Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who is Amanda?

My parents may have named me Amanda but they either call me Manda or girl. Richard also calls me Manda. My brother calls me Che (Cantonese for elder sister) or hey! Most of my friends also call me Manda but some do pronounce the 'A' at the beginning. Many people in Malaysia call me Armarndar (and sometimes even ARMADA) because the 'A' sounds there are 'Ar'. Then over here in Indonesia, most people call me 'Ibu'. The literal translation is 'Mother' but it is also a respectful term that you use for married women. If they think I'm younger and unmarried, they call me something that sounds like 'Bark'. Haven't figured that one out yet.

So, when we asked Aaron 'Who is Amanda?', he was rightfully puzzled. After all, he has never heard that word before. We just laughed at him and left it. This was on Sunday.

Yesterday, while we were in the car, Aaron said something like 'Namnanda'. I looked at him and he said it again. I laughed and he laughed and he said it some more. At that time, I wasn't sure if he was testing the name on me or just testing out some new sounds he heard.

Today, he looked straight at me and said it again. Namnanda. I think he knows its my name. But how did he figure it out?

These babies, they're sneaky. They KNOW things. Don't underestimate them and don't say things you don't want them to hear in front of them.


Bilbo said...

One of the things I studied back in the Stone Age when I was getting my BA in Linguistics was the acquisition of language by children. As it happens, most of the research to that point had been done in English, so there wasn't much available on the influences of other languages. Aaron is at an age at which he will pick up many languages easily if he's exposed to them on a more-or-less equal basis...I gather that your home language is English, but if he's exposed to Chinese and the local Indonesian languages, he'll probably pick those up, too. Of course, much of what he'll pick up will be things you don't want him to say, but parents run that risk in any language. I have a great story about that, but it might offend some readers...if you're interested, let me know and I'll e-mail it to you. Good post!

Amanda said...

Hi Bilbo,
You're right, English is my main language but we're trying hard to integrate Chinese into the household too because that was my husband's main language before he met me. Don't want Aaron to end up with as poor a command of Chinese as I have.
I'll send you an email so you can have my email add. I'd love to hear that story! Thanks!

Kellan said...

I like Manda - that's a fun nick-name for you. This was a good post - they are sneaky, that is for sure. Take care.

John said...

Great stuff, Amanda.
A friend of mine uses Mandy and that suits her. I like Manda, too.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It seems like you have many names, and people just use the one they are comfortable with.

WorksForMom said...

So many names, so little time! And you're right, they ARE sneaky.

Badping said...

Hello Amanda.
I say you got it easy. Some people *cough* not mentioning any names *cough* call me B. And then later on wonder why certain young kids don't know my real name :)

Oh well, it's just as well I don't care and I like to keep my real name safe. For now you know B is for Badping.

Amanda said...

LOL! Yes 'B'. Its just second nature to us all. Your real name is cute too though...But sometimes, if we refer to you by your first name and do the right thing by keeping the first alphabet silent...people don't even KNOW who we're talking about.

I'm glad you don't get mad at us because you'll always be the little 'B' in my mind.

zero_zero_one said...

Kids are amazing... :)

Really cool post!