My kids are haafu, half Japanese and half American, and my wife and I have done our best to ensure they could grow up bilingual in both languages without having to go through years of hard study as we did. I imported all my DVDs from the U.S. so that if my kids wanted to watch Harry Potter or A Series of Unfortunate Events they’d have to do it all in English. I’d even sit through anime that was badly dubbed in English with them, pretending there was no Japanese track on the disc in order to force them to learn English, which I think shows real dedication as a father. Most movies that children would be interested in seeing are shown in two versions in Japanese theaters, a dubbed one for younger viewers and a subtitled one for adults who can read the difficult kanji characters. My kids had no problem with English, so they were always the only kids in the subtitled theatre. Because they know English, they’re able to observe Japan in ways normal Japanese can’t. My daughter is a fan of reading novels submitted by users of Japanese websites, and there’s a button asking users to “clap” their hands if they liked what they read. Sadly, most of these sites write the word as “crap,” which causes my daughter to giggle every time she comes across one.
Sorry, I don’t want to read any “novels of crap” today.