Life is full of. People want different things. It can be hard to find a that everyone. Especially in an !
I'm from Canada. My wife is Japanese. When we got married, we had todifferent customs, and ways of thinking. The biggest challenge that we faced, however, wasn't cultural differences. It was language.
My wife had studied in the United States and washer English. Having married a native speaker, she had dreams of speaking English every day until she became .
I'd studied a year of textbook Japanese at college and was eager to improve my conversation skills. Since Ijust a Japanese wife, I had dreams of speaking Japanese every day.
As a result of these, we had a basic conflict to solve. What to do?
We finallya simple : We decided to ! Our plan was to speak each language . One day would be "English Day." The following day would be "Japanese Day." This would allow each person to use their language of choice exactly half the time.
Wethis new system on a Monday. By , our first day was English Day. This to be very easy for me! The day started off with "Good morning!" and a breakfast chat in English. All day long, my wife and I spoke only English — my — and everything went smoothly.
The second day was Japanese Day. This started off with "Ohayo gozaimasu!" Things got harder after that! My Japanese at that time was actually not very good. The problem was that I didn't have enough vocabulary.
As a result, our breakfast chat was slow and. It's hard to have a conversation when you don't know enough words! I was constantly using my Japanese-English dictionary. Even the simplest phrases proved a problem.
For example, I needed to ask my wife to "pass the salt." To do so, I had tothe Japanese word for "pass," then look up the Japanese word for "salt," then try to put these together in a grammatical sentence. It took forever!
My wife was incredibly patient and smiled as she watched me. I started to wonder if she was secretly enjoying the linguistic I was going through!
Although the first few months were a challenge, my spoken Japanese gradually improved. My wife as well was pleased at being able to maintain her English. Our system was a success!
Whenconflict, it's important to find a compromise that's fair and acceptable to . Good luck finding solutions to the conflicts in your own life!
The Japan Times ST: June 8, 2018