Tuesday, 29 April 2008

With or With You

Observing Lilia speak different languages makes me realise subtle differences between languages. Example, the preposition "with". In French, German and English, playing "with" someone or "with" a toy is said in the same way. However, there are 2 with words in Arabic: b' and maa
  1. "nelaab b' ettonobil ": I play with a car (meaning the car is an object to which the action is done)
  2. "nelaab maa papa": I play with daddy (meaning daddy is a subject who does the action along)
Lilia has not made the distinction between the 2 with yet. She only uses b'. So when she says: nelaab b' Ines, I used to be scared to what she would do to Ines as the b' means she considers her little sister as a toy! Now I understand that she means "maa", I simply repeat her sentence with maa instead of b'.