Memories of Grandma: My Introduction to Japanese (日本語)

 

   When I was little, my grandmother was just my grandmother. She wasn’t different from other grandmothers, as far as I knew. It wasn’t until I started to get older that I realized that my grandmother was not like my friend’s grandmothers. She looked different, she talked different. She spoke English well, but there were words that she pronounced differently. Sometimes, she wouldn’t speak English at all. If she was upset or if we were with her for more than a few days, she spoke Japanese. I never thought much of it. She would tell me that I needed to learn to speak Japanese as well. It seemed like no big deal. I usually understood most of what she was saying to me anyway. I didn’t appreciate the wonderful opportunity I had to learn a second language. Not until it was too late. Now, as an adult, I am learning it on my own. It is meaningful, but not as much as it would have been to learn it from her. I miss her. I miss hearing her speak. English…Japanese, it doesn’t matter. Her voice was beautiful whichever language she spoke. おばあちゃん, for the wonderful memories, どうもありがとうございました!

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My Grandmother
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Me (a very long time ago!)
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English Japanese Dictionary
Japanese Calligraphy