Sunday, April 18, 2010

Think the UN is Hiring?

Dear United Nations,

I realize that I neither hold a degree in linguistics, nor am I fluent in any other language than my native English. However, I believe that real-life experience should not be underestimated, and that I possess the necessary skills and constitution to join your team of translators. What, may you ask, is the impetus for my inquiry into open positions? Well, sir or madam, the inspiration struck yesterday when I was at the park with my toddler. You see, facilitating a play date is a lot like being responsible for conveying the messages of important heads of state. The same sort of language barriers that are seen from country to country are also evident from age group to age group. Though they were speaking the same dialect only a few years prior, children in the 7 to 10 year old age range simply do not understand the language of toddlers. That's where I come in. With my playground interventions, I bring people together. I clear up misunderstandings. I prevent attacks. I spread goodwill. How much more qualified could one person who doesn't speak any language other than English be?

To strengthen my appeal, I submit for your review a few excerpts from my Toddler Translator. It began as an Ethan to English dictionary, but it's proven so helpful that I've decided to release it worldwide. Some of my favorite entries are listed below:

bup
Etymology: from English "help"
1 : to request assistance or support ("Bup, peas." - See entry "peas" for further translation.)
Etymology: from English "up"
2 : to request to be lifted or carried ("Bup, peas." - Very similar to above definition, and therefore quite confusing.)

maho
Etymology: from English "follow"
1 : to request that a person drops what he or she is doing and accompany the toddler to wherever he wants to go ("Maho me!") This is usually paired with an outstretched hand that the toddler expects the requestee to take.
*See, I'm even skilled at nonverbal communication! Hire me!!!*

nana
Etymology: from English "food" or "snack," derived from first learning how to request a favorite fruit, then extending said request to cover all foods
1 : to indicate that one is hungry, or at least that one wants to eat ("Nana?")

nanana
Etymology: from English "banana"
1 : a specific snack request of a sweet and soft yellow fruit ("Nanana? Nanana!")
*Note how the request with a question inflection quickly turns to a shouted demand. It's best not to delay provision of a banana, unless you want to see what the combination of a hungry AND angry toddler looks like. It's not pretty.*

peas
Etymology: from English "please"
1 : a term of politeness that increases the likelihood of request being fulfilled ("Bup, peas." - See entry "bup" for further translation.)
*Clarification - "peas" never actually refers to the vegetable, as my child refuses to eat fresh veggies.*

While still in development, my patent- and copyright-pending Toddler Translator will in its finished form be quite extensive. I hold complete confidence in its destiny to be the "it" reference book for parents to be (after "What to Expect When You're Expecting," of course). I thank you for your time and consideration, as well as your out of the box thinking when looking to hire your next translator. I look forward to speaking with you further about how I could be an invaluable asset to the United Nations translation team.

Respectfully,

Sarah Notch, Ph.T. (Psychologist of Toddlers)

PS - I also posses skills in the area of behavior management. May I suggest assigning a time out to leaders who break UN agreements? Just a thought.

5 comments:

alicia said...

This is too cute. (Although I think you are probably overly qualified.) I nominated you for an award over at my blog today. You are one of my favorite recent finds.

Daniel Dragomirescu said...

An Interesting blog.
Daniel D. Peaceman, writer and editor of CHMagazine

Natacha said...

Great post... never thought that we could be linguists with what we understand through our kids language... cool idea! ;)

Kristy said...

Very good! My boy has some interesting ones too. "Bo bo" is tractor (I know, what the?!), "Hup" is help, "baby" is fish.

*Katie* said...

They would be CRAZY not to pay you MORE than six figures for this!