 4:58:26 GMT 9
Mayken: That must have been wonderful, Amy! I'm sorry she is leaving. I would love to find someone like that. We had an English intern last year who spoke German and French. We chatted a lot.
May 8, 2019 6:06:01 GMT 9
Caro C.: Oh Amy I sort of feel related to what you are saying. Some months ago I made a friend from the US. She happens to be a neighbor with four kids. We’ve been sharing back and forth and I’d love my baby girl to eventually be able to share with her children
May 13, 2019 12:55:09 GMT 9
Caro C.: Although maybe they will be a bit old for her, still we (I mean their mom = Sarah and me) both are very happy and grateful for each other as friends.
May 13, 2019 12:57:05 GMT 9
Mayken: As of yesterday, I am aunt to a baby girl who lives in our ml country with 2 ml parents, and I'm already planning to get them a nice nursery rhymes CD for our first visit.
May 16, 2019 20:03:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Mayken! Have a happy visit!
May 17, 2019 9:10:21 GMT 9
Caro C.: OMG I just came across this song and it filled my heart with joy and excitement...perfect for all of us who are parents: youtu.be/g1fcnhB8GOY
May 19, 2019 14:01:55 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Caro, thanks for sharing that lovely song. Raffi was one of our very favorite musicians when my kids were small. We listened to him all the time. I highly recommend his albums as a source of very enjoyable and very effective English input.
May 20, 2019 15:32:26 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter is on a field trip this week and I feel like I've lost my main purpose
May 20, 2019 20:03:33 GMT 9
Raquel: That's cute, Mayken. I hope you enjoyed all that extra free time.
May 29, 2019 18:17:39 GMT 9
SheilaC: I am concern about our upcoming big change to Public school with all English teaching and minimal Spanish. We have been lucky until now with Spanish speaking Nanny and Spanish immersion preschool. We are doing 2-day per week with Spanish after school.
May 31, 2019 10:51:49 GMT 9
Amy: @sheilac, I suggest you create an actual thread on the "Questions & Concerns" board, so fellow Zoo Keepers can help you with your concerns. 256 characters is too little to discuss something that is so important to your heart
Jun 2, 2019 23:44:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, thanks for that very interesting and timely post - it justifies the large order for ml books and DVDs I'm about to place in view of my daughters upcoming birthday!
Jun 3, 2019 23:46:00 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Great to hear this, Mayken! And happy birthday to both yours and mine! (They have the same birthday, don't they?) And if anyone missed that post, here's the link once more...
Jun 4, 2019 8:03:42 GMT 9