Thursday, June 4, 2009

Babies, Part 1

baby collage In English we say, "throw out the baby with the bath water." It means we tend to get rid of also the good elements when solving a problem as a result of wanting to start with a clean slate.  The French have a very close equivalent. It's almost a literal translation of the English:  "jeter le bébé avec l'eau du bain." 

Some say it in reverse:  "jeter l'eau du bain avec le bébé."  It may take more research in French language discussion forums to find out which one is correct, but many French speakers agree that this expression is adopted from the English.  If that's the case, then the literal translation should hold.

I won't comment on whether or not we have the tendency to carry change too far.  Behaviorists and human resource specialists say that change is good.  Sometimes, people take that seriously and overdo it.

But bringing a baby into this world - now that's a wonderful change for most of us.  Even those who shunned parenthood for a long time experience a melt down when they first cradle that fragile infant.  innocence

I've collected a hodge- podge of words that relate to babies and I'll run this theme in three parts like I always do.  I hope you can add them to your French-English lexicon.

Note that's there's no logic to my choice of baby-related words - let's just go with the flow of the bath water shall we?



allaitement maternel breastfeeding
lait maternel mother's milk
colostrum colostrum (1)
lait de transition transitional milk (2)
bébé coliques colicky baby (3)

(1)  colostrum - a fluid high in nutrients which a woman produces naturally at the end of her pregnancy and during the early postpartum stage.

(2) transitional milk - this milk is produced by the mother in the first two weeks following the birth of her child.

(3) colicky baby - a baby with intense needs; these needs are expressed through frequent crying, demanding and fussy behavior, and nervousness when being fed.


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