Wednesday, July 1, 2009

some conversations and what they mean

As those who have been following the blog know, I have been working with Anjali on Sanskrit for the past few weeks. Given my interest in the language, and the fact that she is now attending regularly my mom's shloka class, I feel that if she gets a more informal feel of the language it would be good for her. So here's an update on what she has been doing.

Arbitrarily, I choose to switch talking to her in Sanskrit from English. While she understands mostly what I say in Sanskrit, she still replies to me in English, which is fine. Sometimes, she repeats what I say, like

Me: "Anjali, Bavati stroller madhye gacchati? "

Anjali: "Stoller madhye gacchati"

Now, a couple of days ago, in the playground, I was telling her the story of the crow and the stones, in Sanskrit. Now, Anjali is familiar with the story as it is in English, though she had never heard the Sanskrit version before.

So I told her the story and then afterward did a bit of acting.

Me: Aham Kakaha asmi. Pibaasa asti. Jalam asti vaa iti pashyaami. Atra pashyaami, jalam naasti, tatra pashyaami jalam naasti
Anjali: Here is water (holds out water bottle)
Me: Aham water bottle thaha jalam pibaami?
Anjali: I put stones for you, you dink.

Anjali has a very vivid imagination. Two nights ago, it was raining. We went to the playground to sit for a bit. Husband had taken Sophia for a walk and I usually like to take advantage of wet evenings to do a bit of nature study.

"Anjali, do you want to take a walk and look for snails?"

"I dont want to look for snails. I have a snail in my thoppai"

"You do?"

"Yes. I have a big snail in my thoppai"

"Oh. Whats the snail's name?"


"I also have a snail in my thoppai. My snail is blue"

"My snail is pink. You have mummy snail, I have baby snail"

And so the conversation went. Until at one point Anjali exclaimed

"My snail is beautiful!!!"

On the other hand, she is still associating symbols and images. Here's another conversation

Yesterday, we were reading Eric Carle's ABC.

Anjali, can you find the T? She points to the capital T.

Me: THis is mummy T, and this is Anjali baby t.

Anjali: Mummy T, Anjali t.

Me (trying to be adventurous): T is for tiger. This is mummy tiger

Anjali: Where's Anjali tiger?

Me (pointing to the word tiger): This is Anjali tiger

Anjali looked very puzzled: Where's Anjali tiger?

Me: See here, T-i-g-e-r. This is Anjali tiger.

Anjali (quite decisively): There's no baby tiger.

Me (refusing to give up): Lets try something to clarify this.

I grab a few sheets of paper, draw a cat on one. "This is mummy cat". I write "C-a-t" on another. THis is Anjali cat. I draw a lotus on one "This is mummy lotus" I write "lotus" on the other. This is Anjali lotus.

Then we played a game that involved jumping from one to the other. It was fun, though I dont know what was the learning point.

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