Week forty-two

Space Girl is using her first words – “na” was first, naturally, then “arr dar” (oh dear),”dada”, “mama”, “dar” (down), “ya”, “meow” and most recently “nanana” (banana). I’m most proud of banana – a great word, useful and tasty.

The words “gar”, “ga” and “goo” substitute for other words and are often joined together to make long sentences. I either simply agree or repeat back what I think she just said and when I get it wrong then she gives me a hard stare. Pleasingly “Baba baba baba” is still in circulation and often at ear piercing volume – I’ll be sad when that goes (see earlier post Volume Button).

Space Girl babbles and sings to herself when she wakes up – but like Daddy she usually gets the tune and the words wrong.

I think she has a lot to say but hasn’t got all the words yet.

Baby signing has been quite successful – favourites are cat (hands spread and pulling along the whiskers) and dog (hands with palms backwards and moving up and down like ears). She innovated by adding panting to dog. Less successful is mouse (finger on side of nose twisting) – she puts her finger up her nose.

Signing means Space Girl can communicate a few words before she’s able to speak them. But, sadly for me, “dada” has been substituted for by tapping the back of her hand, or saying “mama” and grinning at me, sarcastically.

By teaching Space Girl to speak I realise how tortuous English is. And the words themselves are sometimes disappointing compared with their equivalents elsewhere – pamplemousse and kaput are better than grapefruit and broken.

Most English words have foreign origins, French mainly, but I wonder if we would feel closer to our fellow Europeans if we used more of the best words.

I will also teach her pamplemousse and kaput.


Next post July 7, 2014

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