Saturday, July 10, 2010

Word Maze

The other day when we came back from the playground Hrit crashed on the sofa and said, "Mama I'm sausted." It took me a while to figure this one out.
It's funny how kids modify words to suit their tongues. Naisha, for one, never really baby-talked. She had a clear diction almost since she started talking. Hrit made up by giving us baby talk enough for both of them. What's interesting is that he listens well and picks up unlikely words and then uses them wherever he feels fit.
Once during a severe dressing down session he said contritely, "Mama I'm excellent sorry." I almost laughed out. Hrit has outgrown it but I can’t stop using it now… ‘Excellent sorry’ seems somehow sorrier than 'very sorry'.
One thing however is common with both and persists even now after they've turned four -- they drop the first letter of any word which they find tough to pronounce. So Hrit wears his 'jama when he goes to bed and points out Naisha’s ‘trocious behaviour, his favourite toy Sher Khan the tiger has 'tripes, Naisha 'members things and of course Hrit gets 'sausted.

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While on words and languages.. It's quite a struggle to get them to figure out Hindi and English versions of words.... and then there are synonyms to make life tougher. They often can't figure out which is Hindi for a word and which is merely a synonym in English. Once during a story we came across the word 'furious'. I said it means the same as angry.. Naisha was quick to clarify.. "Angry in English, furious in Hindi." What do multilingual people do?

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