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)
Meaning: Gimme that!
Word: 'Duh-duh-deh-deh' (accompanied by big grin)
Meaning: You big people are SO silly!
Word: "Duh-Deh?" (when the doorbell or the telephone rings)
Meaning: Did you hear that? Let's go see!
Word: 'Duh-duh-duh-duh' (poking me in the leg)
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)
Meaning: You're okay. I love you.
Yeah, I'm beginning to get the hang of this tone thing. Khawp khun kha*, Moppet!