LANGUAGE BARRIERS

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t know what people are talking about. I know what you’re thinking though, and you can go ahead and laugh, but it’s not because I’m stupid. 

“Nobody said you were stupid. Language can sometimes be difficult to understand, even for us humans. Not to mention, you live in America, which means you speak English, and English is the hardest language to learn.”-Editor/Mom

I agree. I’ve been doing a little research, and the Oxford English Dictionary says there are 171,476 words, and that doesn’t even count old words nobody uses anymore, or slang words, or contractions, whatever they are. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says there are 1 Million words! 1 Million? Do you people really need that many?? I also learned that the average dog only knows 165. How’re we supposed to keep up? 

 “Actually, it’s believed some dogs can learn up to 1,000 words. I think what also makes it even harder for dogs in breaking the language barrier, is that us people use whole sentences to get our points across, and you dogs communicate using single words at a time.”-Editor/Mom

You’re right! I mean I can pick words out of a sentence, but half the time it’s all gibberish. For example, you might say: “I’m gonna go out and start the car so we can take a ride to the beach.” All I hear is: “Bla blah bla OUT bla blah bla bla bla bla bla blah bla RIDE bla bla BEACH!” I get the gist. You really only needed to say 3 words. I don’t know why you gotta make everything so difficult. 

“Maybe we don’t want you to know everything we’re saying, unless we’re actually talking “to” you.”-Editor/Mom

Okay, that’s fine, but what I’ve had a hard time with is why Waya doesn’t listen when I tell her stuff. Like “NO” when she’s biting my ears. Everybody knows NO, it’s the first word we learn. I thought she was just being fresh and ignoring me. Then I realized that Mom and Auntie don’t use the word NO with her. They say NAY. What the Heck is that all about? Is NAY even a word?? 

“Actually, I think it’s one of those slang words you mentioned before, or maybe just one that nobody uses anymore. Doesn’t matter which, the reason we’re using different words with Waya than you is because she’s going to have a different job around here than you do, and we might want you to do different things at the same time.”-Editor/Mom

So, what difference does that make? A command is a command, isn’t it?

“It is, but if the commands are the same for both of you, what happens if we want you to “Sit”, and Waya hears it and sits when we might be wanting her to do something else? That’s why Auntie chose to have her learn some different commands than yours.”-Editor/Mom

“She didn’t want to just use random English words, so she thought the French words they use to train dogs would be perfect. That’s why we say “Sit” for you, and “Assis” (ah-si) for her. “Down” for you, and “Coucher” (coo-shay) for her. We don’t want the two of you to be confused about who’s supposed to be doing what, although I think Auntie sometimes gets confused herself.”-Editor/Mom

French? What’s French?? 

“French is a whole different language. And if you ask Aleksa, she’ll tell you that there are 6,500 different languages. Think about it David, if there are 171,476 words in every language, that would be, ummmm, 1,114,594,000 words to choose from.”-Editor/Mom

What? My head hurts. And who’s Aleksa? Can I ask her stuff, too??

“Well, you can try, but we speak the same language, and she never understands me.”-Editor/Mom

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