Friday, May 1, 2009

Words, words, words...

I have always been fascinated by the development of language. Maybe that's part of the reason why I became an Interpreter. Regardless of the reason, I pay attention to language and particularly words, more carefully than most people.

I can remember so vividly, my oldest nephew saying "Don't yoller at me". I knew right away he had combined the words "yell" and "Holler" into a version that suited him. The phrase took off and we still use it today! I also remember his other words, such as blanana, cramera, and pinano (banana, camera and piano). For some reason, they stick in my mind like they were said just yesterday.
Now that I have my own kids, I pay even more attention than before. I keep a journal for each of the girls and try to remember to record important events in their lives. I write lists of words that they learn, and funny things they say. I hope as adults they will read the journals and get a good laugh. I hope they will do the same for their kids one day.

Tia says just about everything clearly now. When she was 18 months old trying to learn to speak, and having gotten a late start, it was quite an adventure. The one word that will stay with me for many years is her version of "fingers". She would try and try to say fingers, but it would come out "fu*kers". My husband was mortified. The rest of the family thought it was hilarious and would ask her repeatedly to say it.
She still struggles with the "L" sound. When she sings "I've been workin' on the railroad..." she ends the song with "All the riv rong day". Hilarious to me, not exactly understood by others.

Now we have Giuliana who spoke early, and says everything! Her latest favorites are "Daddy, Listen ME!" and "Don't do again". I'm sure she has heard me tell her "listen to me" and "don't do it again" enough times that the words are emblazoned in her brain. She effectively copies everything we say, and then some. I guess we need to be particularly careful about what we say now.
Developmental stages are exciting to me and I'm glad I have the opportunity to document them along the way.

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