English According To Zianbu

I was thinking the other day that I haven't used the Amharic dictionary in weeks. The first couple of weeks Zinabu was home, I carried that thing around and was constantly flipping through it to look up Amharic words. I communicated with Zinabu through single words: koy (wait), buhala (later), dabo (bread), mesa (lunch), kum (stop)... you get the picture. He communicated to us through nouns also. But now he's speaking in sentences. He has learned so much English it amazes me. I grieve the Amharic he's lost. Especially the cute little ow he used to say for "yes." But the fact that we can have conversations together and I can understand him and he understands us so well is a blessing. Just last night, we were riding bikes on our street but it was time to go in and get ready for bed. Zinabu said, "How about two more minutes?" How about? HOW ABOUT???? Where did he learn that? How is it that he's negotiating with us? It's so unreal.

And yet, there are still a few words were working on with him so that he gets the true meaning of them.

Share: Everyone has to share with me but I don't have to share with them.
Everybody's: Everything in this house belongs to me.
Together: I get to go first and then the rest of you can go.
No name-calling: I can dish it out, but I can't take it.

He's getting there.

1 comment:

Deirdre said...

I love hearing about language development in kids. It's fascinating what little sponges they are! When we were at that Ethiopian adoption picnic, we met our friends' three-year-old girl who has been home from ET for about six months. I asked how she was doing, and she said, "I'm a-splendid!" Hilarious coming from any three-year-old, but especially one who didn't know a single English word a couple months ago.

Can't wait to meet Zinabu and hear his funny turns-of-phrase in person.