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My son is midway through childhood.  He is a great kid, easy-going and kind to others.   Unlike his classmates, he is truly bilingual.  He can speak both English and Japanese.

So what are some of my thoughts?

  • Multilingualism is not always easy, but I feel that it is worth it.  It feels that we embarked on a grand experiment that some succeed at and some fail at.  Fortunately, I think my son is a success story.
  • Japanese is a difficult language.  English is a difficult language.  The two languages are practically opposites.  Thus, the combination of the two is more challenging than the combination of two languages which are related (like English and German.)
  • However……living in Japan, English is the easiest second language to embark on.  The resources for English are easy to come by in Japan.  English is a high prestige language.  (Basically, it is THE language to learn.)  This makes life much, so much, easier for us.
  • I often worry that my son will be good at Japanese and good at English, but not great at either.  I wish he read more.  I think school here takes a lot out of him and the last thing he wants to get when he is relaxing is more education!
  • Trilingualism?  I see that is often done by other people on the internet, and all I can say is two languages are ENOUGH for us.  More than enough.  Exploring the worlds of Japanese and English is enough to keep us busy.
  • Biculturalism is something we also think about.  However, this is fairly easy in Japan because American culture is such a strong influence in the world.  I feel my son has an advantage knowing that there is more than one point of view, more than one way of doing things.
  • Which country would my son choose?  Canada  LOL  (or maybe not LOL)