Monday, January 26, 2009

Le Petit's Lexicon

It's not easy for me to make myself understood these days. My parents are catching on slowly, but I think even they will admit that I'm learning to understand them a lot faster than they're learning to understand me. They could make more of an effort. After all, I'm learning two languages, Daddy's français and Mommy's English, and they've only got my single, simple le Petit's franglish to master. But they're old and I don't expect much, which is why I've put together this short vocabulary list to help them along.

encore: "More," "again," or by extension, "I want." One of the most common words at chez Petit, I used it to iterate through the objects on the dining room table during mealtimes until my clueless parents figure out just what I'm asking for from my high chair.

Dada: The imperative form of "Daddy." The more subtle "papa" is saved for less urgent occasions.

beudoh: Or un peu d'eau, if you will. Indicates I want more water in my sippy cup, either to drink or to dribble on the floor.

Stha: Or chat, for cat. I rarely see real cats, but I can sure recognize pictures in books and the cat-shaped refrigerator magnet.

Dog: One of those scruffy four-legged things that follow Parisians around everywhere.

Am: Ham, one of my favorite things to eat, and so much easier to pronounce than jambon.

Beah: We have lots of these at home, big ones, small ones, soft ones, and cuddly ones. One of my favorites is dark brown with a wide, flat face, a small red felt mouth and tiny hole in his chest where the stuffing shows through. Mommy tells me his name is "Brown Beah" and that after many years of loyal service he has earned his retirement, but I drag him to the park by his ears anyway.

Oputah: Mommy says "octopus." I say close enough.

Shish: I have a book about shish that I read in the bath, all about how they live in the ocean with the oputahes.

Boap: "Row, row, row your boap, gently down the stream."

Cah: One of those big, shiny four-wheeled machines I see everywhere. I've just learned the difference between a "cah" and a "tuck."

In-te-di: Interdit, a very pretty word which means something like "if I try to do this again someone will most likely come and stop me." When Mommy starts to growl "in-ter..." while I'm emptying a bookshelf, I smile and fill in the last syllable for her, since she's clearly forgotten it.

Sock: I've been pulling these strange objects off my feet almost since I was born, but I just recently figured out how to name them.

Baby: A small person who looks a bit like me.

Coco: Anything that flies and some things that don't. Birds, mostly, or any unclassified animal.

Croco: A crocodile, of course!

Pipi and poop: I just figured out what these are about, and there has been much talk of a mysterious object called a "potty." I think I'll be hearing more about all this soon.

Maman: This one I save for very special occasions. Mommy knows I know who she is.


Isabelle said...

What a great post! And so funny :)

silene said...

"Boap" and "In-ter-..." made me laugh out loud. I will be singing "row your boap" from now on...

The Kitten is also choosing to imitate certain words in French and certain ones in English, and then there's "bye" and "au revoir", which are interchangeable, depending on her mood it seems. I'm finding the process endlessly fascinating.

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Oddly "au revoir" has completely dropped out of favor recently, although le Petit still waves goodbye when he isn't distracted doing something else.

We have no idea why he chooses an English word over a French one or vice versa, but I get the feeling that it all depends on which one finally "clicks" first.