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 book "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability", praised worldwide by parents and experts in the field. Available at Amazon amzn.to/22XKuCt, the global Amazon sites, and other booksellers.
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!
Nellie: Adam - will watch the video as soon as I can (living circumstances not permitting right now - we are still in temp accommodation and I can't turn on volume) - looking forward to it!
Sept 22, 2017 5:56:44 GMT 9
Mayken: Skyping with grandma last night had to be cancelled due to technological problems - I needed to talk my mom through a Skype update and her phone battery died. :-(
Sept 25, 2017 20:45:42 GMT 9
Joanna: sorry Mayken...this is sad but funny as I'm sure many skype Grandparents have the same woes !(mine..) For us this weekend: potty training has led to great quality time reading and chatting, and some pretty hilarious ml questions
Sept 26, 2017 6:20:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Joanna, I can relate! My mother (Grandma) can't seem to get the sound on her computer working so when we Skype, we also have to use the telephone!
Sept 26, 2017 6:36:03 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam, and Joanna, it's good to know we're not alone in this!
Sept 27, 2017 2:46:28 GMT 9
Joanna: Planning a long Christmas minority language visit, so exciting!
Sept 30, 2017 14:46:01 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! Skype is working again on my mom's tablet, meaning we can skype with ml grandma again!
Oct 2, 2017 23:12:24 GMT 9
Mayken: The other day my mom (monolingual ml) called while my daughter and I were out, so Daddy (monolingual ML) answered. My mom was amazed to find out he isn't monolingual ML any more after all, and praised his active ml ability.
Oct 3, 2017 23:28:39 GMT 9
Joanna: For each day my daughter is exposed to other people speaking English (here in France) I put a little star on the calendar...trying to fill it up!
Oct 8, 2017 3:52:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice motivating idea, Joanna! And Mayken, thanks for sharing your good news on two fronts!
Oct 9, 2017 7:11:50 GMT 9
Marisa: My daughter won't say number one in Spanish or English, but in German! She loves recognizing the number and saying it out loud... it sounds more like the word 'ice' in English, though, but it's 'eins.' Number 9, however, is 'nueve'. So funny!
Oct 11, 2017 10:33:45 GMT 9
Mayken: My dad's giving Adam's book to his Lithuanian friend's daughter, whose husband is sceptical about their little girl learning German.
Oct 14, 2017 21:10:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, thank you for sharing my book! I hope it can be helpful to them!
Oct 16, 2017 15:57:32 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, another bilingual monkey is about to be born near me (one of my colleagues is giving birth tomorrow), so I also got her and her husband a copy of your book... this world needs more bilingual kids!
Oct 18, 2017 0:06:43 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Many thanks, Marisa! In my humble opinion, more bilingual kids = more empathy in the world = a more peaceful planet.
Oct 18, 2017 7:33:04 GMT 9