Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Found in Translation!

I found this foreign language translator online today and instantly had a great idea. Ok, well maybe it's just a marginal idea at best, but I'm going with it anyway! With all the media coverage about China of late, and in honor of the upcoming Olympic Games there, I thought I would translate one of my past posts into Chinese.

Yes, once the Chinese complete their plan to take over of the world (which rumor has it began, innocently enough, in a small factory where they produced billions of little 'Made in China' stickers) they will be able to look back on this post as evidence, along with my collection of Chinese action film DVD's and my affection for their local fare, that yours truly and Mrs. LIAYF are 'China friendly.' Hey, they might even give me a job writing fortunes!

To keep it short, and your vision from blurring, I am translating my last Haiku Friday, originally published June 13th. Read the original here.

And now for the translated version:


那天很快到达
盘旋太阳的地球
它能真正地是?

Wow! I'm glad I don't have to read or write Chinese as that looks like it would give me a serious hand cramp. I do know, however, that Lukas is the perfect age to learn a foreign language. Chinese, perhaps? Probably not, but Mrs. LIAYF and I do have Luke on the waiting list of, among other fine establishments, a bilingual daycare. They teach English and Spanish together and have teachers of all different cultural backgrounds. If the stars align right and our plans have not changed by then, we would love to have him in a facility which promotes such diversity.

In the mean time, Chinese may have to wait until he is a bit older!

13 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

Just for shits and giggles, (and because I am a complete dork) I passed your chinese characters through Babelfish (http://babelfish.yahoo.com/) and it returned:

The day very quickly arrives
Circles sun's Earth
It can be truly

morethananelectrician said...

Chinese...good idea. At least he'll be able to have a job with them when they take over.

Way to look out for him!

James Austin said...

@Scife - Ha! I was wondering about that, but hadn't actually done it. That's pretty funny how it get's jumbled. Thanks!

James Austin said...

@MTE - Yes, we will have to teach Lukas the art of the fortune. He can support us into old age. Well, maybe older age, since I am already there.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Being English speaking here in Holland, we've obviously had to look at the issues around a possible kid and language.

One interesting fact that keeps popping up is that even though younger kids DO pick up languages very well at that age, bilingual kids will remain behind other children of the same age in (any particular) language skills, until about 8 years of age.

So there are some medium-term drawbacks for the long term gain.

Anonymous said...

(from Mrs. LIAYF)

xbox - I'd love to know the name of the study that provides your statistic. It's good to have all the information before we decided whether or not to put Lukas in a bilingual eduation setting.

The school we are considering uses the Two-Way or Dual Language format. These types of programs are designed to help both native and non-native English speakers become bilingual and biliterate. About half of the children and teachers are native English speakers and the other half are native Spanish speakers. The classroom is taught in both languages. Research indicates this type of format is extremely effective in helping both types of students learn each language, as well as aiding the long-term performance of all students in school in the future (Center for Applied Linguistics, 2005; Thomas & Collier, 1997; Lindholm-Leary, 2000).

Anonymous said...

(by Mrs. LIAYF)

xbox - I re-read my comment and realized I sounded snooty! Not my intention - I really appreciate your input. We hadn't heard the statistic about about bi-lingual education creating such a lag in language skills. You always have such thoughtful comments!

Darren said...

I wonder if the Chinese look at our alphabet and think, "How do they make sense out of that stuff?"

By the way, I've heard that statistic about bilingual children too, but I couldn't tell you where. There are probably some facts about this on Adventure Dad's blog--which I see is already in your blogroll.

Even if it takes bilingual (or trilingual) kids until age 8 to be on level with English speakers, that's only second grade. As the parent of a soon-to-be second grader, I can tell you that there's a huge range of language skills around that age--from kids reading chapter books to kids still struggling to make their letters straight. I wouldn't worry about him being behind. Eight is much closer than you think anyway.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I should actually clarify, the studies that I have read about are based on bilingual children of bilingual parents (each parent speaking a different language to the child)

I have seen it in action, where kids of 3 or 4 don't speak as fluidly as others their age in one language but have little or no problems alternating between languages.

...and once they reach 7/8 years of age the differences are gone.

James Austin said...

@Darren - Thanks so much for the encouraging comment! I have not checked out Adventure Dad in a while so will go back and do so. 8 years seems like such a long time, it is great to hear from someone with experience who can tell us that it is not really that long and that there are a wide range of skill levels at that age! Thanks again.

@Xbox - Thanks for the clarification! Mrs. LIAYF and I want to give Lukas all the opportunities we can and having all the facts to make decisions by helps out immensely. We are typically all monolingual here in the states, so being a child who is bi-lingual would have many advantages.

Rob @ Paternal Prose said...

Hey James,

I am looking at blocks of hexadecimal values as I view this post. Evidently, I'm a complete loser, and need to adjust the character sets in Firefox. Fortunately, I could convert them to ASCII values with scratch paper and a few hours, but, well... Kinda not my style.

I relate to your desire to have Lukas be bi-, or even tr-lingual. As a former student of Spanish (read "I was huge geek with an unhealthy passion for the language and its associated culture."), I have thought several times teaching Cooper the language. My only problem would be that his pronunciation would corrupted by some of my own flaws. There's still an opportunity there, but I'm undecided at this point. I'd like to know where you all go with this.

Though I'm not familiar with the dual-language method that Mrs. LIAYF mentions, it seems to apply the immersion methods that I believe are the only effective way to learn a language. That may be a better option than teaching Cooper my bastardized form of non-native Spanish. Though fluent about 12 years ago, I'm not convince of my ability to regain that level of fluency.

On an unrelated note, I think Mrs. LIAYF needs her own blog if she doesn't already have one. She seems to be a fabulous writer whose posts I would enjoy reading, as I'm sure many others would. It was great to "read" her voice, since as a more recent reader, I've only been able to read the great things about her through you.

Good luck with the language decision!

James Austin said...

@Rob - What, you don't want to do that kind of conversion to use Firefox? LOL. I'm glad you stuck with it and were able to read the post. We visited Europe a few years back, and were amazed at how many folks were fluent in English (yes, we visited Italy and Germany, not Great Britan!) as a second language.

Over there, they just teach English as a matter of course, and it's no big deal to be bi-lingual. That would be great for the boys, if Lukas or Cooper end up with a second language. It would open new opportunities to them, for sure.

I agree with you about Mrs. LIAYF. She is an avid reader and wonderful writer (the real writer of this family), she just currently uses her writing skills for other endevors outside the blogosphere. She does, however, edit for me and occasionally contributes her ideas as well. I actually created a blog for her as well 'Luke, I am your Mother', but she has yet to post to it. Definitely more important things on her plate right now. Thanks again for the great comments.

Rob said...

James,

I think of my comments as more of rambling nonsense, but I'm glad you're able to appreciate some of them. If you need me to help hound Mrs. LIAYF, let me know. I think it'd be great to read about parenthood from both ends of the spectrum ;-)

My wife has a blog, but it's more broadly-focused than mine. When she writes about Cooper, though, it is generally a much more poignant post, and tends to carry more weight than my daily posts about the little dude.