Wednesday, November 4, 2009


In high school I took French and Latin.

French because I thought it was pretty and romantic and kinda cool. I was a solid B student, and once while traveling abroad in college I managed to eke out a three minute conversation in French with a Greek. I was impressed with myself.

Latin because I thought it would be helpful for my pre-med plans in college, and, oddly, Latin was kinda cool in my high school, which I think was due to the awesome woman who taught it. I passed Latin and all I really remember to this day is : Agricola, Agricolae, Agricolarum. And obviously it really helped my pre-med education, since I dropped that concentration about two weeks into the first semester of freshman year.
The point being: I've been exposed to foreign language un poco.

But now, NOW, I have a doctorate in foreign language. The language that I am fluent in? Not French, not Latin, obviously not Spanish. Nope, I am fluent in TwoYearOld.
TwoYearOld is a very complicated language that involves many dialects. My education in TwoYearOld may differ greatly from your education, but we both may be experts. The dialect of TwoYearOld that I am best versed in involves:

  • Most words missing the final sound or having an over pronounced final sound. IE: English speakers say or-an-ge; TwoYearOld speakers say or-ansh. Or English speakers say milk; TwoYearOld speakers say milkchk.
  • Animals are often identified only by the noises they make. IE: Snakes = ssssss. Monkeys = ooohoooohoooohaaaahaaah. Lions, Tigers, Panthers = roar. Dogs = ruffruff. Birds = tweettweettweet. Horses = neigh.
  • There are words that are hard to pronouce, that should be easy, such as: water (lawter). And there are words that are easy to pronounce, that should be hard, such as: purple and Barbara.

In my particular dialect of TwoYearOld most everything is a question. Such as:

  • What Daddy do, Mommy?
  • What kitty do, Mommy?
  • What Addie do, Mommy?
  • Outside, Mommy?
  • Treat milkchk, Mommy?
  • Mommy, cows? Mommy, sheep? Mommy, neigh???

I find myself having to translate to most people who are unfamiliar with our particular language, or who have been out of constant exposure to TwoYearOld for over 24 months.

I have to say things like: No. No she doesn't want to brush her teeth, she wants a breakfast treat. Or: No. No she wasn't a Barbie for Halloween, she was a bumblebee.

I have to translate that the orangutans were shy, or the choo-choo train was broken, or the polar bears were sleeping. I have to translate that Aunt Kimmie gave her a haircut, or that her kitty has a booboo. I have translate that what she is saying is Beauty and The Beast not boobies. I still have to tell you that jayjay is vagina, but clear as day you can understand her when she says penis. I know that when she enthusiastically says twoweehigh, she means onetwothreefourfive.

So, really, I am fluent in TwoYearOld.

But last night Aunt Kimmie had to inform me that the word that I had been translating as stop (as in: Stop Kitty! or Stop Mama!) was actually SHUT UP.

Stop. Shut up. Hmmmm.

I guess I need some after-school tutoring if I am going to ace this course.


Gibby said...

LOL, isn't that the truth! I must admit, I was crushed when I realized that my youngest started speaking correctly. I miss those funny words.

Neyer said...

What does a seahorse say??? Gramma???

Christie said...

I really thought she said she was going to be Barbie for Halloween.

Lori said...

your diploma is in the mail..display it proudly as it is a great accomplishment!!!!

Mich said...

Can you tutor me? I might need it soon...

Sue said...

Hilarious. Great build up of the story. :)
P.S. The "word verification" I am asked to type in here is "phallyn," which I think is a cross between Phelan and phallic. Perhaps you can add that to Addie's vocab.

TKW said...

I remember being FURIOUS at my hubs because he kept correcting Miss D.'s cute little mispronunciations...that man!! ARG!

Paula said...

Your clever slants on raising a child are just terrific. Keep it up!

the Kavanagh's said...

Just to familiarize you with the lingo, that "orange" going to "oransh" is called "palatal fronting" and this pattern may persist beyond 3 years old. But I'm sure she will outgrow this. :) I love hearing all the words and combinations she's producing. It helps me study.

ck said...

Just wait until the -eds start.

"I fall-ded."
"I hurt-ed myself."
"I sit-ed down."

The -eds are pretty much my favorite.

Awesome post, Jessica!