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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Monday, July 30, 2007

When your daughter is a girl ...

Last night we went to Elo's place where Marta and Simona (her cousin) were playing. I started leafing through Simona's collection of Barbie magazines, and discovered that the text was simple enough that it could be helpful in learning some more Estonian.

Simona decided to give them to me 'on the condition that I give them back tomorrow and not let Marta touch them' and so I was quite happy to learn the word for cool (mugav), clothing (rõivad), sparkling (sädaleva), silvery (hõbedane), and ribbon (pael).

This morning though Marta saw that I had the secret Barbie stash and she flipped out. Her whole body quivvered with excitement. "Want to see them!" she cried. I remembered my promise to Simona, but decided to allow Marta to read one upstairs while I put her clothing on.

After I put on a fairly normal shirt -- of fish from Captiva Island -- I searched through unisex shorts. But Marta demanded something else to cover her bottom. "I want a skirt," she said. "A pink skirt."

Meanwhile she was trying to read the Barbie magazine, which is comprised of fun games, like picking out clothing for Barbie and Ken to wear, and quasi-animated pictorials of Barbie and Ken shopping together. I hate to break this to you out there, but Ken is gay. And by gay, I mean homosexual.

No straight man with blonde hair and blue eyes wears an orange scarf and a fire engine red leather jacket. If he was Italian-looking he probably could be straight. But Ken looks like he's from the Swiss alps. Therefore Ken = gay. Not like there's anything wrong with that. But I think Ken just pretends to be Barbie's boyfriend so they can go shopping together.

Anyway, this is just a typical day in the life of a father of girl. I have decided to start an Anna blog to let you know how all is developing with her. Stay tuned.


Blogger Juan Manuel said...

Another language learner's feedback:

- I did not know "sädaleva"
- "mugav", "rõivad" and "hõbedane" are what I call "easy words" ie they come up very often and are very important.
- "pael" is somewhat hard to learn. I have learned it and I may recognize it in its context, but I mistake it with "nael" (pound)

Learning vocabulary is boring sometimes. As I say very often, I "learn" quite a few words every day (I don't learn them very seriously though, I just repeat my flash cards till I get them right). But sometimes it sucks. If there is something I believe in life, it is that by learning words I will end up being fluent in Estonian. That is basically the way I learned German and Russian. Let's hope that it will not take much longer to learn this language.

As to barby, I must confess I am really scared of that doll. But I am probably exaggerating, it is just a toy and not the instrument of an organized terror campaign to make poor girls think they have to eat some specific brand of yogurt or men wont like them. So, as I said, I am exaggerating.

By the way, Seth Godin has a post about barbies that I found interesting some days ago. It is nothing out of the ordinary though.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Tatsutahime said...

sädelev (not sädaleva) = sparkling

cool is more "lahe". "Mugav" is comfortable.

12:49 PM  

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