Nora-isms: Skills of Language Acquisition

Until our Colombian princess learns how words are spelled, she will continue to pronounce them the way she hears them, which is not always clearly nor correctly.  It may be contributed also to our lazy speech or the rapid-fire delivery we occasionally use.  It makes me laugh.  Have a glimpse into our kitchen this afternoon:

Nora: Mom, will you paint with me tomorrow?

Me: Sure, I will paint with you.

Nora: What is taint?

Me: I don’t know what taint is.

Nora: You just said taint.

Me: No, I said paint.

Nora: Oh, ok.  What does taint mean?

Me: (thinking that I don’t want to explain a tainted woman) Nothing really.

Nora: Isn’t that where you put the gas in the van?

Me: No, that is TANK.

Nora: Oh, I thought it was taint.

And so our lives go on as she learns to carefully pronounce words in English.  I distinctly remember the Colombians laughing at my Spanish.  I’m sure I had some doozies as well.  Later today she asked if I wanted to watch a movie with her. Sure. 

Nora:  How about Robin Hoove?

Me: What?

Nora: Robin Hoove…. you know with the wolf and the chicken.

Me: Oh!  You mean Robin Hood, and he’s a fox.

Nora: Hey, just like my book I read Sox the Fox!

Me: Yep! 

Nora: Can we start Robin Hoove now?

Her words make me laugh over and over again.  And the word Congratulations has lots of syllables.  Too many to remember sometimes. 

Later I asked her to pause the movie so we could eat dinner.  She replied, “Yes, man.” 

Me: What?

Nora: Yes, man.  I learned that on a Focus on a Famly story.  The boy kept saying “Yes, man” to his mom.  She said it was good matters. (manners……)

Me: It is actually, “Yes, Ma’am.”

Nora: What is?

Me: Yes, Man is supposed to be Yes Ma’am.

Nora: Oh.  I wondered why he was calling him mom a man.

And later again, we were in my bedroom looking for matches to sterilize a needle….

Nora: Did you look under the covers?

Me: No, why would I keep matches under the covers?

Nora: I seen them there before.

Me: YOU DID?  (Reflecting back 15 years ago when Larisa tried burning the house down by lighting matches in our bed!) Who’s bed were they in?

Nora: What do you mean bed?

Me: You know what a bed is.

Nora: Why would you keep matches in a bed?

Me: That’s what I want to know.   (She stares at me like I’m stupid.)

Nora: (Exasperated) Look under the covers in your bathroom…. I seen the matches there.

AHA!  Cupboards = covers.  Good grief!

The English language is a beast.

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3 Responses to “Nora-isms: Skills of Language Acquisition”

  1. jaw123456 Says:

    This was hilarious! I love Nora-isms…. I have a little one that has similar, quotable word-isms…it’s just that English is her first language. Well, her only language. She says some of the funniest things attempting to use a large vocabulary without knowing what the words mean. Thanks for posting!

    • rixgal Says:

      I hope you are writing them down! They are priceless bits of their childhood that will be lost forever is we don’t!

  2. Jennie C. Says:

    I wrote nothing down. So sad :(

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