Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Meet Bob

I’ve been doing a fair amount of work with International students. Here’s a snippet of the conversation that ensued while working with an 11 year old Korean boy the other day:

KB: Caw ra

(I can’t tell you how many times my name has been massacred and not just by Asians either. My luck wasn’t much better while living in Quebec. Who knew it was so difficult to pronounce. Apparently “L’s” and “R’s” present a specific challenge in many languages. And when placed together, well…that warrants a post of its own. Show me what you can do with a bilabial fricative, and perhaps I’ll go there on another day.)

KB: (Looking very intent) How do you call the orange bridge?

Me: (In a matter of fact tone) I don’t think it really has a name.

KB: It looks so like the Golden Gate Bridge.
(Despite their young age, many of these students have traveled extensively)

Me: Hmm…(raising my eyebrow trying to look like I’m really thinking hard about his last statement) it’s really not quite as large or majestic.

KB: (disbelievingly) It doesn’t have a name?

Me: We usually just call it the big orange bridge.

KB: Humph (thinking pensively for a minute)…so we can call it BOB?

Me: Okay, BOB it is.

KB: (looking very satisfied that we’ve come to this final agreement)


PortraitofPeter said...

Such is the imagination of children - to whom we can learn so much from.

A wonderful post and I must admit the name is quite apt for the orange bridge.

Trella said...

Too funny! I love the name Bob for the bridge.

r's and l's are always the hardest to prononce. My major was speech, langauge, and hearing. Most of the children in therapy needed help with their r's and l's.

Dan said...

No!! Don't call it Bob! Call it Gerald. Much better name. Gerald. Yes, I like that. It has a ring to it. Please ask KB if he'd be willing to change it.

Sirdar said...

Bob? Why not? It is a better name than big orange bridge. We just had the opportunity to host a teenager from Mexico. But we decided not to do it now. Maybe next year.

Carla said...

Peter, I thought that B.O.B. worked quite well for Big Orange Bridge. Thanks.

Trella, Yes, of that I am quite aware...the difficulties of "r's" and "l's" that is.

Carla said...

Dan, If I use Gerald as an acronym, I'll have to come up with something other than Big Orange Bridge. Help me out here and I'll take it back to KB.

Sirdar, I'm sure it would be a most enriching experience for both you and the student.

Larry said...

I haven't seen the term, "birabiar
flicative" since Linguistics 101!

When I was in the military, in Korea, those of us up near the DMZ wore name tags with Korean characters. My name is Larry LaBounty and Korean characters are phonetic. so....my name tag read something like ra-li ra-bon-di. This earned me the nickname: Corporal Rally!

The Fool said...

H'lo Nomad. The snippets from children are so amusing. Bob is a perfect name for a brifge...Bob, the Big Orange Bridge. It sounds like a series of children books...

What fun it would be to take a class of young ones out to name every site in town that does not have a name. Generative mapping...way cool.

Thanks for sharing...this brought a smile. Have a good evening.

Carla said...

Larry, Yes, it's not a term that one can easily pull out of his pocket during conversation. Funny about the letter reversals.

Fool, Children certainly can be entertaining. They keep the world full of wonder and awe. I like the idea of a series of childrens books. And great idea about the generative mapping. Hmm... New project?

Steffi said...

Very nice picture with the bridge!

Cheryl said...

What a relief to finally have a proper name for it! :D
Your friend sounds like a funny guy.

Carla said...

Steffi, Thanks.

Cheryl, I know...the lack of name was causing me no end of consternation.

Debbie said...

What a perfect name. Smart kid!

Carla said...

Debbie, Yes, this is one bright child.

pandave said...

go bob!

i work with a woman named karla and she is from honduras. i LOVE to say her name.. to roll the r and then curl my tongue around the l. i never say it quickly...

Carla said...

Pandave, It's funny how certain words resonate with us. Some words just feel good in the mouth. "R" rolling is so much fun...but I don't do it nearly as well as some people.