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Please Help Translate a 2-1/2 Year Old's Chinese


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I have been asked to help translate a 2-1/2 year old adopted girl's Chinese. On one occasion, after eating chicken gumbo soup, she very adamantly said several times either "ah-ge" or "gah-ge." Since then, she had repeated this phrase often.

I don't know this child's home province.

Some possibilities that I have dug up:

尜尜 gágá: a Child's toy, big in the middle, small at ends. (Can't find any pictures on-line.) Something she had at the orphanage?

嗄嗄 gāgā: quack. Perhaps she is mixing up the sounds of a chicken with that of a duck?

假个 gaa3 ge: Cantonese for "fake." Low quality ingredients being used in the soup?

Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

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As a teacher of the deaf I can tell you that after age two, normally hearing children will be past the "babbling" stage that is universal to all cultures, but will have a very limited vocabulary that will usually be intelligible to most family members and caregivers. Very often those first words will be names of family members and caregivers and common everyday items like a favorite food so she could be saying the name of a close person from the orphanage or a name of something she likes to eat.

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