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Thursday, January 12, 2012

On Language

I've been putting off this post for some time now, thinking that I would have more interesting things to report if I just waited.

 Sadly, I am still (arguably) fluent in only one language.  I promised B that I would learn Greek once we moved to Athens, and I would have to use it all of the time.  I vowed to complete my Greek Now (Every time I see the book I think, "Serenity Now!") lessons every day; I did when we first arrived and T would oblige me by napping in the morning.   Now that he's busy when my brain is at its daily zenith, I don't sit and concentrate on anything.

The truth is that I hardly use Greek at all.  Sure, I have to pay the clerk at the grocery store, who tells me my total, but there's also a handy register display screen that shows me the exact amount. Yes, M's teacher speaks zero English, but there are several parents who willingly translate whatever is unclear.  I suppose, I could be more proactive, and demand to be spoken to in Greek.  (But that would take effort!)  

I am pleased to report that, however little Greek I have learned, the children's Greek has improved remarkably.  I place special emphasis on the word improved for M's Greek, since Z's has always been fluent.  Most rewarding to hear is T, who has been acquiring new words at an astonishing rate.  His vocabulary is split evenly between the two languages.  Most amusing to us is T's economy:  he chooses between Greek and English based upon ease of pronunciation.  For example,  he uses μαιμού (my-MOO) rather than "monkey,"; but he says "bear" instead of αρκουδάκι (ar-koo-DHAH-ki).

And he seems to be picking up some French, too?  What do you think?

(There's a video above that won't play on iPads, iPhones, or ipods, Mom and Nana.  You may have to look at it on a regular computer.  Feels very stone-agey, huh?)

*The picture has no bearing on this post.  I just wanted to point out the mountain between the apartment buildings that is covered in snow.  It may not be totally clear, but I promise it's there.

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