Monday, 2 September 2013

Children's Words



The girls have had a fabulous time at my parents; their daily activities mostly consisted of swimming in the Mediterranean, watching cartoons in French, and eating biscuits and chocolate.

Their Arabic and French came on tremendously. They have been code-switching to their heart's content, saying some funny and touching things. Here is a little collection.

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BK2, urging me not to deflate her armbands: "Ma t' un-gonfle-hum-ch!"
This is a whole programme in itself. Ma t' ... ch is the negation form in Arabic; hum is Arabic for them; gonfler is French for inflate; un is the English prefix. How did she come up with this amazing sentence? Go figure!
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BK1, while preparing for our return to Manchester: "habbit nrouh l Manchester, w habbit neq'oud hna fi zayer" (I want to go to Manchester, and I want to stay here in Algiers)

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BK2, two days before we left Algiers: "ifeely like home hnaya" (it feels like home here), code-switching between Arabic and English.

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BK3, two days after our return to Manchester: "J'ai bringue trois tbassa" (I have brought three plates). Another trilingual sentence, this time from 34-month old BK3.

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Me: "BK3, tu es une petite fille sage"(You are a well-behaved little girl)
BK3, outraged: "Je ne suis pas un petit singe!" (I am not a little monkey!)