Monday, December 17, 2007
I'm learning a new language. I've tried to do it before, in junior high, but this time I think I might just get it. In school I tried French. This time I've opted for a language with fewer letters. French had all the ones we did. Samoan only has 14, but they do use three others they've borrowed from the Palogis.
One thing I have learned rather quickly is that with so few letters, the words get longer and longer. I've also learned that while teaching my daughter to drive, "Turn to the left" is much faster to say than "Liliu i lou tauagavale." She also responds much better to English, but acknowledges that the language lessons will come in handy should her driver's ed teacher ever make a sudden command in Samoan.
I've also learned that "do you understand?" is easily mixed up with "open the window." Oops. After mistakenly teaching my children the phrases backward, I often hear them say things like, "open the understand" and "do you window?"
The best part of learning a new language, however, is that one of the first phrase my children learned was, "A'u alofa oa" or, "I love you." They use this often on each other like they'd never use it in English. I think we'll be learning some other phrases soon like, "you're my best friend," and "I'd love to do my chores without being asked."