Thursday, June 07, 2012

firmly entrenched French

Just wanted to say that the other day, I heard someone refer to her child's minor injury as a "boo-boo."

My first thought: "Boo-boo?  What's a boo-boo?"

And then: "Oh yeah, that's how they say bobo in English."

And then: "What do I mean, 'they'?  I'm a native English-speaking American who lives in the US!  Aren't I a 'they' any more?"

And then: "'Boo-boo.'  That's silly.  What a silly-sounding word!  Not like bobo in French.  Bobo just sounds cool.  Any kid would be glad to have a bobo instead of a boo-boo."

10 comments:

  1. heehee. you've brainwashed yourself!

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  2. Hi! I found your blog the other day and love it. My husband's mother is from Belgium, so he grew up learning French and English at the same time. Even though it has been a while since he has spoken it regularly, he is still "fluent." (He says "bobo" as well, even when speaking English.) It is my dream to have my (future) children speak French as well. As a non-native French speaker myself (and one who only remembers some of it from college), I appreciate your viewpoint and tips.

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  3. That's funny, because in Slovak it's "bibi"...something about those Bs.

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  4. International onomatopoeia! Maybe because we blubber when we get our booboos/bobos/bibis/bouas....

    Well, Ella, I'd like to think that's true--but just yesterday Griffin got a big ol' splinter and I realized I had no idea how to say "splinter" or "tweezers" in French. As a result of my contorted collocations, Griffin greeted his father that night with "Mommy used a pointy thing to get a piece of wood out from under my thumb"!

    Hi Unknown, nice to meet you! With your husband's family's French and what you learned in school, you will be in good shape to teach your future kiddos French! Keep us posted. :)

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  5. Sarah, that is too funny. I'd have the same problem in Spanish, I'm sure. Glad Griff was ok, though -- ouch!

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  6. That's hilarious! Thanks for sharing :)
    In German, it's an "Aue" (pronounced like ow-uh). I think I like bobo better :)

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    1. Aua. ;) I'm German and speak English with my daughter so I think boo-boo is a rad word but the other day my husband was like, "Bubu? Das ist doch schlafen!" (that's sleeping; as in taking a nap).

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  7. I agree - boo boo is a silly word...thanks for making me laugh! :) Claire also had a splinter a couple weeks ago and I called it a piece of wood in her skin - glad to know I'm not the only one who has to look up words like 'splinter' and until I can do that, explain what it is in other terms. :)

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    1. Yes--yay for collocations!

      BTW, here are some examples of Griffin's: http://babybilingual.blogspot.com/2011/09/look-whos-cicumlocuting.html

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