Thursday, September 03, 2009

When Swedish and English collide...

My bilingual daughter got a little stuffed dog the other day. She instantly loved it (as with all stuffed animals...) and decided on the spot that she would call her Pussis... Now this is when bilingualism gets tricky.... "Pussis" because she wanted to kiss it all the time - in Swedish "pussa". And when we all started to laugh a bit and couldn't really instantly explain why it wasn't such a good name, she broke into tears, thinking we were laughing at her...

Not wanting to introduce bad English words too early, but at the same time wanting her to change the name was a tricky thing... One of those challenging moments as a mother...

We really didn't want her to run over to the very religious neighbors and call (in English) - "Look I have a new dog - it's called Pussis"...

In the end we agreed to rename it Knatten which should be a safe name in both languages...

(If you don't get this post - grab an native English speaking person and I'm sure they'll explain it...).

10 comments:

Anna, Fair and True said...

On the other hand lots of people, well in England at least, call their cats Pussy, so it has a double meaning there too. And it's not only a bad word. But you're right, probably in America it is.

Ally said...

People in the UK can't believe that Americans or Swedes name their kids Fanny (which is definitely not a great word in British English).

Hope the neighbors approve of Knatten.

Anonymous said...

Miranda who isn't signed into Blogger at the moment!

I leave this blog for two minutes and come back to fanny's and pussy talk??? Bloomin Swedish! Rofl!

Annika said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Nej, försök avstyra det namnet...Fniss...
Kände en ggn en svenska här i US som hette Titti...
Jo, du kan ju tänka dig hur det lät när hon presenterade sig.

Saltistjejen said...

Hahahahahaaa!! Vet du vad?! Det är vad jag kallade Mats i Sverige. Och fortfarande gör ibland här också fast inte när ngn hör.... ;-) Men det roliga var att jag hade det namnet inlagt i min mobil och en av mina fd kollegor såg det när jag ringde på mobilen och undrade såklart väldeliga över vem denna Pussis var!!!!!!!! Efter det bytte jag till Alskling. Haha!
Men jag säger fortfarande Puss i telefonen när vi avslutar samtal m varandra.
Kramar!!

kbbryant said...

When we were growing up my sister and I always thought it was funny when my Swedish parents would talk about cookies or Meatballs in Swedish. Those two words were potty talk to our young ears. Still makes me laugh.

Kathy b

JaCal said...

Anna - haha - well, I guess I should have written "American"!

Ally - haha - so true - haven't thought about that one... We all approve of Knatten...

Miranda - yes - you better stay on top of it!

Annika - hihi - ja jösses - det är svårt med språk ibland...

Saltistjejen - haha - ja, det vore nått - att kalla maken för när andra hör...

Kathy - haha - that's so funny - haven't even thought about those... Told my Husband we have to watch out for those if the kids starts mixing up their Swedish and English! ;-)

Idun said...

In Holland you have names like Cock (female) and Fokker (surname), so Pussis sounds rather innocent to me. *lmao* Just imagine introducing yourself abroad if your name is... Cock Fokker. *dies*

Carlos said...

LOL!!!
hahahahahahaahahahahahahaha...
Por eso me gusta tu blog...
es tan divertido y entretenido
yo tambien tengo la misma situacion con mis hijos ellos mezclando...sueco-espanol e ingles...
Carlos...

JaCal said...

Idun - haha - yes, languages sure can collide... poor people being named Cock... Love - the male Swedish name, might cause some interesting problems in an English speaking country...

Carlos - yes... I think... ;-) Gosh - I need to take up my Spanish! Thanks for liking my blog and thinking its entraining and having the same situation as my wife with Swedish-Spanish and English?