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2012 Language News Update - Addendum 1

The two parts of the 2012 Language News Update earlier this month missed out on two important studies done recently, both in the area of children and language acquisition.

The first study (I'll report on the second study in a few more days) concerns children of bilingual parents and language mixing. A researcher from Concordia University found that the vast majority of bilingual parents actually mix languages when talking with their children. As might be expected, this language mixing poses problems in the short term for vocabulary acquisition. But the general benefits of bilingual rearing are not undone, and the short-term effects may not be too serious.

In my own experience, I have gone to great pains not to mix languages at all when speaking to my children. I mix all the time with my wife, and she mixes somewhat with the children, but my reasoning has been the following: I speak French to them, which will be the language they hear the least (or at least the least frequently in natural language environments) given that they will grow up in the U.S. (English) and have some family that knows only Spanish. Of the three languages we want to raise them in then, French is the one that is likely to be the weakest, so I want to be extremely consistent with it myself. But perhaps a little mixing wouldn't hurt? It's true that on the very rare occasion I have made a translation or myself used an English or Japanese outburst that just fit the moment ("All right!" or "やった!" or "Oh, man" or "しまった。").


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The viewer is led to sympathize with the undocumented man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He’s away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart fr…


Read this in English.





今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。