Posts: 40 Country (residing now): US Country (originally from): Spain Children, Ages: Girl, born in March 2016 Majority Language: English Minority Language(s): Spanish, German, and hopefully French some day!
Hi Lulu and Roy! I'm Isabel-Marie, I'll be 17 months old in 2 days!, and I'm from the US (I love Virginia!). My mom is from Spain and speaks Spanish to me, and she wants me to learn German as well... it's going to be a lot of fun!
I'm currently in Spain, where my mom and I are enjoying our summer vacation... so now that I have more time, I wanted to ask you: Do you celebrate any US holiday(s)/tradition(s) in Japan? What's your favorite? And what's your favorite Japanese holiday/tradition?
Last year I really enjoyed Christmas with my family, and now my favorite tradition is eating ice cream before going to the park on Saturdays.
Have a wonderful day!
Isabel-Marie (and my mom Marisa, who's helping with the typing!)
Hello Isabel-Marie and Marisa! We hope you're having a fun summer in Spain!
Muchas gracias for your questions!
Do you celebrate any US holiday(s)/tradition(s) in Japan? And what's your favorite?
Lulu: We celebrate Valentine's Day and Halloween and Christmas. Christmas is my favorite because the day before Christmas, we get really excited and then we wake up early and open lots of presents!
Roy: I like Christmas, too, because I can get presents! Last year I got a remote-control car and some other stuff!
[Adam's note: Valentine's Day is a pretty big deal in Japan...but only women give gifts to men. There's actually a second gift-giving day in March, known as White Day, where men then give gifts to women. (I bet the candy companies invented this tradition to double their profits!) Halloween isn't celebrated here to the extent that it is in the U.S., but it seems to be growing more popular each year. As for Christmas, for children in Japan, this isn't the same magical holiday that it is for kids in the U.S. and one key reason is that the tradition here is for parents to give their kids only one present. But because I wanted my own kids to feel at least some of the magic I felt as a child, I tend to go overboard and pile up the presents under our tree! The photo above shows sleepy Lulu and Roy on Christmas morning last year.]
And what's your favorite Japanese holiday/tradition?
Lulu: My favorite Japanese tradition is Children's Day because it's a day for kids, not grown-ups. Kids rule!
Roy: My favorite is New Year's because we can eat mochi [chewy rice cakes] and we get money.
[Adam's note: Children's Day is a holiday where there are a variety of activities for kids and admission is free at many places. On New Year's Day, children in Japan get little envelopes of cash from family members.]
Roy: What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Have you ever tried green tea ice cream? It's really good!
[Adam's note: Green tea ice cream--and green tea flavored food in general--is very popular in Japan!]
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction 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.
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Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you for the suggestion!
Jul 21, 2018 15:40:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter met some inversed ML/ml kids today who live in our ml country. Their parents probably weren't thrilled they found n ML (for them) friend in their ml country. I'm sorry...a little bit.
Aug 7, 2018 2:07:34 GMT 9