Friday, May 11, 2007


My wife is Japanese and we use Japanese at home with the kids. Of course, my Japanese isn't always perfect.

Last night, I was telling my 3-year old for the fifth time to drink her milk. When she retorted that she was drinking it, I pointed out that her milk was in one location and she was elsewhere. In Japanese it went like this
gyunyu wa kotchi ni aru kedo kimi wa soko ni aru.
milk (topic) here at is but you (topic) there at is.
Without looking up my 5-year old says「いる」だよ ("iru" da yo). You see, the Japanese copula distinguishes between animate and inanimate objects: ある (aru) for inanimate and いる (iru) for animate. This is the first time, I believe, that my kids have corrected my grammar like that. I'm sure it won't be the last, though.

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