Sunday, October 3, 2010

First fruits of life in Prague

Is it too soon for K's Czech to have improved? Because she's already using it more than before. Color me kind of impressed.

For example, K wanted our friend to come to the next room to see the toy car go.

Friend: "A tady nemůže?" (Can't it go here?)
K: "Může!" (It can!!)

With a vowel exactly in between the Czech ů and the Slovak ô.

K also declared this evening that "nemáme" (CZ we don't have) something, and earlier in the day said, "Daj šupišup!" (SK Do up your zipper!). That is her Slovak made-up word for zipper, but it's still a two-word Slovak sentence, which is still cause to be impressed in our house.

Her grandmother asked over Skype, "Ako bolo v školke?" (How was preschool?) and K offhandedly answered "Dobre!" (SK Good!) This is another word that she knows but usually you have to drag out of her, so we can see that she's already using her limited vocabulary more readily.

In words I'd just as soon she not use just yet, K told Apo, "Kecáš!!" (You're babbling / you're making that up / talking nonsense / etc.) Which just gives a nice insight into the kind of conversations we have at home, I suppose. Haha.

This evening K told me, "Mami, I want to číst (CZ read) a book." I laughed, repeated it entirely in English, then asked her how Apo says "book" and got her to say "Chci číst knížku" (CZ I want to read a book). Then I got her a book to read.

K has actually asked me to read her a certain book of stories in Czech a few times this weekend. I read it to her (in Czech) and she kept asking for "ešte" (SK more). When she was done she told me "konec" (CZ the end).

If you notice the CZ and SK labels I put on those comments, you can see that Czech is already making itself felt against the Slovak - and the English! The community language, it is strong.

K's English is still getting more and more complex and interesting to listen to. I can't begin to list all the goofy things she's said lately. She's been having a little trouble sleeping in the new place and keeps insisting, "I can't sleep very well. I have to be awake." Yesterday she came out of the bedroom claiming that, "The bed is really mean. It scratched me."

And just for something different, K has also learned a couple words of Spanish. We were walking along playing a game involving counting, doing it first like Mama (one, two, three!), then like Apo (raz, dva, tri!). Then K turned to our Czech-speaking South American friend and wanted to count like HER. So friend cooperated and said, "Uno, dos, tres!" I think K was surprised to get a different counting system, since she probably expected it to be Czech. I don't think she's heard our friend speak Spanish really. But she repeated it and can now say Uno, dos, tres! And also, inexplicably, Adios! Friend claims she didn't say it, but it's possible K remembers Apo or I saying hola and adios. Or from reading a Dora the Explorer book.

Either way, Adios!

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