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Baby Talk

September 30, 2013

The Malagasy language is fascinating-it shares more in common structurally with Arabic than with the Romance languages whose alphabet it uses. I still get dumbfounded some days and just wander around staring blankly at everyone who speaks to me. But it’s getting less painless. Slowly, slowly, it is getting easier to communicate.

When I got to site and had a constant flood of children hanging out with me in my kitchen, I was overwhelmed, over stimulated, and underprepared to answer all of their rapid fire questions. Young children are difficult to understand in nearly any language (at least for me). I remember thinking to myself “one day you will understand these young guns and that will be a very big day”.

Proud to say that day has arrived. I can now speak

baby talk. Can’t say our conversations are particularly stimulating, but it at least feels good to be able to understand what’s going on around me without having to strain my brain too hard. Plus the mamas think it’s really funny when I talk with kids, especially when they’re scared of me because I’m white.  Conversations with my favorite baby go like this:

Image

Some chilluns

Baby: “White American stranger!”

Me: “how are you?”

Baby: “White American stranger!!”

Me (to her mom): “How are you?”

Baby: “White American stranger!!!!”

That’s a pretty typical conversation. Something to get real excited about. But it’s the little things in life, eh?!

 

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