Yesterday my son and I sat on the couch talking about our trip to Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania. At four years old, he’s quite creative. With a little help from his dad, who organized his thoughts, my son told this enchanting tale:
The Monster Family lives in our home. The father is named "Mike," and the mother is named "Voogoo." They have five monster children. The oldest is a boy named "Vadubogadah," followed by his brother "Bo." The middle child is a girl named "Logo." She has two younger sisters, "Tigadoo" and "Bee." Once "Bee" ate a stinky sock, but usually she eats bath tubs and drinks balloons. Some of the monsters eat these things, but others eat cars and drink the ceiling. But they don’t eat the brown cars. They don’t eat people, either, so there’s no need to be afraid of them under the bed.
I often enjoy sitting with my son and talking to him about whatever is on his mind. He has a very big imagination, especially when it comes to making up new languages. I like to say that he’s fluent in Gibberish. It seems so easy for him to make up new words or derivatives of English words that form the basis of whatever language he’s developing at the moment. For example, last night he renamed the days of the week to "Mungu, Tugu, Wugo, Thugo, Fugo, Sago, and Sugu." He seems to like to say "gu" or "gee," and often the words he makes up begin with the initial syllables of the English word and end in "gu" or "gee." For example, I am "dagee," (sounds a bit too much like "doggy," I think), and his mother is "magee." Occasionally, he uses Chinese. His name is "baogee," with "bao" referring to the Chinese word for baby.
It’s a fun sport, I suppose, although he speaks Gibberish at times when we’d like him to speak English or Chinese, such as when he meets someone for the first time. I think that the fact that his parents enjoy foreign languages and that no less than bits and pieces of four languages–English, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish–have been thrown about in his four years of life has influenced his propensity to embrace Gibberish. Or maybe it’s genetic. After all, his dear old dad started inventing imaginary languages when he was about nine years old. Regardless, I consider it a gift rather than a nuisance, because after all, all human languages evolved through the need to communicate between two or more people. It only takes two speakers to form a new language. Maybe our son will be the inventor of the next great language–an Esperanto, Elven, or Klingon in waiting.