Marta has decided that Nico spoke her first word.
The word is Quack
(Cuac in Spanish).
You see we have a book with pictures of animals in it. When we read it we always say the animal’s name in Spanish and then make that animal’s sound. We also make the sound in Spanish, which has been a bit hard on me. You would think animals spoke a universal languages. Dogs all say bark. Cats all say meow.
Not true. English speaking dogs say bark. Spanish speaking dogs say guau, guau. English speaking roosters say cockadoodledoo and Spanish speaking ones say kikiriki (which is much more fun to say). Cats in both languages say meow, but Spanish cats spell meow “miau.”
Ducks also speak using the same word, but with slightly different spelling. And ever since we started reading Nico the animal book, she has really liked it when we get to the duck page. Sometimes she would imitate the sound after we said it. But this didn’t really seem like speaking to me.
Then the other day when we got out the animal book she looked at it and said, Quack! (or Cuac! if she was speaking Spanish and, really, who knows). I laughed but didn’t associate the sound with a word (see my previous blog on this subject).
I still am not sure I believe it’s a verifiable WORD, but Marta has made a convincing case. And she does have a doctorate in how people acquire languages (albeit second languages). When Nico sees the book she says Quack. Almost every time. Or if she wants the book she says Quack. Sometimes when she sees the duck she also says Quack.
This means Quack may in fact be her first word, but it’s also a synecdoche. The duck inside the book stands for the book itself. Quack means that animal book. Our daughter is so damn deep.
My only hope is that her next word can be the monkey’s sound, which goes something like this: WoowoowoowooEHHeHHHeHHH!