Thursday, March 26, 2015

My sister

So, like a lot of people, I have a younger sister. There's just a bit of a bigger age gap between us than most. The difference being 20 years, less a couple of months. I know, I know... SURPRISE!!! Right? Anyways, that's not the point of this story.

I'm about to turn 25, so you can do the math on my sister's age. When she was born I was smack dab in the middle of my first year as a Japanese major. I had just transferred to my third college and was trying to figure out just what the heck to do with my life. But then, here she was. I'll admit. One day, I decided to turn on some children's music, but in Japanese. Right off the bat she was transfixed by it and dancing about/bobbing her head as much as a newborn can.

That was when my mom decided that we would be teaching her Japanese as a second language. And ever since then, she's been learning it. I'll admit, mostly through watching movies in Japanese and listening to music. Something that we never would have been able to do if it weren't for the small Rossiter-Haynes village that's raising her, is to be able to get her a tutor. Now, don't lose your head. We know she's five years old. The tutoring isn't about book learning at this point. The tutor reads to her, something my family can't do for her in Japanese and, due to logistics of book reading via Skype, I'm unable to do with her. They play with her and talk to her so she's having fun and learning in a more passive way.

Along with her, my family is also picking up the language. I'd like to throw out a huge round of applause to mom by the way for her amazing progress in the language using mostly Youtube songs and remembering random words I throw out. I'd also like to offer a shout out to my dad who is actually, five years later, starting to pick up on the language. Good job dad!! That said, there are still language incidents that occur when you have a 5 year old spouting out things in two languages. (She particularly loves colors in Japanese and gets exasperated when she has to translate for people.)

Anyways, the other day my sister went shopping with my dad. Apparently she kept telling him "ダメ" (dame) and "座って" (suwatte). When she got home she told mom about it all frustrated and finished with "I don't think dad knows what that means." (For a five year old she is sassy.)

When asked why she told him bad and sit down, she said, very matter of factly, "Because he was touching all the things and you're not supposed to!"

Two more follow up questions from mom, so she could teach dad what they mean:
"What does "ダメ" mean?" It means stop doing that.
"What does "座って" mean?" It means sit down!

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