Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pray.. not Play.

It's common knowledge that native Chinese speakers attempting to speak English confuse their Rs for Ls.

So English becomes EngRish.

Hello becomes Herro.

And then we joke about it and flip it the other way...

Sorry becomes sollie.

Very becomes Vely.

Why do we do such things?

My brother's English name is Ray and I swear my parents didn't do it intentionally, but his Chinese name is Lay-Lay.  One friend who found out Lay-Lay was his actual name, not just a nickname I had come up with to poke fun at the R-L and L-R confusion, pointed that out to me... and we laughed for days.

So tonight, when Jordan again refused to sleep... laying on his stomach in the pack n play, he bumped his head towards the mesh to see if he could break through, giggling with increased volume, hoping we'd get him.  It was a funny and cute sight and we both held back our smile, forcing a frown as I advised Jordan it was time to pray, not play.  At the sound of my own R-L comment, Andy and I both laughed.  To which Jordan joined as he continually shoved his head towards the mesh, as if to show us the true round shape of his head and simultaneously see if he could indeed get closer to us.  He then decided to use his hands to do the same thing... his hands opened to give us five, he pressed against the mesh, looking out at us with his eyes wide and hopeful.

Yet again, we told him it was time to pRay not pLay.

pRay!  Not pLay!

It has neLer stopped being funny foL me.  At Reast not yet.


Babe said...

That's so funny! It is the same in my culture. I'm Yupik Eskimo.
When I was a little girl at Christmas time, my brother was playing Santas helper and handing presents out to everyone to open. He got to the last gift. He picked it up and said, "Lucy, who's Lucy?!" My father points to me and said, "Lucy! Lucy!" apparently he had the wrappers at the store wrap it for him. When they asked who to put on the label, he said Rosie, but it came out as Lucy. So they wrote Lucy. Since then my brothers and sister tease me and call me Lucy.

SupaFlowaPowa said...

Hahahaa... thanks @Babe, that means we're not alone!

Gena Hopper said...

haha- you know what? I've always been confused by your brothers name hearing you call him both Ray and Lay-lay. Now I know. 10 years later. :/

Brady and Jamie Sefcik said...

We have so many Chinese people coming into our office and it is soo true!! So funny :)