Sunday, April 10, 2005

How many languages does your family speak?

As part of our normal routine, I go pick up my children at their moms on a regular basis. The ride to and fro has become an important part of the Dad Time. During the 20 minutes to 1 hour drive(depending on the traffic), we discuss just about any topic on earth (however, we are not limited to just earth).

Subjects might include:

- butterflies in space
- the life span of a headless cockroach
- time travel; the space-time continuum thingie
- music discussions, such as the song "I'm a Hanukkah bush!"

As you can see, we talk about, and some times make up, just about anything. If others were to over hear these conversations they might think... never mind about that, we are still "on the outside" for now... back to the languages.

On our last ride, I discovered that our family is multi-lingual. I originate from Southern New Jersey (AKA South Jersey), therefore I speak Jersey. Which is very fast with a hint of an accent and of course we have our own phraseology. Be aware I speak not of the North Jersey accent that dribbles (no, torrents) over from New York.

My daugther on the other hand (smiles) apparently understands Canadian best. It is significantly slower paced and always confirms the ending of a sentence with "EH?". This way, there is a confidence that the other person has completed a thought and you can now respond or better yet, start listening. Rather like in the radio communication style of "over" without the static (most of the time).

There is also a blending that results in most of the house occupants speaking Washingtonianese, off and on. This comes from the combination of my South Jersey accent lightly blended with the Oklahoma twang (from their mother's side) and the purely Western Washington accent that arrived from the midwest with all those Norweigans. Can't imagine what that sounds like? Well, try this, a Norweigan grows up in New York and moves to Cape May, New Jersey where a drawl is aquired, then moves to Washington and attempts to speak without any accent at all. That's the Washingtonianese that is heard in our house.

I am sure we speak many more languages. I will attempt to document them as they arise. This cultural blending is so wonderful. I think my daugther is learning Japanese. Go ahead! Try to figure out what that will end up sounding like!!! Just makes your head spin, eh?


1 comment:

Rich said...

Since I have always desired to immigrate to Australia, here is the Aussie slang dicionary link.

Now, that would be a kick! mix all of the above with the Aussie slang and accent... you would never figure out exactly what I was saying!