A few weeks back someone had come home and V was introducing them to his friend-Palli (Lizard). It is in his habit to say, "Bye palli...Neeyum kadaiku variya" (Will you also come with me) etc, whenever he spots one in the car park or anywhere else.
The guest said to V, "Veliya vara sollu" (thinking he was talking about the Palli)
And V said, "Veli...va, seekaram va" (Veli, come soon)
It was confusing and then it dawned on us...
Veliya vara sollu means asking someone to come out. But to a child who is going through the process of learning, veliya could be interpreted as Veli-ya, referring to someone named 'Veli'!
I don't blame his age. It happens to adults all the time.
When I was working in Hyderabad (did not know and was not willing to learn the local language and somehow managed in Hindi), a colleague came to me and said something in Telugu. I told him that I do not speak Telugu. He repeated in Telugu and I said the same thing and he said the same thing in the same language and I was left looking for a translator. Some hours later I realized that I had said, "I do not SPEAK Telugu and not I DON"T KNOW Telugu'. Since I did n't speak the language the fellow assumed I'd anyway understand what he said!!
A few days back we were shopping at a mall, when some a twenty-something girl asked a shop executive, "Excuse me..where can I find Coolers?" and indicated her eyes. The shop is a multi-floored retail giant selling anthing from grocery to crockery and textile to electronics. The executive replied, "Do you want to drink or purchase? If you want to purchase go to the fourth floor". The girl nodded and left the place with a puzzled expression. You can blame neither of them. Electronics and other things including Water Coolers (Dispensers) are displayed on the fourth floor of the store.