My daughter speaks Chinese with an American accent, but doesn't speak much English

We’re hanging out in Taipei (actually Yonghe) waiting to see how the power reactor recover goes.

I’m taking Chinese lessons and 2 1/2 year-old Beta-chan is going to preschool that my wife’s sister runs.

The report is that Beta-chan speaks Chinese with a “Western” accent and not a Japanese accent, although her native language (at this point) is Japanese and while she understands English, she doesn’t speak it much.

We’re hoping she will pick up some more Chinese while we’re here, but reports are they she’s doing a better job of teaching the other kids Japanese.

Meanwhile, the 6-month-old son cries equally well in all three languages.

Can you tell which language he’s crying in?

When my wife and I were taking German lessons in Oxford I had a conversation along these lines with the teacher:

Teacher: Mr. Duke, why do you speak German with a French accent?
Me: I do? I hadn’t noticed that.
Teacher: But you are not French.
Me: I must be picking it up from my (now ex-) wife.
Teacher: But she is not French either!
My (ex-)wife, in perfect RP English accent: I grew up in France.
Teacher (now really confused), to her: Can you read the next line in the book?
My (ex-)wife: (reads the next line in German–in a perfect German accent)
Teacher: boggle

Her American accent will disappear quickly.
Studies have constantly shown that little kids can learn multiple languages simultaneously, with little effort. It has to do how the brain is wired at an early age (seriously), and this is a perfect time for her to learn English, Japanese and Chinese…and even throw in another one or two languages if she seems to like it.

I had a friend in Berlin whose daughter needed to be fluent in German and English before entering school (at age 5). It was a private school. He was American and only spoke to his daughter in English - his wife was German and only spoke German to her. By age 4 that girl spoke both fluently - she considered one “Daddy’s language” and the other “Mommy’s language” and never had a problem flipping back and forth and keeping them separate. Perfect accent in both as well.

I worked briefly at a hotel in Germany and once had elderly Italians show up with their granddaughter. The girl was about 6 and did all the translations - seems dad was American, and uncle was German and mother was Italian.
At any rate, the little girl spoke fluently and did all the translations when booking the room and asking for directions and extras for the room. Quite amazing to watch. Spoke both German and English equally well, and then rattled it back in Italian.

Sadly, this talent to learn languages easily gets more difficult as we age.