Friday, April 13, 2012

Up Yours (And Other English Mishaps)

It's rather shocking how quickly MB has learned English. I'm not exaggerating when I say he easily learned more English in two weeks days of immersion than I did in six months of studying. It's also fun to see how easily he and his siblings have been able to communicate, even from day one. Every time Zoom talks to MB, he (unintentionally, I think) talks with this weird fake choppy Ethiopian accent. At first it was really cute. Now I pretend it's not super annoying.

Unless we are discussing a new concept (like a road trip), MB can understand just about everything we say. Though he still gets some of his tenses and pronouns mixed up, he can communicate to us just about anything he needs. I'm betting the days of even these adorable language errors are numbered.

Lest I forget, here are some of my favorite mistranslations/language mishaps. Even as I type this, I realize some of these are quickly going away:

  • "up you" when he wants to be picked up
  • "up yours" when he wants something of yours that's up high
  • "blow you" means he wants you to help him blow his nose
  • "jump-o-line" = trampoline
  • "danger-ouch" = dangerous. (as a side note, when adopting an older child, be prepared to baby proof your house in entirely new ways. Did I mention the very first thing MB did when he came home was turn all the burners on on the stove?)
  • He wants "snow" in his water. Like ice cream, he more likes the idea of "snow" (ice), probably because his siblings do, but in reality he hates anything cold.
  • (Not exactly a language issue). No matter how loud you yell from the back seat, the drive thru bank tellers cannot give you french fries.

And as if my multicolored large family with abundant small children doesn't garner enough public attention, nothing beats a small brown boy holding his butt and yelling ka-ka SHINT at the doctor's office, quickly followed by hands in the air, saying "up you, mom.". Good times, good times.

 

 




 

10 comments:

  1. Why don't they give you french fries at the bank, that's what I'd like to know. It's a damn good idea.

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    1. Kyra - I'm with you! Wouldn't we all feel like depositing/borrowing more money if they gave you french fries?

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  2. Awesome! Will you write a book next, please? (I mean, another book.)

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    1. LOL Lory - the first attempt ended in copyright infringement and cease and desist requests. The second attempt would have to end better than that, right?

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  3. Up yours.....translates mostly to "give me your phone from on top of the fridge so I can hide it again!"

    I'm just guessing. :)

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    1. Shiloh - that is precisely what he means when he says "up yours." How did you know? :)

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  4. SO FUNNY! And oh how glad I was when our little Ethiopian finally stopped yelling "Shint, Mommy, Shint!" when she had to go pee. Seriously there was just no graceful way to play that one off in public. I'd immediately respond, "Potty! Yes, Sweetheart, let's get you to the potty!" But, then I'd realize that just made it sound even worse to strangers around us, like I'd taught my 3 year old to say the cuss word that is shint minus the "n" when she needed to go #2!

    I haven't gotten to visit your blog as much as I'd like since you got MB home, but huge hugs to you -- I KNOW it is so hard but kuddos for how far it seems like MB has already come -- praise God for progress may He continue to shower your family with His grace and love!

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  5. Oh my... you make me laugh! Just wanted to let you know how much I adore your blog & have learned so much from your experiences. Your humorous perspective on life tickles me! We are currently waiting on our court date to meet our 5 year old son in Ethiopia! Keep writing & sharing my friend b/c your life journey is speaking life into others! Feel free to stop by my little blog at: aDifferentKindaBeauty.blogspot.com
    Blessings:) -Kate

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  6. My favorite ever and so I'm sure you've heard me say this before was when Boohoo used to say, "I need blow!" for when she wanted to blow her nose. Ahhh, my little cocaine-fiend preschooler. lol

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