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5/9/11

Lost In Translation

I've never been on a true 'international' vacation. Sure, my Senior year of high school, I spent spring break on a drunken boat ride through the Caribbean. And my then girlfriend (now wife) and I took a trip to Mexico a few years back, but 'cerveza' was the most extensive Spanish required during our stay. Despite my lack of experience when it comes to traveling abroad, I've got to believe that tackling a foreign language barrier has to be equivalent to deciphering a child's words when they first start talking.

Although you could say Ava has been 'talking' for months now, it's just been the past couple where she has really started to become a motormouth, offering jumbled commentary on pretty much everything she can. At times it can be like dealing with a drunk friend at 3 AM.

"You need what?"

"I'm sorry, can you repeat that? You're slurring again."

"No, that's not a puppy."

"Okay, hold on a second, did you just poop your pants?"

And sometimes, even if we can't figure out specific words, we have to resort to using context clues to help us figure out what message she's trying to relay. For example, when she's pointing at the coat closet, jabbering quickly and nervously, it essentially means: "Hey, that's where you keep that loud, floor-sucking machine right? Right in there? Yeah? Do you think you could open that door so I could look at it? JUST LOOK AT IT THOUGH. Because I SWEAR, if you turn it on or try to make me touch it, I will FREAK OUT!!!"

But as time goes on, my wife and I are gradually developing our own "Ava Dictionary" for certain words and sounds that come out of her mouth. And believe it or not, it's harder than you might imagine. Some words mean different things depending on the situation. And much like Mandarin Chinese, some words require close to attention to the inflection in her voice. So this morning, I scribbled down some notes on some of the words that might be misinterpreted by the common individual. In case you ever come visit, here's an introductory translation dictionary for our daughter:


Cock - Quack or Jayhawk. Yes, don't be alarmed if she yells out 'Cock!' randomly. She just sees one of these birds.

Cawcock - Jayhawk (formal).

Otch - Watch or Ouch. Is she pointing at that shiny thing on your wrist? Then it's probably the former. Did she just fall off the rocking ottoman after trying to scale it, YET AGAIN? Then the latter is a safe bet.

Pay - Play. So if you're out at a restaurant and she's telling you she wants to 'pay', don't think she's about to whip out the plastic any time soon.

Momo - Elmo, as in the red furry one. Don't talk smack about Elmo around her, because you're liable to get a size 5 Circo sandal up your ass.

Boo - Boo or Blue. Note whether she is yelling it or if she is pointing to the ball on page 8 of 'Baby Needs A Hug'.

Sorry KU fans, my daughter thinks you're all cocks.


Awsh - Wash. Not to be confused with 'Otch', this is generally heard during bathtime or right after an especially messy meal.

Popeye - Happy. Makes sense, I mean Popeye always had a half-smile on his face, right? Granted, it was probably due to a neuromuscular disease caused by contaminated spinach, but let's look at the silver lining here.

Beebee - Baby, bye bye, or blueberry. This can be a real tough one. First, try to tackle this one contextually, but you have to also understand that Ava tends to reference babies even when they are not present and don't pertain to the subject at hand. If stumped, feed her a blueberry, pretend to be an infant and wave goodbye simultaneously.

So there's a sampling of what you can expect in the Ava Translation Dictionary. Of course, this is just a starter's guide, the free version, if you will. I'm still trying to pitch a full-blown, paid version to Rosetta Stone, but for some reason, nobody has returned my calls or e-mails. What a bunch of Jayhawks.

2 comments:

LOL another hilarious post man.

Hahahahaahha the Jayhawks one is hilarious!!! Love.

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