Saturday, March 13, 2010

Going Potty in a Foreign Language

I've blogged here in the past about the trials and intricacies of visiting the biffy while out on a long trail run. Well, maybe I haven't...maybe I should. Of course, one doesn't actually VISIT a biffy out in the woods, but that will be for another blog post.

Before Marty left for Ethiopia to pick up our two new daughters, she did something brilliant. She learned a few critical words in Amharic in the likelihood that she would need to communicate with Lizzie, the two year old. Marty learned how to say in Amharic such things as:
sit down,
thank you,
I love you, home, and
do you have to go potty?

These proved to be very helpful to Marty.

When Marty and the kids got home, a few of these words have continued to be used such as "buna" (coffee) and "shint te bayt" (do you have to go potty?). So, when Lizzie comes running up saying "papa" and rubbing her pants, I am able to say "shint t bayt?," she nods her head, and we go to the bathroom.

Well, the last few days, we have been using the word "potty" instead of the Amharic. Lizzie understands completely. However, Zeke is now correcting us by saying "shint te bayt!"


DT said...

Taking in all these marvelous events, I know one thing certainly. Zeke, by birth position and age, is going to be a true International Man.

Helen said...


i do suspect a trail potty post would be equally entertaining!