I often wish I had two brains, where I can save up all the memories that I have learned about English while I use Japanese on a daily basis.
I wouldn’t call myself a bilingual.- Well, I am not sure the definition of ‘bilingual’ I would say. I still feel that my English is not quite as good as my Japanese. Usually I don’t need to speak English as much as I live in Japan, and am surrounded by all Japanese native speakers every day. When i think about something to talk about, or write my brain still works all in Japanese. Yet English is being a big part of my life thanks to my friends from all over the world. Although I feel it inconvenient to express myself all in English, definitely it has helped me get self confidence, and even create another personality, which is really hard to describe. I once, accidentally said “Hey” to my brother and I made him surprised how strong I sounded. But then in Japanese, I feel less sociable because Japanese language is designed to be modest, quiet, and less strong. Depending on the situation though, I see different parts of myself speaking either of them. I am me, regardless.
The other day someone made me feel nice by saying — “Thank you for speaking English.”
I am considered myself to be a English lover, and I personally wouldn’t mind speaking English. However as a Japanese native speaker, I ask myself “Why can’t we use Japanese to talk to foreign people?” Don’t get me wrong though, Japanese is still a unique, hard language which is not spoken widely, so I completely understand that it is the universal language unlike English. What I mean here is that I feel it’d be nice if this world (I don’t mean all of them though) could appreciate non native speakers more. Not only English. I even sometimes don’t realize it. I write my blog all in English but it was pretty natural for me to do so without doubting.
Most of the time, I come across nice people who really compliment my English skill, which is sweet of them. However, I admit that there are times where I get hurt by not getting “perfect” accents like native speakers being laughed, or being persistently asked to say certain words in English in a rude way. Usually, I can’t help wishing Japanese people would be able to be involved more actively in English, but as much as I’d hope that way, going through uncomfortable experiences in the process of learning it also gives me a better understanding or legit reason.
Same goes for Japanese people though, towards people who are learning Japanese. I try to be nice as much as I can to Japanese learners because I know how difficult, challenging it is when you fail to speak it. This is about English learning, but I’d love to devote this post to everyone who is a currently language learner or teacher. Please be nice to language learners. Be open minded. Show appreciation sometimes, if you can. I believe in the power of the languages. If you get to learn the language, you will get to know more about that people, their background, and even the personalities, which I believe, can avoid conflicts derived from cultural differences. I encourage you to learn another language, (even though I talked about negatives), there are so many things that enrich your life. Join me. 🙂