Personal Narrative: My Bilingual Education

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I was bilingual. For the longest time, my world was divided in two categories: English and French. French was for home, and English was for school. French was for family, and English was for friends. French was for the news, and English was for comic books. Up until I was 15 years old, these two literacies made up my entire life. But neither of those literacies affected me in the same way that my third language did. At 15 years old, I became obsessed with the Japanese language. I remember picking up a self-teaching book at Chapters and devouring it chapter by chapter, and the more I knew, the more I craved to know more. However, it was never my plan to learn to write in Japanese. I found their writing system beautiful, to be sure; but not to the point of dedicating myself to learning over two thousand characters spanning over three different alphabets, and then some. However, the first two alphabets, collectively called ‘kana,’ only have about a hundred characters to them. Furthermore, they are phonetic, which means that they represent one sound that never changes regardless of context, unlike the third alphabet whose characters have multiple readings and whose pronunciation depends entirely on context. With this in mind, when I saw a free online program that promised to teach you how to read and write both kana alphabets …show more content…
So every day, I would sit down with a small notebook that I got just for that purpose and wrote down the same character over and over. Up to down, left to right, I would write rows upon rows of one kana until I was no longer thinking about the individual strokes and writing it became automatic. Then I moved on to the second. There was something intoxicatingly satisfying about looking back at the pages of the notebook filled to the brim with kana, almost like a visual representation of the progress I had

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