Driving home from a friend’s house tonight, I heard a conversation between Makoto (5 year old boy) and Yumi (the mother, age not specified). She was explaining (in Japanese) how she would like Makoto so much more if he spoke Japanese.
Makoto understands Japanese very well, but almost everything he says, he says in English. Ask a question in Japanese, out comes an answer in English.
Anyway, after Yumi said that, there was silence for a few seconds. I thought Makoto was just moving on to something else. Instead, this is what I heard:
Do you like me, Mommy?
I didn’t get it at first, but Yumi started laughing. Makoto spoke Japanese (norimaki — sushi roll) and imagined that would qualify for Mommy to like him more.
She slowly coaxed more full sentences out of him, but at least he knew “norimaki” was Japanese.