Language Updates!

My Japanese is horrible.*sad face*

Reading too!

Reading too!

But this update is not about me, it is about my 2 year old.

His Japanese is fluent. He speaks effortlessly, repeats words and phrases, he even knows how to assume new words based on the rules he has already learned through speaking. For example, he will put a negative suffix on a word he has no knowledge of to make it negative. It is very cute and yes, already, I have no idea what he is talking about. He goes to preschool so he is learning new words at lightspeed and mom is at home watching Kemushichan.

I was worried for a while because he did not speak English at all, but now he is almost fluent in English as well. I am the only native speaker and aside from my family on Skype, he never hears English. I think his pronunciation and understanding is great considering.

At the moment he mixes the two languages sentence by sentence using the words he knows in each language. Since I am trying to become fluent in Japanese I was using the Japanese I know mixed with English so that could be the reason as well.

One thing that is amazing to me is how effortlessly he communicates regaardless of which language. I read somewhere before that babies can learn dozens of languages before 5 years old effortlessly. I am going to dive right back into that research and introduce Spanish. Yesterday I put on a Mickey Mouse video in Spanish to see if he would watch. He watched like 30 minutes! No protest, no weird face.I was shocked and happy. I will continue to speak English, at this point he does not need me to feed him any Japanese. And we will start Spanish this week.

About Tara Kamiya

I am a personality blogger of Japanese & African American marriage and motherhood. Featured in the U.S. on Four Weddings Season 2. For product reviews, speaking engagements and appearances please contact me via email: kamiyatara@gmail.com
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2 Responses to Language Updates!

  1. sherazade says:

    Hello Tara,

    I’m 35 and I was born and still live in Brussel (Belgium) which is a multilingual country (French – Dutch -German). This information is relevant to picture my linguist environnement : we used to hear (on a daily basis) and to learn others languages. For instance, we can choose the school’s language (Dutch – French – sometimes English), extracuriccular activies in Dutch – French or an other language (depends on your community or your wish). At work, I can speak in French to my collegue who may also answer me in Dutch.

    I’m the third Moroccan generation in Europe , at 3 years old I was fluent in Arabic and French (no mixing) , at 8 I started to learn Dutch and at 14 English. At 18, I was fluent in 4 languages which is common in belgian big cities (all of my friends speak at least 3 languages).

    Today the fourth generation speaks around 4 languages at 6 years old.

    Our method is to divide the linguist environnement : Arabic at home, French at school, Dutch and English at the extracurricular activities. In the beginning, this method limits our vocabulary skills to our basic needs (home, school, etc..) ; later as an adult, we’ve started to improve each language thanks to books, movies, friends, work, etc…

    So, yes it’s possible.

    Have a good day,

    Sherazade.

  2. Tara Kamiya says:

    Thanks so much! This was an awesome educational post. Bless.

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