Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My week's worth of language lessons

I'm getting my week's worth of language lessons as I type this. I'm not in a language class or studying verbs. I'm sitting on the floor watching Le Roi Lion with my neighbor's daughter. You may be familiar with the plot line: A lion cub named Simba learns about the Circle of Life, gets scared away by a jealous uncle named Scar, makes friends with two unlikely characters named Timon and Pumbaa, but hakuna matata, he gets the girl - Nala.

So why are we watching this film in French? Because the little girl sitting next to me is French and she didn't want to watch it in 'that other language'. The French dialogue is great...
Simba: - Bec de banane est terrifié.
Zazu: - MONSIEUR bec de banane.
-- Le roi lion
...but the real language lessons have been in chatting with the small fry (la frite?). There's a whole world of kid-speak in French that I've never learned. Crash course right now! But it's great. She's taught me the names of games like cache cache (hide-n-seek) and un-deux-trois-soleil (red light, green light), that spinach is berk (yucky), and in order to settle in she needs her doudou (security blanket).

Bonus points: Did you know that hakuna matata means 'no troubles' in Swahili, an East African language spoken in Kenya and Tanzania? Simba means lion and rafiki means friend. I'm getting two languages at once out of this deal!

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