The Sprog is coming across a lot of Tetun speakers in her life.
What is Tetun? It’s the language of Timor-Leste. It’s one of the official languages (the other being Portuguese, though people say that most of the population can’t speak it fluently).
Our nanny speaks Tetun. Our cleaner speaks Tetun. Our driver speaks Tetun. The staff on our estate speak Tetun. People in shops speak Tetun.
So we have been trying to reinforce to the Sprog the bare minimum of words in order to show her respect to the people who help her out in everyday life (i.e. the people she annoys the crap out of, day in, day out!)
The problem is that the Sprog doesn’t quite get her pronunciation right at times.
The word for thank you is ‘Obrigada’ (for women). The Sprog, however, says, ‘Avocados’.
The word for goodbye is ‘Adeus’. The Sprog, however, says, ‘Have a juice’.
I was despairing to a mum from the school about the Sprog’s inability to hear me distinguish between ‘Obrigada’ and ‘Avocado’.
The mum said, ‘At least it’s not as bad as my kids. Instead of Obrigada, they used to say “Bicardi”. No reflection on my drinking habits, of course.’