Sunday, November 21, 2010


Today, after Mass, Doah and I went to lunch. During lunch, Doah caught me up to date on what has gone on while I have been out of town and what plans he would like to make. I realized after the conversation that I really have a 19th language almost under control: Doahan, the language of Doah. Not everyone is proficient in Doahan. Complication matters, Doah is nearly alingual in English, Russian, Spanish, and sign language and therefore Doahan often include parts of other languages as well, making it more complex. So, Doah's communication in general tends to take effort on both sides (listener and speaker). The gist of our conversation today was as follows:

1. He wanted to mind me to do something.
2. His boss was tired while I was gone.
3. He had been being have, or so he considered.
4. He plans to help out at the mission on Turkey Day.
5. He would like to go to see his Uncle Honk on either Ho Ho Day or Count Down Day.
6. Because it has been raining, he needs to find his rainbrella.
7. Because it has been raining, they don't need any cold heat at his group home -- not that they use it very much, anyway.
8. The crazy doctor is too far away now.

And now here is the translation.

1. He wanted to REmind me to do something. (Minding does not come easy to him, so I know that he does not mean the word he chose.)

2. His boss REtired while I was gone.

3. He has been BEHAVING, or so he considered.

4. He plans to help out at the mission on Thanksgiving.

5. He would like to go see his Uncle Rollie (dunno where Honk comes from, but it took and everyone in the family calls Rollie that) on Christmas (Ho Ho = Santa Claus) or New Year's.

6. Because it has been raining, he wants to find his UMbrella.

7. Because it has been raining, they have not needed air conditioning at his group home -- not that they use it much, anyway.

8. The psychologist he sees is far away (now that he has moved = he needs to find a new psychologist.)

How did you do? We are thinking of writing a dictionary with Doah, called Cold Heat and Crazy Doctor. Today's conversation was about par: I understood about 40% before analyzing and questioning and over 90% after doing so. Doah is usually patient about these communication gaps, but sometimes that patience runs thin. We might have to start teaching a course for friends of the family (family members, too, it sometimes seems) in Doahan.

Nonetheless, hamburger's at our local JJ's Burgers is a universal language. So, Doah had a good day, and so did I.


  1. There are so many reasons for analyzing languages. Mom was afflicted with Lou Gehrig's. As she lost her ability to speak, so also the the ability to write left. A beautiful brain-damaged girl in our church retains her faculties, but can neither speak nor write. As with Doahan -- love fills the communication needs. Isn't that a miracle in itself?

  2. life doesn’t always give us the joys we want.
    we don’t always get our hopes and dreams, and we don’t always get our own way.
    but don’t give up hope, because you can make a difference one situation and one person at a

    time.look for the beauty around you—in nature, in others, in yourself—and believe in the

    love of friends, family, and humankind.Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

  3. Thanks, Grammy Blick and Linda, for your thoughtful comments. I hope you both had a great Thanksgiving.


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