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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Debbie Ridpath Ohi FAQ > Your Books and Personal Life > What nationality are you? Do you speak any other languages?

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This is a list of questions I am frequently asked. Here's a list of links to my more popular pages. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie


I'm Japanese-Canadian.

My mother was born in Japan and my father was born in Vancouver. My dad's parents were born in Japan. Does that make me nisei or sansei? I never really figured that out.

Although my mom was fluent in Japanese and my father was semi-fluent, they purposely spoke mainly English to me and my siblings. Both of my parents had negative experiences during World War II, so wanted to do what they could to make sure we fit in at school.

I do recall some Japanese words and phrases I learned as a young child, but they were mostly the type that probably wouldn't go over well in adult conversation. "Neh-neh time," for instance, would be the equivalent of "beddy-bye time." :-)

I've been to Japan once so far (my husband and I were supposed to fly home on Sept. 11th and ended up staying there longer than we had planned), and would like to go back again someday.

I love learning new languages and have made attempts at learning not only Japanese but also French, German, Italian and (more feebly) Ukranian and Russian. And I'm learning how to say "I'm Bored" in as many different languages as possible.

Last updated on March 29, 2013 by Debbie Ohi