Posts Tagged ‘learning English’

Nora-isms: Skills of Language Acquisition

May 11, 2012

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.

Just Dance 2 for the wii

February 10, 2011

This is what my husband received for his 44th birthday…. a dance video game.  There could not have been a more perfectly suited gift for my dance-loving husband.  He might even learn some new moves to add to the only two that he’s been doing for at least the 25 years I’ve known him.  He is mildly addicted already.  He’s even got the top score on several songs!  And with our eyesight starting to make tiny script undecipherable, the front of this game actually looks like it’s for AGES 40+.  Perfect.

Not only is it teaching dance moves to my husband, but it’s teaching English to our little girl, who is trying desperately to learn English.  We have been home from Colombia for seven weeks now, and she is saying more and more sentences in English every day!  Her words could definitely be labeled Spanglish!  Half and half to the core, mi dulce niña!  The only problem with learning English from a dancing video game is that if you don’t know the words… you make them up.  And when you are making them up from a VERY limited supply of English words that you have learned in 11 weeks, it’s quite entertaining!  Here is my favorite:

Hot Stuff by Donna Summer now sounds like a dinner order at Macaroni Grill:  “Lookin’ for some pasta baby this evenin’. I need some pasta baby tonight …. pa pa pa pa pa-sta-a.”

So cute!