Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's all in the tone

My grey cells have become slow and lazy, on account of getting no exercise beyond the daily breakfast Sudoku. So in order to ensure that they stay reasonably fit, I decided to throw them a challenge and signed up for Thai language classes.

So far it's been fascinating, and my poor unfit grey cells have been huffing and puffing and trying to comprehend the multi-tonal nature of the language. Consider, the SAME word pronounced in a high tone means something completely different when pronounced in a low tone - including such deadly combos as near-far and beautiful-shit! My grey cells have been having a hard time coping! :-)

But I've been getting help with this from Moppet. She chatters non-stop now, using a wide range of sounds, although I haven't been able to recognize any words yet. Her most often repeated sound is close to 'Duh-Duh' and depending on the tone in which it comes out, I have to guess the meaning.

So we have:

Word: 'Deh-deh!' (pointing)
Tone: Insistent
Meaning: Gimme that!

Word: 'Duh-duh-deh-deh' (accompanied by big grin)
Tone: Conversational
Meaning: You big people are SO silly!

Word: "Duh-Deh?" (when the doorbell or the telephone rings)
Tone: Questioning
Meaning: Did you hear that? Let's go see!

Word: 'Duh-duh-duh-duh' (poking me in the leg)
Tone: Urgent
Meaning: Gerroff! You're sitting on my stuffed elephant!

Word: "Da-da-da-da" (patting - ok, hitting - my face, sometimes followed by an open-mouthed kiss)
Tone: Soft
Meaning: You're okay. I love you.

Yeah, I'm beginning to get the hang of this tone thing. Khawp khun kha*, Moppet!



Rohini said...

Ayaan talking is starting to get to the embarassing phase now. The other day he pointed a labourer and said 'Dirty' in the most disgusted tone he could muster. Thankfully, the guy didn't know any English but we may not be so lucky the next time around !

doorva said...

Moppet's Mom.. your blog is very endearing, very well written... can actually picture everything vividly. Also shows how much fun you are having seeing your baby grow up...


Tharini said...


Cud picture all this so well...also looking forward to this from my second baby! did you come up with the name Moppet? Must be some history tell...maybe via a post!!

Moppet's Mom said...

Rohini: I know I shouldn't do this, and it will come back and bite me in the a** when Moppet starts speaking in recognizable words - but really, ha ha! How cute! :-))

Doorva: Thanks! Yes, normal every day things are a lot more fun when Moppet's around.

Tharini:Actually, the name was the least embarrassing of all the nicknames I call her. I figured when she's older and confronts me about the blog, at least I can come back with: "Be happy I didn't call you Kuttapoose!"