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July 20, 2008 Pronoun lesson

This will only be interesting to the language nerds in the crowd…the rest of you, feel free to skip on to the next blog entry. :)

This evening, I was delighted when I understood two object pronouns at once: Ama said “Where’s the teapot? Go into the kitchen and bring it here to me.” Bring it here to me. What we take five words to say in English is done in one in Tam: adtiawid. The verb is awi, bring. The d on the end makes it “bring here,” as opposed to awin, bring there. The ad at the front puts it in the future tense. The t is the direct object pronoun, it. The i in the middle is the indirect object pronoun, me. So, fully broken out, it’s ad-t-i-awi-d, in-the-future-you-will—it—to-me—bring—here. In four quick syllables that sounds more or less like ah-tee-uh-weed. And I figured it out! Yeah!

Celebrate the small victories. Don’t despair when the only word you catch in an entire half-hour conversation is the word “woman”. Progress is progress. Be grateful for each onward step.

I keep telling myself that…I hope I start listening to myself soon.

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