Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Barva = Color

So… today was day 1 in Prague, and I moved in with my host family, who are absolutely amazing. But that is a long post, and I am tired. So we will go with just a single snippet, about Emma, age 6, and myself.

I speak basically no Czech. Emma speaks exactly no English. But we sat on her bed with her brand new coloring set, (It was her first day of school, and getting gifts for children on such an occasion is a typical occurrence.) and learned some colors. It was strange at first, because I kind of just went into her room and sat on the bed silently, and she continued lining them up by color, silently. But then, I asked Filip (my host father, who is fluent in English) how to say “color” in Czech. Its barva, by the way.

So I picked up the red pencil, which got Emma’s attention, and I said “Anglický, barva red.” Which basically means “English, color red.” But she got it. She said “red,” in an adorable little accent. And then I asked, “Český?” And she said “červený.”

And so began our little game. I’d pick up a colored pencil, and say the color in English. She’d repeat, and then say it in Czech. Which I’d repeat. In true small child fashion, she’d laugh when I didn’t pronounce it right, and continue saying it until I got it. I swear, talking to children is the absolute best way to learn a new language. It worked in Japanese, and it worked this afternoon in Czech.

My favorite part, though, was that Emma made our game harder. I was just going to do the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. But she has a light green and dark green, and a light blue and dark blue. So we learned “light/světle” and “dark/tmavě.” And then we learned black, brown, and pink, because they rounded out the set. So here you are. May I present to you, colors:

  • color – barva
  • red – červený
  • orange – oranžová
  • yellow – žlutý
  • light green – světle zelená
  • dark green – tmavě zelená
  • light blue – světle modrá
  • dark blue – tmavě modrá
  • purple – fialový
  • pink – růžový
  • brown – hnědý
  • black – černý

I’m going to try to make this sort of post a daily occurrence, both to share anecdotes about my day, and also to review some new vocabulary I learn each day. We’ll see how it goes…

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One response

  1. Pingback: Ready, Set, Round Two! |

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