It was only natural that I spoke Japanese

When I was a child, my lullabies and picture books were mostly in Japanese. So even now, when speaking to my own children, words like “Come here,” come out naturally in Japanese. When I get mad though, it comes out in English (laugh). Since I was in elementary school, I attended supplementary school on Saturdays, and studied there through my third year middle school.

As a child, it was only natural that I spoke Japanese. I apparently even asked why studying the language was necessary. My mother’s response was, “You’re half Japanese, so naturally, you should be able to speak the language.” My mother is also an interpreter and translator, so she was very adamant about me learning languages.

Even as an adult, it’s natural, because I’ve been speaking from a young age. In the past, my Japanese fluency level has gone up and down, but after living in Japan and starting to raise my children, I decided I need to take it more seriously. For some reason, I have quite a complex over feeling the need to speak Japanese like a normal Japanese person. By, “like a Japanese person,” I mean someone who was born and raised in Japan, can write kanji, and do work in Japanese. Part of that’s likely due to the fact that I’m an interpreter and therefore working as a professional in language, but it’s also me just thinking that my grasp of the language is incomplete, while at the same time knowing that I don’t really have the will to take studying Japanese seriously. It’s like I have the two contradicting feelings of having a complex, while also thinking, “Whatever, this is fine.”