I’m loosely following the theme of “the A to Z’s of family travel” for this challenge. I was kind of stuck on what to write about for C, though. So, I turned to my husband and asked him. His response? Count your children before you get off the train.
We only have two children. Two children that I’m leaving him with while I head off to London for a mom’s getaway next week.
But, he does have a point.
No – counting children is not an A-Z of family travel, but learning to count in the language of the place you visit is.
This is a basic thing that kids can learn at a very young age. Something they’ll be able to use at almost every shop and site they visit. Something that will give them more of a connection to the place. Something they’ll likely remember when they get back home.
Counting in a foreign language: More than words
And counting goes far past actually saying the numbers.
In the US we show our number signs by starting with the index finger for one, add the middle finger for two, etc.
In Europe we show numbers by starting with the thumb for one and moving down the line. (Remember that scene in Inglorius Basterds when the guy, pretending to be German in a flawless accent, gets called out because he uses the wrong gesture to signify two beers? This stuff is important.)
In China, finger counting is the same as the US from 1-5, but then switches dramatically. Here’s a photo to show the basic method. There are some differences depending on where in China you happen to be, so do your research before committing to this example:
This makes me wonder, what methods to other countries use when they want to count to 10.
My husband also wanted to point out the importance of counting your luggage before you leave a train.
Now head on over to Have Blog Will Travel. They’re also participating in the A to Z Challenge, focusing on BC, Canada. (What method of finger counting do Canadians use?)