Saturday, January 31, 2009

40 + words

At the risk of raining on the parade of family members - who, when they see Emma, inevitably think that they've just taught her a new word in the bat of an eyelash, I wanted to run through her current vocab as she hits the 18 month mark.(!!!)

The mix of languages means that recently, the kindegarden teacher thought she was saying "Achtung!"("careful" in German) and not "Attend!" ("wait" in French)

  1. "Aïe" = "Ouch" in French (sometimes used to make us stop doing something even if I am pretty sure nothing is really hurting)
  2. Emma - pronounced "Amma"
  3. Attend - "wait" in French
  4. Balle - pronounced "baaa" (ball in French)
  5. Bain - "Bath" in French
  6. Baby
  7. Boire - pronounced "béa" (to drink in French)
  8. "Njam njam" is for food, hungry, meal, lunch, dinner, etc.
  9. Dodo - kiddie French for "sleep"
  10. Bravo - pronounced proudly "bavo" or "bavow" (definitely a favorite!
  11. Hello - pronounced "Allô" (for hello on the phone or hello in the street)
  12. Salut - "Hello" in French which she pronounces as "ya-uuu"
  13. Bye bye
  14. Tschüss - an informal "Bye Bye" in German (she often says "Tchü-u" like "chew" in English)
  15. "Datzi" - this she says as "thank-you" and is a mix of "danke" and "merci"
  16. "Dako" - d'accord is "ok" in French
  17. Thé - tea in French
  18. Papà - Daddy in French, but also "bye bye" in German and Serbian kiddie talk
  19. Maman - pronounced "môman" - also sometimes "Mama" or "Mum"
  20. Deda - Grandpa in Serbian
  21. Nonna - Grandma in Italian
  22. Pata - for Patricia (her Grandpa's wife)
  23. Gogo - for her other Grandma
  24. Tatayéyé - for her aunt Annabel
  25. "Yapu" or "yapeew" - Il n'y a plus = "there is no more" in French (--> finished)
  26. "Ko" - for "encore" = "more" in French
  27. "Bah" - when something is dirty or disgusting (nappies, garbage, mud...)
  28. Pas bon - (literally means "not good" in French) when she does not like something
  29. Lait - milk in French
  30. Non! Non! Non! - also the German version "nein". Goodness she says this a lot!
  31. Nez - "nose" in French pronounced "né
  32. Opalah - Pronounced "Opaya" meaning something has fallen or that she has dropped it
  33. "Vao vao" means dog - but she sometimes uses it for other animals like reindeer
  34. Quack quack - for duck
  35. Mao - for cat (she means "meow")
  36. Muuu - for the cow
  37. Schatzi - pronounced "tatzi" is what one of her favorite teachers at kindergarden calls her (kitten in German)
  38. Tiens - "here" in French (literally "hold") both when she hands us something or wants us to hand her whatever she is pointing to
  39. Woilà - from the French "Voilà" = (t)here you go
  40. Chaussures (shoes in French) - pronounced "shushur"
  41. Poo - for "Winnie the poo"
  42. Poh-poh - for when she's done her business, only she "lies" about this sometimes
  43. Beep beep - (from the refrain in the song "the horn on the bus goes 'beep beep beep' all day long")
  44. "Wa-und wa-und" - (from the refrain in the song "the wheels of the bus go 'round and round" all day long...")
Gosh, I hope I've got them all now...

She recognizes way more words than she actually uses herself, although it seems that she is learning new ones very quickly at the moment - she actually watches our lips move as we say things and conscientiously tries to imitate the sounds we produce.

There are, however, some things she says we have not been able to identify (are they Emma words, German words or a mix of languages?) like "Ebaiiii" that she sings out so joyfully. Is it perhaps "bonne nuit" (good night in French)?

Friday, January 23, 2009

too much not needed to be done

Sometimes knowing what you MUST do (and doing it) is easier than (having the leisure to) figure out what you WANT to do.

Sometimes having lots that you MUST DO can be a great alibi for (fulfilling ones') life.
Is it clear that I feel I get lost (in the "leisure" of) trying to figure out what I WANT to do?
Freedom can be a burden! hah!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

and she walks!!!!

Emma a couple of days ago and today, finally walking on her own! Phe-ew!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Friendly Vienna

Many locals or people who have been living here for ages , have told me that Austria and Switzerland are very similar. Well, I wouldn't really know since I know Geneva, and Geneva is not really Switzerland, but on some aspects (nature, skiing...) I see where they are coming from. A not so nice potential similarity is that they say that within each Swiss citizen lies a policeman. Well, this certainly seems to be true in Vienna.

My Pilates teacher's husband was walking back home from the local Billa (a neighborhood supermarket) carrying two grocery bags. Suddenly he was approached by two policeman dressed as civilians and asked to produce his ID card. As it happens, he didn't have his on him. The policemen asked him why he was in Vienna, what he did here, where he lived etc. as if he was a criminal suspect! Really!!! In the end, they just let him go home telling him to always have his ID on him.

Another thing: When parking on the street, often a few people stop and watch and I always thought they were kindly there to offer assistance should you need it (you know, so you don't hit the kerb or other car when the visibility is bad and if your car isn't equipped with the "beep beep" or camera). Well, as it turns out, they are absolutely not there to assist you. On the contrary. I have been told they are there to check whether or not you hit the car behind you and make sure you leave your business card, phone number if you do. Nice.

Last February (during Vienna Take 1) for our first dinner in town with visiting family, after 2 attempts at leaving Emma with the sitter, we finally parked near the restaurant in a not totally legit space next to the kerb but not blocking any entrance or exit or cars. While parking, a man was eyeing us with such insistence that we actually noticed it and commented on it among ourselves. As it turns out, we had to get home in a cab, our car having been removed. The answering machine at the other end of the number we got from the police told us to press 1 to denounce a fellow citizen and something like 6 to get our car back.

Nothing like it to make you feel welcome. Come to think of it, one of the election posters I saw this autumn read: "Vote for XXX, because he is against them". Really warms my heart.

This is one of the less likeable sides to Vienna.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Emma the trader?

Just managed to catch the end of it as Emma launched herself into some kind of conversation or negotiation over the phone... never mind that she was actually talking through the remote control.
...and I guess my rendition of the phone ringing is just not credible. What was I thinking? Whose tune rings that way nowdays anyway?

January 3rd, at the Poirier -aka our pad in France