Oct. 10th, 2013

ajnabieh: Robin Sparkles (character from How I Met Your Mother) in front of a red maple leaf, dancing. (canada sparkles)
My son, as a student in the public school system in Ontario, receives daily lessons in French (20 minutes a day in kindergarten, which will become 40 minutes a day from first through sixth grade). French is one of his favorite parts of the day, and he'll frequently say "do you know how to say [word] in French? It's [mot]!" or, say, start counting objects in French. I think this is brilliant, obviously; Ottawa's bilingualism is one of the things I love best about it.

The other day, he said to me, "Mommy, do you know how to say 'see you tomorrow' in French? It's ademay!"

It took a second for me to work out what he said, but I replied cheerfuly, "Yes, it is, à demain! Did you learn that in French class?"

"Mommy, no," he said. "It's ah-deh-may."*

Because he's learning Canadian French, and my French (which people tell me sounds very good) is French French, so he corrects me because I don't sound right.

Which, from his point of view, I don't.

This is going to be a very long process of linguistic acculuration, I think...


*I cannot for the life of me figure out how to render these two words differently so as to communicate the difference. I think the French vowel is quite short and nasalized, while the Canadian final vowel is equally nasal but much rounder and longer? French ah-deh-ma' vs Canadian ah-deh-may-ng? Why can I not properly remember IPA?)

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Ajnabieh - The Foreigner

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