Talking Bilingually and Pooping

It’s been a while since I posted about Tomoe.  It’s been a pretty busy month, and she’s been developing quite quickly, especially with talking.  We want her to speak both English and Japanese, though I’d have to say that Japanese is winning right now.

For example, she’s able to make simple requests and tell us if she hurts somewhere in Japanese.  Some of the things she says are:

  • Koko de – She’s asking me to come here.
  • Koko itai – It hurts here (very useful 2 days ago, but more on that later)
  • Kore? – She points at things just saying “this?”
  • Dame – She pronounces it “mame” but it means “no” or “don’t.”  She uses it after I tell her not to touch something.
  • Ii yo – It means “okay.”

In English, she mostly just uses words.  She likes to point out things and say the word, although it’s still quite limited.  Some examples are:

  • tree
  • dog (sometimes as “wanwan”)
  • cat
  • bus
  • car

She also understands directions in English.  I’ll tell her to stop at a busy road and she’ll stop.  I can also ask her to put something in the garbage or give it to mommy, and she does it.  I can ask her if she needs her diaper changed, if she’s hungry or wants a banana or milk, and she’ll respond with a “yeah” or “no.”

I think the hard thing is getting a balance between the languages.  I speak to her in English all the time, though I understand what she says in her simple Japanese.  She speaks about 80% in Japanese and only 20% in English.  Although I always speak to her in English, she usually responds with Japanese, even though she understands what I’m saying.  But one situation a couple nights ago had me really glad that she can talk to us now.  She had a high fever all day at 39 degrees, and was very uncomfortable at night.  She kept touching her ears and said “koko itai.”  She was telling me that her ears hurt.  Yesterday, I took her to the clinic with a nursery, and the doctor confirmed she had a bit of an ear infection.

Not all of her communication is verbal.  She uses hand gestures for come here quite often.  She also herds me around.  She’ll grab my leg and push me to where she wants me to go.  When I put my computer away, she points to where I put it, trying to be helpful.

But one of the biggest developments is that she tells us when she’s pooping.  She crouches down, grunts, and strains.  So guess what?  She’s starting potty training!  We got her a toilet seat for the toilet, and we’ll be trying to get her to use it.  I hope she’s a fast learner with pooping.

And finally, a happy 21 month birthday to Tomoe tomorrow!


6 thoughts on “Talking Bilingually and Pooping

  1. Haha, I love being herded by Samuel too! 😉 Do you think Japanese is “easier” for a child to speak than English? Like, easier to pronounce the words? Just curious. 🙂

    • I’d say Japanese pronunciation is more straightforward. English breaks so many rules and has such a large variety of sounds and combinations, while Japanese pronunciation is simpler and the syllables are easier for kids to say.

  2. Ahh, same here. I speak Russian to Timothy – but English is winning. English is everywhere – daycare, street, radio… He understands perfectly everything we say in Russian, but speaks mostly in English. In our case, it’s understandable – English words are by far easier to pronounce than Russian ones 🙂

    But there are words that recently started replacing English ones (as in he used to say them in English – like “more” – but now says in Russian). We shall see if we succeed in retaining Russian…

    • Yeah, I’m really wondering what Tomoe’s going to be speaking in a year’s time when she’s 2 3/4 years old. I’m hoping she’ll be speaking enough English that she and I can have a decent conversation together.

  3. To her its all one language. She doesn’t know the difference. She’s just speaking the easiest words. I think as she grows up she will notice the difference and speak appropriately, especially when she learns how prevail ant English is around the world. I find it interesting that she uses English for names of things and Japanese for everything else.

    • I don’t think she’ll understand how big English is until she’s much older. But by 5, she should be fully fluent in both languages and able to separate them.

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