12 April, 2010

Linguistic Confusion !!!

Ever since Macademia and Pecan have embarked on “learning our mother tongue and Hindi” project, home, as we know it, has become a much more interesting and a hugely entertaining place.

Learning an additional language is, as we all know, a huge task in itself. With the nutty siblings trying their hand at two new languages at the same time, life has turned into a linguistic roller coaster. And a mighty funny one at that !!

The other day saw Macademia peering at Pecan’s dinner plate and announcing to him that there happened to be a monkey on his plate. What she meant was that there were mustard seeds in the dal.
“Onnudu plate la korangu irukku” (There’s a monkey on your plate) she said, which promptly sent Pecan scurrying under the table in search of the ever evasive monkey. What she meant to say was “Onnudu plate la kadugu irukku” (There are mustard seeds on your plate).

The other day, as is the usual practice, Mommy was at the receiving end of a whole barrage of questions from Pecan whilst supervising his shower. “Tell me which Indian sweets you like” demanded Pecan. “Sandesh” said Mommy with a flourish, hoping that it would throw him, for Sandesh was hitherto unknown to the walking encyclopedia named Pecan.
“Indian sweets which I’m familiar with, Mummeeee” said Pecan, those brows furrowing rather infamously.
Procrastination being her middle name, Mommy promptly replied “Tell me which Indian sweets you know of and I’ll tell you the ones I like”.
“Hmmm …. Peda, Jilebi, Gulab Jamun, Burfi and there’s one more sweet but I’m not able to remember its name” said Pecan.
“Think about it and tell me” said Mommy, breathing a sigh of relief for the few seconds of respite which had just been awarded to her.
“Ahh yes … I remember …. that sweet is called Vettalai Pakku” announced Pecan.
“Vettalai Pakku” ???? queried a thoroughly confused looking Mommy.
Now Vettalai Pakku is what we call Haldi Kumkum in Talayalam. As far as Mommy knew, there was no such sweet.
“It is square and yellowish brown in color and Meenakshi thathi had made yummy Vettalai Pakku” insisted Pecan, defending his argument rather haughtily.
What Pecan actually meant was Mysore Pak, which had inadvertently been changed to Vettalai Pakku. It’s all in the language, I say !!

The other day, after having watched Aishwarya Rai gyrate and swivel rather suggestively to the tunes of “beedi jalaile”, Macademia was seen walking around with a thoroughly quizzical expression on her face. Well, watching dear Ms.Rai scantily clad, gyrating her hips like the planets revolving around the sun does have a rather mind numbing effect on people after a while – pretty much like an overdose of some drug – it leaves you rather deadened and anesthetized, devoid of all feeling except one that feels more like distaste. Knowing Macademia, Mommy attributed that quizzical expression to one of aversion towards the dance number. The silence was soon broken when Macademia said “But how …. just how can one burn ones wife ?”
“Burn the wife ?” “Whose wife ?” “Who burnt whose wife ?” asked Mommy, wondering if she’d read up on the practice of Sati somewhere.
“In that song, Aishwarya Rai was singing “beedi jalaile” no ?” said Macademia, her eyes round and wide with indignation. "And Beedi means wife in Hindi, right ?"
Mommy does not need to say what happened next. Whatever happened took a long time to subside !!

The other day, Macademia walked home with another one of those quizzical expressions she’s quite becoming famous for. This time around she wanted to know how someone could eat thieves.
“Eat thieves ?” queried Mommy, who is pretty much getting used to all sorts of weird questions flying around nowadays.
“A friend of mine on the bus was saying she’s to go home and eat Choru in the afternoon” said Macademia. “Choru means thief, right ?”
“Ahem …. Chor means thief in Hindi”, explained Mommy. “Choru in Malayalam means rice .”
“Oh !” was all Macademia could manage at that point of time.

Pecan, having mastered the art of punctuating his sentences with “chup re” quite frequently, added to his repertoire of Indian language vocab by saying “po da”. Yesterday, chup re and po da were combined inadvertently, when in the heat of the moment, Pecan was heard screaming “Chup Da”.

So you see, life at home has become a rather interesting linguistic experiment. And this, with Macademia and Pecan trying to speak in Hindi and Talayalam.

Wait till they start learning Marathi too !!!!!!!!!!!!

9 voice(s) said so:

Suma said...

hilarious! they do have the right attitude, and i'm glad you've started teaching them...mine understand but are soooo resistant to speaking :(

btw pssst..i'm too lazy to google, but i thought beedijalaile had bipasha in it...but it really does not matter :)

Gauri said...

Suma : Yep - the original version is said to be Bipasha / Vivek Oberoi. But there is a Aishwarya/SRK number too on Utube -the same beedi jalaile number :))

Sundar Narayanan said...

we thoroughly enjoyed this post..


Phoenixritu said...

Really hilarious! Enjoyed reading this

Just Like That said...

LOL! Had been missing your posts on A'yisms. This is just as good!

am planning to get Sonny boy to learn Mallu this vacation. He speaks it, but he mixes English and now that he doesn't have any Mallu friends, he's starting to intersperse more and more of English, which is the common language.

Mama - Mia said...

hahaha! had such a laugh with this!!! P & M are the best i tell ya!

i can imagine the laughter in the house! :D

Magic quill said...

Hey Gauri this is my first time here&throughly enjoyed your post!!

dipali said...

Bilingual and trilingual confusion- such fun!!!!

Usha said...

Gee, you must really be brave to think of teaching them more languages at this stage - wait, why do I have a suspicion that you are actually enjoying this whole confusion - wicked mom!