Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Youthful thinking

My daughter is fascinated by foreign languages. She's always asking to hear her favorite Disney songs in other languages on Youtube. She can actually sing "A Whole New World" in a few languages. But I think she might think that foreign languages are gobbedy gook because she will make random sounds and insist she's speaking or singing in Japanese.
The other day, a Japanese person and her child was at our house and I thought it would be a good opportunity to show her that Japanese is a real language and not non-sense sounds. I pointed out to Sadie when she spoke Japanese. She told Sadie about how to say goodbye, 'sayonara'.
I think she got very confused. She kept asking me, "Mom why are they talking like that?" as if the only reason to "talk like that" was for amusement. It perplexed her to witness two people, who were clearly communicating and exchanging thoughts with each other, but she had no idea what was being said.
It is reminiscent of my own experience from childhood. I remembered that when I first came to America, it was so confusing that nobody spoke or understood Thai. I remember being told things like dog means 'ma', etc. I kept thinking, well if dog means 'ma', then why don't we all just cut to the chase and say 'ma'. My frame of reference was so self-centered.
I think it's interesting to think about the thoughts we had as children that we couldn't verbalize or understand. And it feels really good to remember the ones that used to stump us in our youth and answer our own unanswered or previously thought unanswerable questions. I wonder how much of my daughter's experience with that I witness but won't be able to appreciate until she grows up and points them out to me.
Right now the days are always full of why this and why that. Which ones are the ones that are truly memorable, that she will recall later in life, and answer her own questions with great amusement and pleasure? Give herself the same joy she gives me everyday!


js said...

While it's still probably too early for her to remember anything from this age, I'm sure she'll get a kick out of the pictures, videos, and stories she hears 10-30 years from now.

KS said...

Memory is a funny thing, as she can vividly recall mundane exoperiences from 2 yrs ago, when she was 1.5 years. I wonder if we keep talking about those memories if they would be more readily recalled later in life?

farnk said...

Tghis is a good one. What's so startling to me is how they can come out with something that's absolutley adult, complete with the exact intonation, at just the most unexpected moment. Like when ahe said "Grandma, oh grandma, where are you?" after we had been watching her for a few days and jept taking her to the same park again and again....Hehehehe