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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Wants to Believe Sex Offender's Claim of Innocence

DEAR ABBY: My son is married to a beautiful Japanese woman who is well-educated and speaks both Japanese and English fluently. They have a daughter, "Mari," who is 2 1/2 and just starting to talk. My concern is whether my granddaughter should be taught English or Japanese first.

Mari already speaks and understands a little of each language, but I'm worried that she may grow up confused while trying to communicate with others. I feel she should learn English first. Then, as Mari grows older, her mother can teach her the Japanese language.

Am I being concerned about something I shouldn't be? By the way, there is no family conflict here. I'm just concerned that my granddaughter will grow up confused. -- HAPPY PAPA IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR HAPPY PAPA: Worry no more. Children absorb languages like sponges absorb water. Mari is a lucky little girl to be learning Japanese and English so young. If she's able to practice both, they will become interchangeable for her. So stop worrying, and if you're receptive, your granddaughter may teach you a few phrases.