Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Donda esta my Texan-Arab friends?

A former client of mine is Yemeni-American and his wife is Venezuelan-American, and their kids are beautiful caramel babies with big brown eyes and curly hair. The 6-year-old girl is piercingly smart, and is the linguistic polyglot bridge between her parents. 

The family just moved to Dubai from Texas, so I sat her down and asked her (in English) how she was liking her new school Choueifat. "It's really nice," she started out saying, "even though the teachers are, uhh..." then she turns to her mother and in Spanish asks "Mama donde esta Ms. Iva blah blah blah?" (which I didn't catch because I don't speak Spanish) and her mother says "ask your father" to which she turns to her father in Arabic and seamlessly asks "Baba, Ms. Iva min fayn?" and without looking up from his phone he says "Ireland." The little girl turns to me and continues with "Yeah, so one of my teachers Ms. Iva is really nice, but she's from Ireland and they don't really speak English correctly." This got a huge laugh from her dad, while her mother reached over firmly and attempted to clear her Irish perceptions, but her dad laughed out "tell Ms. Iva you're from Texas and you know what real English is!" 

Throughout this exchange the little girl had a steady expression on her face, completely in control of herself and quietly impressing the shit out of me. I would love to catch up with her in 10 years and see what Spanish/Arabic/English worlds she'd be dominating by her mid-teens.

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