“I moved from Tokyo to North Carolina two years ago. I still have a really hard time expressing myself in English.

My brain still thinks in Japanese. When I’m mad the only cuss words I can think of are in Japanese. So I know the English language didn’t fully arrive in my brain yet.

I also have a really hard time understanding Americans because of their accent. And they speak so fast. At some point, I stopped asking people to repeat something. I feel like it may get annoying to them. So I act like I understand what they are saying and just nod.”

“As a Japanese in America it is hard to learn and understand the language here. When I have conversations with Americans I just act like I understand so I don’t annoy them.

But sometimes they can tell that I don’t understand. My facial expression gives it away.

And sometimes I give an answer that doesn’t make sense to what they were saying.

These situations get really embarrassing. And then I just say “Oops sorry, I misunderstood.”

I think I need to start taking some classes or start a job that can help me with this.

Right now I’m just a nanny, and there isn’t a good way to practice a language with little children.

I think I will start looking around to get better. I hope it will make me feel better about being here.”