Prentiss Riddle: Kids

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Uma the linguist

I may have failed in my effort to raise my daughters to be multilingual from toddlerhood, but six-year-old Uma is showing the makings of a language nerd anyway.

For Christmas she asked for a Spanish-English picture dictionary and on a recent trip to the UT library she said she wanted books on hieroglyphics. I found some from the youth section, including the fascinating How Djadja-Em-Ankh Saved the Day: A Tale from Ancient Egypt, printed on pages connected end-to-end like papyrus. But her favorites were the grown-up books, preferably the ones with as little English as possible. Then on the way out of the library she spotted a Japanese political science text (I think) without so much as a title page in English.

hieroglyphics excerpt Japanese excerpt

Back at home she set to work copying out hieroglyphics in pencil.

hieroglyphics excerpt

I need to get that girl a language tutor. Anybody know any Ancient Egyption speakers in Austin?

kids 2005.01.27 link