Friday, April 27, 2012

Linguistics Around Here

Eggs In The Grass by Ed Hoskins

After owning this egg and muffin toaster for at least four? years, one would think I would be familiar with its functions by now.  Or not.  Just recently understood: it not only toasts bread, cooks sausage and poaches eggs, but it also steams eggs, which is the same as boiling them.  Only better, 'cause apparently steamed eggs are easier to peel.  I have a point here, and it's this: my girls LOVE hard boiled (steamed? now I don't know what to call them) eggs.  Misaki in particular asks for them regularly.  Like this:

"Mama, can I have rotten eggs?"

No, I haven't bothered to and don't want to correct her, because I need more humor in my life and this, whenever she says it, makes for a guaranteed smile-inducing moment.

Another speech quirk I let be: she'll tell me she's hungry, then I'll say "no you're not," (even though the parenting book I've been reading advises not to say that, oops) and then she'll say,

"Yes I mam"

It's not that she's trying to say "Ma'aam," I'm not from the South, nor am I striving for a higher level of politeness in my children.  She just thinks the word "am" has an "m" on both sides?  I guess?

Let me end by noting, this is a language related point though otherwise irrelevant, today I went to Koji's school for class observation.  The class I saw was "Kokugo," which directly translates as "the country's language" but means "Japanese".  The teacher first had the kids all stand and warm up their voices since they would be reading aloud.  He told them to try and make their voices come out of their stomachs.  Uh oh, now my English recall is bad; I know "stomach" isn't the word I want there but what's the thing called you're supposed to sing with instead of your throat?!

OK, moving on, the next thing he did was go over some proverbs  (very interesting link!) with them, the Japanese equivalent of things like "early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise" etc.  Now, I consider myself to be relatively fluent in Japanese, having passed Level One of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.  Alas, conversational and daily life fluency is just not philosophical enough.  Of more than 10 that were covered, I maybe knew two? One?!

This is where you slap me on the face and shout, "Snap out of it!  You don't need to know Japanese proverbs and you're not less of anything because of it".

Wow.  Thanks for that perspective, everyone.  Helpful.  Seriously!  Good night~


Eriko said...

Brilliant post!

Posh Lady said...

diaphragm? I love toddler-speak, it's so sad when they grow out of it?