15 August 2008


Posted by Dirk under: been drinking; musings .

The other day, while I was hanging out with Evangeline, she said she was cold.

Somebody saying they are cold isn’t a big deal, but Evangeline will be 3 years old in a few months and I like watching her learn the language.

I was thinking earlier today, how did she learn what ‘cold’ meant? It’s not a word that you can explain very easily, not without using the word ‘cold’. And I really doubt that anybody defined the word to her, directly.

Somehow, she just picked it up, through context, while observing the world go by. She’s like a super absorbent sponge.

I don’t really remember much of anything from when I was that age, but I know that what I remember from when I was older, time moved slower, it seems. Summers would last forever. Now, the 3 months of summer pass by so fast I wouldn’t even notice except it gets so hot. There really seems to be some sort of age based flexibility as far as time goes. I bet, for Evangaline, time is sort of like those super slow motion scenes in The Matrix. At least for her subconscious. For us adults, everything is moving along at “normal” speed, but she’s observing it all like a little sped up computer, writing it all to her internal biological hard drive. She’s basically writing her operating system at this time.

Her father speaks Portuguese and her mom speaks German pretty well. They are trying to use both of those with her as much as possible. I think this is a great idea. I learned German when I was a kid. I lived in Germany a lot when I was little and at one point, when my dad was in Vietnam and we were living with my Oma in Germany, a guy came to visit us. I was up on the balcony when this guy showed up and he looked up at me and said something in English and I didn’t know wtf he said. I had to go get my mom to talk to him. Soon after that, while wearing my lederhosen, somebody said “You look just like a little German boy!” I replied with “I’m an American!” and I never wore those damn lederhosen again. That still holds true today. I think a kilt would be damn comfy though.

Anyway, the point being, I think learning extra languages as a wee kiddy is a good thing. Learning those extra languages makes your brain more wrinkly, extra brain grooves are good. And it seems if you learn that stuff early enough, it never goes away totally. I hardly ever speak German anymore, my ability to dredge up words is nearly gone, but I can listen to my mom speak German and understand her pretty well.

Leave a Reply