Thursday, June 18, 2009

lost in translation

And that was that; we now sail off into the sunset, a family of people who have weathered chickenpox and lived to tell the tale.

The spud spent some happy moments this evening pointing at various diminishing spots and saying 'chickenpops going away!' and I wondered for a moment what he thinks about it all. I wondered if he was expecting birds to come flying out of his skin.

I do find it amazing what he manages to syphon out of our ridiculous language and I get a feeling for how my poor French in-laws must feel when they have to listen to me tiptoing through their language like a drug-addled elephant. He'll be tripping along gaily through a sentence when he'll come across a word he doesn't know and he'll sub in for it randomly with the likes of 'that one that way' or 'my blue big up there'.

It's not just my son; it's Universal Toddler Charades; I see parents playing it all the time. 'Ball? Is it ball? Bell? Bar? Bear? Bear! You want Bear! Teddy bear? Bear ball? Bear poo? Bear what? Bear book! Yesssss! Which bear book? This one? This one? This one? There are no other... JUST SHOW ME!

It's when he forgets which language he's in and starts asking me for something by its toddlerised French name that I realise that I have no hope; usually the answer is just to get the ice-cream out and have done with it. Clearly we are all back to SNAFU.


DJ Kirkby said...

'Chickenpops'....awwwwwwwww sweet!

Maternal Tales said...

Now how did I not know that about you (the French in-law thing)?? I know it says you married a frog, but I'm just silly...Guess what? I have French in-laws too and they speak not a word of English. Such joys. Am having slight problems with the whole bi-lingual thing... might even write a post about it one day! Sounds like spud is doing pretty well. Mine called it chicken spots - think they still think it's called that. Cute. And glad he's better x

Sandrine said...

Hi Sparx,
I'm glad the chickenpox is over.I still remember when I got it,even though it was zillions of years ago. Max is speaking some French,some English and some words we have no clue about,usually all in the same sentence.It's hard to keep speaking French to him because I am the only one but I really want to try because I do long to speak my language to somebody else than my mother on the phone!Also it's kind of like a special thing between us.If you ever need any translations and your husband is not available,email me at
Take care
A bientot

Sparx said...

DJ - I know! He got it I think from a friend who was saying it; before that it was 'chickenpoths'

Maternal Tales - really? Oh, mine too - not a word of the stuff...

Sandrine - thank you so much! Keep it up, you really must; he'll pick it up. The Frog is the only one speaking French to Charlie unless we're actually there and he's picked up loads.

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