12 June 2007

Verbs and Preschoolers

Since we started to learn Japanese, we stuck with the simple present, present continuous and past tenses in daily conversations. Otherwise our bhejas would have been overloaded and fried to a crisp. With the imperatives, we stuck to the politest form. We figured that the politer we were, we could get away with abysmal vocabulary and grammar.

With Aditi being a fussy eater, a healthy part of mealtime conversation would go something like this...
Me: Aditi, eat your rice.
Aditi: No.
Me: Baby, have some rasam.
Aditi: No.
Me: Eat your vegetables.
Aditi: No.
Me: Aditi, would you like some curd?
Aditi: Yes.

Then she started school. And our Japanese vocabulary of negatives and verb forms grew in leaps in bounds. How?? We had a rule. She was not allowed to use the word "NO". As usual she turned out to be way smarter than us. Now mealtime conversations go something like:

Me: Aditi, Gohan tabette ne (eat your rice).
Aditi: Gohan tabe shinai (I won't eat my rice)
Me: Baby, have some rasam.
Aditi: Rasam wa iranai (I don't want rasam)
Me: Eat your vegetables.
Aditi: Yada (I don't want to)
Me: Aditi, would you like some curd?
Aditi: Yes (Yes)

Ergo, my vocabulary has increased. I can conjugate the verb taberu (to eat) fairly competently in all forms. And using that as a reference, work with other verbs. I can use many forms of negatives.

And my daughter still eats nothing but curds.

Sigh, maybe she photosynthesizes.

2 comments:

Preethy said...

Good for you! All that conjugating! I think I need a preschooler around me to speeden up what is proving to be near impossible.

"Photosynthesising" - good one!

Thanks for dropping by masalasushi.

Twisted DNA said...

"As usual she turned out to be way smarter than us."
LOL, of course :) We can't outwit kids when it comes to learning languages!

"yada"
Really!? There is a word like this in Japanese!? May be that is where Seinfeld got his, "yada yada yada" from?