Teaching my children Japanese

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Joined: Tue 01.10.2006 3:11 am

Teaching my children Japanese

Post by Kyles » Tue 04.22.2008 4:59 pm

Hi everyone, I am a huge fan of this site (very active lurker) I have a question... I would like to start teaching my children more Japanese than I have been in the past (just the greetings, and a few words so far eg saying 'oishii!' everytime they eat something I've made) but I'm wondering whether it is best to speak to them in polite japanese (not keigo, but not plain form - not sure what it's called) so they will learn how to speak polite Japanese... It would be "natural" for me to speak to my children in plain form eg "yoku netta?" rather than "yoku nemashita ka?" but I'm worried that if I do, then when it comes time for them to converse with a Japanese native (not close to them) that they would come across rude, or too familiar. I know if we were living in Japan, they would hear the difference when I spoke to different people and how I spoke to them... but I'm living in Brisbane Australia and I don't have any real opportunities to speak with Japanese people regularly... and the friends I speak to on the phone I always use familiar japanese, so what does anyone suggest?

Thanks and sorry about the romaji (I'm lazy)


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Native language: 日本語(Japanese)
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Re: Teaching my children Japanese

Post by coco » Wed 04.23.2008 4:41 am

Welcome back to TJP forum.   :)
I think you are fluent in Japanese, but please allow me to write this in my poor English.

In my opinion under your environment, children under 12 years old don't need to learn です/ます form. learning basic phrases in plain form( some have ます, such as いただきます, いってきます though ), pronunciations, improving vocabulary would be more effective than attempting です/ます form.
but I'm worried that if I do, then when it comes time for them to converse with a Japanese native (not close to them) that they would come across rude, or too familiar.
Please don't worry. We don't much care about children's speech style. There are tons of Japanese teenagers who are unable to handle です/ます form. And children tend to dislike the polite expressions, in general.
If you have a boy, how to address himself might be one of thorny problems. However, I don't think most adults pay attention to teenagers' speeches, unless he is your own child.
Related thread 
I'd like to hear other members' opinion on this topic, too. :)

You might have read this also. When I read it, I felt it was new. Yes, in Japan, it is popular that parents get their infant children to learn English, and it looks pretty effective. To master English is getting more vital than when I was a child. On the other hand,
it doesn't seem that learning Japanese is essential to your children living in Australia.
I'm interested in who wants them to learn Japanese, and how your children recognize it. I apologize if these questions sounded rude. I'm just curious about it.
This is one of typical emotions of children. :wink:

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Re: Teaching my children Japanese

Post by kyubisharingan » Thu 04.24.2008 5:26 pm

why couldnt you be my parent!? T_T

but yeah, pretty much follow what coco-san said

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