Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sam and Atticus recently stumbled upon a new time eater on the internet.  It is a little movie making site and it is easy, fun, and bizarre enough to keep us entertained for ridiculous amounts of time. Following the debut of Sam and Atticus’ first amazing creation (oh, of course you can see it by clicking  HERE ), we have been brainstorming for all sorts of new dialogues and scenarios for our little friends to depict and it has gotten us thinking about dialogue in general.

Sometimes we look back and have to just stop and laugh at the conversations we have had here. As we have worked through (and continue to work through) different levels of linguistic ability, we end up having conversations that are less content driven than ones we would have in our mother tongue. We thought we’d share a recent example. This occurred all in bangla, but we think the real flavor of it comes out in translation. We’ve tried to keep it a close translation to capture some of the clumsiness.

The scene: Jon is sitting on the rickshaw and Taborok is sitting on the bike seat as they sit in a ridiculous traffic jam. A rooster crows.

Jon: What is the word for that bird?
Taborok: A rooster
Jon: OK. Rooster. Roosters have red things on their heads.
Taborok: Yes. They do have red things on their heads.
Jon: Roosters are men birds.
Taborok: Yes. They are men birds.
Jon: Roosters crow. “Cock a doodle doo,” they say.
Taborok: Yes. They crow in the morning.
Jon: Chickens do not crow.
Taborok: No.
Jon: I think I have seen this bird before. What is the name of this type of bird again?
Taborok: Rooster.
Jon: Right. Rooster. I have seen this rooster before.
Taborok: Yes. He stays here.
Jon: Yes. That is his house. Do your parents have roosters?
Taborok: Oh yes. They have lots of birds.

At that point Sam was walking by and the conversation ended.

In english, the conversation is a bit, um….pathetic. But for Jon it was a great bangla excerise – lots of different constructions, new vocabulary, etc. So it was less about content, and more about language. Of course, later we were talking about it, and realized that for Taborok, it was in his mother tongue. So it was about as exciting as it was for you to read it in English. Poor Taborok. Actually, we think he loves being our unofficial bangla teacher and now that we’ve considered the level of inane conversation he has to suffer through daily, we appreciate him even more.

Anyhow, the dialogue was pretty good we thought. Maybe we’ll make this one into a movie….

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