Saturday, 8 November 2008

Foreign languages

Due to growing up in several different countries, using snippets of different languages has never really bothered me. I can't hold a conversation in any of them but know a few words here and there and have used them with my kids too. So it's no surprise to hear Bradley say good morning in Spanish or Andrew thank me for something in Japanese. However, they have a language all their own which I really struggle to keep up with. Some of you other mothers may have heard of it .. Pokemon.

They appear to be speaking English but without actually making sense. OK, most kids have times where they make no sense but this is really starting to take over their entire conversational abilities. If someone, me for example, can't keep up with the talk of Charmanders and Bulbasaurs, they are subjected to the tone one uses when explaining something very simple to an idiot, as well as massive eye rolls and huge sighs.

"OK Mum. Pay attention. Charmander starts as a Charmander then evolves to a Charmeleon then a Charizard. Charizard is the final evolution but is a different type to the other two. They are fire type but Charizard is a fire/flying type."

"All right. So what about a Ditto?"

"Dittos don't evolve .. duh!"

"So what do they do?"

"Ditto transform into other Pokemon to use their attacks."

"What are attacks?"

"They all have different moves to defeat their opponent in battle but you have to earn exp to level up. There are different regions to get Pokemon from and you have to battle trainers and gym leaders in all the different regions to get badges. If you trade Pokemon between players and you don't have the right level of badges your Pokemon won't obey you and will do whatever it wants to."

"Sounds complicated."

"Nuh-uh. It's easy .. you're just too old to understand!"

"So teach me."

"Aaaaww Mum .. not now! I'm in a battle and besides it would take too long. You just don't get it Mum!" (insert big eye roll and heartfelt sigh here).

Entire car trips are taken up with discussing the relative merits of a grass type over a fire type; the benefits of forcing it to evolve earlier than it should; whether it should carry some form of berry or stone; whether they should breed this one to that one or if they can even breed at all; trading between games and players and the fairness of such trades; and on and on and on ...

I'll probably get a handle on it just as they grow out of it but in the meantime I'm regarded as fairly cool by some of Brad's friends because I know the name of some of them and can even identify their pictures in a line up.

Just what I always wanted .. to be the cool mum because of my very limited knowledge of cartoon pocket monsters. My life is now complete!

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