Thursday, March 19, 2009

Animal vocabulary

I enjoy reading with my son, or play cards with animals’ pictures with him.
At 14 months, he already recognizes and able to name nearly 30 different animals, with his own babyish language, of course. His lingual skills are not yet as good as his vocabulary, sometimes we have to guess what he means by certain words. But he usually isn’t satisfied until we get exactly what he means.

A friend of mine once said that I should make a note or a journal of the things he said, because it would be so funny to read again in a few years, when he’s much older.
So here I am, trying to make a list of his animal vocabulary.

His first favorite stuffed animal: PANDA, he would call it BABAH (pronounced in Bahasa).
His most favorite “real animal” recently: HORSE, he can’t say the name either in English nor in Bahasa yet, but he usually mimics the sound of a horse to refer to it. He would say PA-PA… HIEEEHHH… as in mimicking the sound of the horse’s gallop and sound.
ZEBRA, he considers the same as a horse, only with different color. I can’t remember how old I was when I realize the difference between a horse and a zebra, other than it’s color. Probably some time during high school, or maybe even in university! :O How embarassing….
LION. This is another one of Darren’s favorite. He calls it AUM, as in mimicking its roar. He can’t tell the difference between a lion, a tiger, a cheetah, and all their family, he thinks they’re all alike.
COW, he mimics the sound MOOOO.
SHEEP/GOAT, he also mimics the sound, BEEEEK..
OWL, he calls it HU-HU, as in mimicking the hooting sound of an owl.
FISH, this one he calls ISH, because the word in Bahasa (Ikan) is too difficult for him. He also calls water mammals like dolphin, whale, etc fish.
DUCK, he would call it BEBE (in Bahasa, it’s BEBEK); now this one is pretty close.
FROG, he had a hard time mimicking the sound, but now he always says WO’WO’ for a frog, supposedly mimicking the sound of the “ribbit” in Bahasa (it’s not even close, I know…)
HIPPOPOTAMUS, he once called it PO, but only that once, he doesn’t know this one too well.
BEAR, this one he calls BEAR, mostly with “H” substituting the “R”.
BEE, he calls it perfectly. Sometimes he got carried away and says “BIBI” (in Bahasa, it means Auntie), because we have a lady who helps us with house works, and we call her Bibi J
BUTTERFLY, he says it PU PU, because in Bahasa, we call it Kupu-kupu.
BIRD, he calls it BUH, because in Bahasa, we call it Burung.
DOG. We have a Golden Retriever at home, named Kenny. Darren would call her NI’, and call every other dog with NI’ J
CAT, he says MEOW.
ANT, he says MU’, in Bahasa it’s Semut.
BEETLE (well a kind of it that often times be in a cartoon films or books, one with a black and red, round back), he would call it PI’ (as in Kepik).
TURTLE. Because in Bahasa we call it Kura-kura, we name Darren’s stuffed turtle YAYA, and now he uses this for turtle. Not long before, he would say UWE UWE in exchange for Kura-kura, I dunno how… But not anymore.
RABBIT, he would call it CIIIII (with a long “eeee”, because in Bahasa it’s called Kelinci).
SQUIRREL, he calls it PAI because in Bahasa it’s Tupai. But he rarely answers when we show him a picture of a squirrel.
GIRAFFE, he would call it PAH, as in Jerapah in Bahasa.
ELEPHANT, he calls it JAH, as in Gajah in Bahasa.
MONKEY, he sometimes calls it NYE, as in Monyet in Bahasa, but mostly he mimics the gesture and sound of a monkey, scratching his chest with one hand and rubbing his hair with another, saying “Ngu..ngu..” J
WOLF. We have only one picture of a wolf, and whenever he looks at this one picture, Darren always howl, AAAUUUUUUU. I’m not quite sure he would recognize a wolf in another picture.

I can’t remember any other for the time being.
But it’s been a long, boring list for you already, hehehe…
Thanks for reading until the end and having the curiosity or persistence to do so ^___^


  1. It's a FUN list, 'coz I know bahasa Indo HI HI HI HI HI HI...SO FUNNY to try imagining Darren say those words ho ho ho...:-D

  2. Hihihihi...kebayang bodornya si Darren lebih banyak mimicking suara gitu ya??? hehehe...gua suru si Itsy ikutin jurnal lo ah, lumayan kali buat persiapan mental! :P


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