Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Run ... Not!

Immersion is an excellent way to learn a language. The more time you spend with a language, the faster you will learn. My best leรงons take place in the middle of the night, via silly conversations. Listening, reading, writing, speaking and studying words and phrases are most effective when it is learned in a meaningful social context.

Yesterday I got a Creole word that amused me to giggles.

In French it is escargot. In Belgique you can get these from food trucks on the street, along with burgers, frites etc. Fast food. But not really when it comes to snails.

It's s n a i l s... In Mauritian Creole snails are called COURPA.

Derived from the words courir (Fr. verb 'to run') and pas (Fr. negative adverb), when put together and it literally translates to 'it runs, not!'. Which is so true of snails. Runners they are not. lol I love it.

Don't be surprised if I start calling them runnots from now on.

(: Biz

For Parrot's more 'serious-y' writing, it's moved to tumbleoui.tumblr.com. Parrot is nomadic like that.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Countin' Cats

Number: an arithmetical value, expressed by a word, symbol, or figure, representing a particular quantity and used in counting and making calculations and for showing order in a series or for identification.
Numbers are important which is why it is often one of the first lessons learned.

Les Numero en Francais:
1 un 2 deux 3 trois 4 quatre 5 cinq 6 six 7 sept 8 huit 9 neuf 10 dix

En Creole:
Sounds like the above but being paress we take skip out on some letters.
N (ene), D (des), trois, kat (like kit kat!), cinq, sis, set, wit, nef, dis

Time for a cat joke!
K, we have 2 cats, one British, one French. We'll call the Brit cat Onetwothree and Chat Francais, Undeuxtrois. They decided to have a race. First one across the English Channel wins Jaguar's stash of Doritos. Both cats jumped into the water and cat-paddled across. Which cat won the race?

The British cat! Because Undeuxtrois cat sankGeddit? Geddit? Quatre cinq (:
...this joke goes much better told. But still, cat!

All kats are winners.
(: Biz

p.s. bon anniversaire papa!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Way of the Bird

Halfway through 2012!
   Wedding, done.
      Euro, won.
         Kreol lecons, ...non.

(I've been told) Creole is not the most difficult language to speak but it is difficult to write. It is after all a language that is meant to be spoken rather than written. That sure makes it difficult to learn when one is 3000 nautical miles away!

So far on my journey I've seen several words written 3 different ways. Take 'bird'.

The French: oiseau
Creole: zoizo, zwazo, zozo

If this was an audio file, you'd think I said the same word 3 times. And I did.

It's alright that the spelling is inconsistent, we just Parrot and imitate the French pronunciation of the original word.

Sometimes though, it doesn't work. I'll get to that as soon as Jaguar finishes playing with banana leaves.

(: biz

Friday, April 27, 2012

Googling Birds

Since I moved back here I've been on the hunt for what I call the Woot-Woot bird, a bird that goes wooooot! wooooot! every morning and again before sunset.

Is it an owl? I dunno. I've never seen it.
Over the years I've looked high and lowIn the trees, the sky, under rooftops nearbyI've asked around, even imitated its soundBut this woot-woot bird, no one seems to know
Which made Googling for it impossible.

How do you google for something with no visual cues, only an attempt at onomatopoeia. There ought to be an audio input option, hooked up to an audio recognition software that would return similar audio results.

In the meantime, here's the 'proper' way to google:

Note how audio is not one of the search inputs. Fortunately when it comes to Zoizo, I only know what he looks like and not how he sounds.

Using the keywords yellow bird and decurved beak, I image-searched for something that would look a little like this:

Playing the matching game of apple to apples, Zoizo is an olive-backed yellow sunbird!

He could be buddies with the yellow sunbears.

(: Biz

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's a bird!

Mo pe gain faim
Creole for I'm having the hungries
It was what took me to the kitchen
In search of eats for my tummy

When there it was, outside the kitchen window
Perched on a mirror, admiring himself so

A bright yellow sunbird
One I see regularly
Usually hanging upside-down
From red flowers, gracefully

Never have I seen it up close
To notice its decurved beak
The blink-blinking eyes
And feathers so sleek

Tiny and agile
Darting from flower to flower
I watched all the while
As it extracted the nectar

Thinking I had time
I rushed upstairs for a camera
Gotta get a pic of this oiseau*
To google for its name later

But it had flown away
Away from the flowers
Leaving me standing there
For what felt like hours

Respect goes out
To all wildlife photographers
The patience they must have
Finger hovering over shutters

Lying in wait
The mirror as bait
Hoping for the birds return

When out of nowhere it came!
Seconds to get camera aimed!
... but it flew away,
And all I got was this badly focused photo /:

I call it Zoizo.
Derived from the French word for bird, oiseau.