Tag Archives: bilingual

Authors Answer 90 – Writing in Another Language

All of us are fluent in English. Most, if not all, of us have studied a language to varying degrees in school. But have any of us achieved enough ability in those languages to actually write books in them? Before you read on, take a guess. How many, out of ten people, can write in a language other than English? Let’s see if your guess is correct.  This week’s question was asked by Loren Killdeer.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 90 – Do you write outside of your original language?

Eric Wood

Seeing as I only know English and minuscule pieces of French, my original language is all I write in. Perhaps one day my stories will be translated into hundreds of languages?

Elizabeth Rhodes

I can only write in English. I don’t know nearly enough of another language to make the attempt.

Jean Davis

I have days where it’s difficult to write in my own language, so no.

D. T. Nova

No. If I ever publish in multiple languages I will need a translator.

Paul B. Spence

No. Rhyrhan is such a literal language, and difficult to spell with our alphabet…

S. R. Carrillo

How I wish I could~ I’ve been trying to spruce up my Spanish lately, and I’ve even attempted to read a book in Spanish, but I’m far from fluent. Maybe, one day, I’d like to be able to write a book in Spanish, I think. I may make that a life goal mwahah.

H. Anthe Davis

Alas, I’ve never been fluent enough in another language to try to write in it.  I’ve created fantasy languages, and I’ve dreamed in Spanish and Japanese while I was learning them, but I don’t know them well anymore.

Gregory S. Close

No, unless you count the fictional ones!  I do dabble in Aulden, Underkin and Ancient Andu’ai.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Nope! While I did take several years of French classes throughout my education, I don’t know nearly enough actually write in French, and I only know little snips and random phrases from other languages. It’s English-only for me!

Jay Dee Archer

I’m a language enthusiast. I’ve studied French for eight years and lived in Japan for eleven years. However, I have not achieved a high enough proficiency in either language to be able to write in those languages. Even if I were conversational in either language, my vocabulary wouldn’t be enough to write well. It would also take an incredibly long and frustrating time for me to write in another language, unless I were fully fluent. So no, I only write in English. I would love to write in another language, though.

How about you?

Are you bilingual or multilingual? Are you able to write in more than one language well? Let us know in the comments below.

Japanese School for My Daughter

At the moment, my daughter only has my wife to speak Japanese with her. But today, we met a couple families whose husbands are Canadian and wives are Japanese. Both families have several children older than my daughter.

One of the topics that came up was the Japanese school. There’s one here in Edmonton, and it apparently has around 130 students. We’d like our daughter to attend, so she can meet other kids who speak Japanese, and she can maintain her Japanese fluency. That’ll be very good for her, as she’ll be able to be fully bilingual. It’ll be great for her future. I hope she likes it.

Survey: Which Languages Do You Want to Learn?

As you probably know, I’m studying some languages on Duolingo at the moment: French, Spanish, and German. If it had Japanese, I’d definitely be going through that course, too. Eventually, I’d like to study every language that’s on Duolingo.

But I’d like to do a quick survey. If you could choose any three languages to study, which would you like to study? Please select three languages when you vote. These are the currently available languages on Duolingo for English speakers.

Thanks for voting! Please leave a comment below explaining your choices.

Are You Multilingual?

I studied French from grade 4 until grade 11 in school.  I challenged the grade 12 French test in grade 11 and passed without studying.  So basically, I have credit for nine years of French education.  That was twenty years ago.

In university, I studied Japanese for one semester and learned how to read and write hiragana and katakana. I had some basic grammar, as well. That was in 1997.  In 2005, I moved to Japan, started studying Japanese, and passed the 3-kyuu Japanese Language Proficiency Test in 2008. I can speak Japanese at a survival level, but not great. Unfortunately, I’ve been spending most of my time speaking English, something I regret.

So, I’m fluent in English, can understand about 30-50% of what I read in French (forget about speaking), and can understand the topics of conversations in Japanese, and I can usually understand most of what is being said at work in Japanese.

My daughter speaks mostly Japanese, though understands English. She will be fully bilingual, plus she’ll be learning French in school in Canada.

How about you? Can you speak more than one language? Are you monolingual, bilingual, trilingual, or a polyglot? Or just fluent in one language with some ability in others? Let me know in the comments below.

Bilingual Breakthroughs

My daughter is about to turn 3 years old next Sunday. She speaks both English and Japanese, but very basic at the moment. At this time of her language development, the changes are rapid. But the languages are uneven.

She can say many words in both languages, and while she understands English, she speaks mainly in Japanese. She can use past tense verbs in Japanese only. Only present tense in English.

Last night, there was a big breakthrough. I was putting her pajamas on, and she tried buttoning it up herself, but couldn’t. She said, “Dekinai.” That means can’t. I asked, “You can’t?” She answered, “I can’t.” That took me off guard. Not only did she understand and use can’t, but she also understood the difference between I and you.

She hasn’t used I in conversation until now. It’s always watashi or boku. Boku is for boys, though. She understand that now.

Language development is fascinating. She should be conversational later this year. I look forward to it.

And now, this is a train:

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She gave this to me and said, “Happy birthday!”

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