the 90th minute

Until September 2007, when my oldest daughter was born, this blog covered daily life and politics in Israel, as well as Hebrew-English linguistic issues, from the perspective of an American-raised journalist and translator living in Israel. Now it mostly serves as the SmunchMonk&Bear news agency, a portal into the bizarre universe of the little people. Read more at:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Random things I just remembered

- I have been learning all about what little Israeli kids say through what Rimonit brings home from gan, but I don't always know how much is Rimonit and how much is what the other kids do. The first time I heard another little kid shout "Dai!!!" in exactly the same whiny yet aggressive tone of voice that Rimonit uses (though she doesn't use this so much anymore), I was startled at how well this random kid at the park was able to channel Rimonit. I had a similar moment at the park a couple weeks ago, when we ran into one of Rimonit's gan friends, Stav (they played really nicely together and then Rimonit brought over her toys and pretzels to share - she enjoys sharing when it's on her terms), and while they were on the see-saw Stav called out "Aya!" and her mother went over to investigate the boo-boo. And that's how I discovered that "Aya!" seems to be the Hebrew version of "ow," and not just a random Rimonit exclamation.

- RP has been using a lot more English at home, even for things that she used to use the Hebrew for. She does still say "eifo" a lot, but she also says "where." More to the point, I haven't heard her use "kah" or "k'hi" in a while - she now says "take it."

I don't even know all the words she actively says because she doesn't necessarily use the Hebrew ones. The babysitter came and Rimonit was climbing off the couch and said "Ani nofelet," which I can't recall ever hearing her say before ("I'm falling," though she wasn't really). In English, she has taken to warning herself to be careful as she starts feeling like she might fall. I think she might also be targeting it at the furniture. It's quite funny to hear her repeating my intonation and telling herself "CAREful!" as she is climbing onto/off of something.

She'll sometimes translate for me/give me the metanarrative, but switching from Hebrew to English, like I told the babysitter she was excited about her bday party in gan for the next day so she said in Hebrew, Are you going to have cake at the birthday party? And they're all talking about the upcoming uga and then she says to me in English, Ima, cake birthday, or something like that.

- She seems to think Jerusalem is the music capital of the world. We went there for a day over Sukkot and she saw live music in a few places - a few fairs/festivals plus some "busking" (ppl playing music on the street for money). Then we went the next week for a wedding, where there was, of course, more music. She's been saying "Shalayim music!" and driving herself to Shalayim in her taxi. For all of Sukkot and a couple weeks after, she was also building a sukkah in every corner of the house.

- Have I mentioned that Kinneret really really really loves holding the broom?

- They seem to have done a bit of a switch lately. It used to be, esp when K was just born, that the second one of us was holding her it set off an instant reaction in R, who suddenly realized that THE place to be was on the lap of whoever was holding K. Now, though, as soon as K sees R sitting on Ima's or Abba's lap, she's the one who sprints over and begs to be invited to the party.


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