Multilingualism- Japanese vs English

Both of my parents are Japanese, and either of them can’t speak fluent English. Although both of my parents attended a Japanese school, my mom always had doubts about Japanese education, which is why my mum let me attend an international school in Japan for 2 years old.

When I was little, I had negative thoughts and embarrassment to my parents because they cannot speak English compared to other parents. I didn’t like translating every sentence from English to Japanese. Such as times in parents teacher-led conference, traveling and writing an email in English. Of course, there are times I have to do these jobs and it is not my favorite thing to do. But as I grow older, I appreciated the opportunity to be a translator because it gave me motivation to self- educate to become a close native English speaker. I remember I used to write down words, use a dictionary to search words and so on. Now I am appreciated to my parents because, without the opportunity of translation, my English and Japanese wouldn’t be better.

My use of language has developed and I am capable to use both languages equally in a different situation, however, there are aspects of me I am more American inside but Japanese outside. As I grow older and older, my Japanese pride gets smaller and smaller, I really don’t know why, but I personally think my personality best fits in the U.S rather than here. But most importantly it is because I speak English more often than Japanese. English is the language that is been instructed in School, I listen and read it in English and I write in English than Japanese. Therefore, I sometimes question my Japanese culture, even though I am pure Japanese and I never lived in a different country.

Furthermore, Stereotypically speaking, Japanese follows the rules, they are quiet, they don’t share their opinion frequently. This is not me. I am super loud, I love to share ideas and I somewhat follow the rules ( depends what it is) but not always. I also like to celebrate events and the fun fact is like I don’t like Sushi but I like sushi’s in America ( Spicy tuna rolls and California rolls).

As mentioned, I question about my culture and I believe that my Japanese pride will be taken away when I attend to a  University in the State soon and of course my English will be stronger than my Japanese. Because I have both languages, it expresses who I am. If couldn’t speak Japanese or English, I feel like I wouldn’t be the same- me. Thus, I always take it positively and it will help me in future internships and businesses.


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