…or the less fun title, “Fun with language learning!” There’s a lot of fun phrases in Tok Pisin, one of my favorites is “Mi lusim ting ting!” Literally it means “I lost thought” and is used to say “I forgot.”
About eating the kids — no we haven’t eaten any kids, ours or anyone else’s. In Tok Pisin though, “kaikai” is not only a noun for “food,” but is also a verb for “to eat.” Aute, our language helper, asked in class “What did you do this morning before coming to class?” Katie tried to say “I gave my kids food.” However, thanks to kaikai being both a verb and a noun, along with a few missing words, it came out “I ate my kid.” We got to tease Katie about that today, fully knowing that tomorrow it could be our turn to say something hilariously wrong.
So, lesson 1 in learning a language and culture: learn to laugh at yourself! It’ll come in handy and actually help you learn along the way.
Lesson 2: People here truly love that you’re trying to learn their language. Even trying to use their language shows humility to them. Not to mention the entertainment value of watching you try!