Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's All Downhill From Here...

My daughter used a Czech phrase this weekend that I didn't know.

Actually, she's been using this phrase for a while and it was only this weekend that the penny dropped: on Friday I learned the phrase myself, when her preschool teacher used it in front of me, and on Saturday K used it again and I realized, "THAT's what she's been saying all this time!"

The phrase is "mít kozí nohy" - having your shoes on the wrong feet. Obviously something that comes up regularly in a preschool environment. Literally it means "having goat feet." K's version is more like "Mám kože nohe?" so maybe I can be forgiven for not recognizing it - not that I'd have known what it meant if I had. Sigh.

I comfort myself with the fact that the Slovak had never heard this phrase either. Last year it was asking me for a word I didn't know (banana peel), this time it was knowing a word I didn't know.

Overall, though, I still have the edge. The Slovak has the edge in English, too. Vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation. We know how to use "he" and "she" properly. Things like that.

Also, we can spell, drive and go to bed whenever we want. (I spell better than the Slovak - in either language. For the record.)

We aren't ceding ground to our almost-four-year-old quite yet.'s still coming.


  1. My 4 year old is totally overtaking me in Japanese. I thought mine was pretty good, but no one at work or in my study books thought to teach me songs about all the different kinds of acorns. It's almost kind of embarrassing, but I guess I better get used to it!

  2. I know! My everyday Czech and professional Czech are good, but adults just don't talk about the same things kids do. This weekend was an isolated incident, but I expect that over the next year or so (K will turn 4 in November) it will become more and more common.

    So far the biggest thing has been K singing songs I don't know, since I know a few of the most popular children's songs or the ones we happen to have on CD, but they learn others at school that I've sometimes never heard. K is then frustrated that I won't (i.e. can't) sing along with her to teach her the rest of the words. Googling the lyrics is a lifesaver when she really wants me to sing with her!



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