Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What kind of person steals adoption books from the public library?

I went to the library yesterday afternoon in order to check out a book that has been recommended to me by both my agency and by a new group I have joined, here in my city, for parents who have adopted, or are trying to adopt, children from Asia. Mostly China, but, they do have a couple members who have adopted from Thailand and Vietnam.

Anyway, the book is called Toddler Adoption by Mary Hopkins-Best.

I checked on-line before I went over there, and the library computer system assured me that they had one copy, at one particular branch, and that it was "available."

Needless to say, it was not available, nor had it been checked out, ergo, the librarian, after looking with me on every shelf surrounding the shelf where it was supposed to be, concluded that it had "probably been stolen." Although he did comment that it was an unusual title to have been stolen - it is still in print, and the most common books that are stolen are those that are no longer in print but that are fetching high prices on ebay (for example, Vice President Cheney's wife's romance novel with a lesbian love scene in it - both library copies have been stolen.)

(No, I am not making that up. Go check ebay yourself if you don't believe me!)

Anyway, I was also hoping to get the Lonely Planet's Guide to Vietnamese phrases, which was checked out, along with the only Vietnamese language guide that the library has that was published after 1975.

So, I went home with a Fodor's Guide to Vietnam and a Vietnamese language book from 1969.


And this is coming from a person who speaks French and can hold her own in Japanese.

What I find mind boggling about Vietnamese, in my initial perusal of this book, which has obviously not been opened since that final helicopter left the top of the US Embassy in Saigon in 1975, is this:

The letters APPEAR to be roman letters, so, one would think that they would make recognizable sounds. But, um, they don't.

So, for example, a word that is written "ong" - is pronounced "om". Where on earth does "ng" make an "m" sound? The answer is, apparently, in Vietnam.

This is more confusing to me than an entirely separate alphabet, because I don't have any preconceived notions about a separate alphabet. You could tell me that the symbol for the artist formerly and now currently known as prince is pronounced "sh" in such and such alphabet and I would accept that without question.

But tell me that "ng" is pronounced "m"???

This is going to be a long hard road, I tell you...

Anyway, I ordered the Toddler Adoption book and another book about adopting toddler from yesterday, and I am hoping they arrive by Friday or Saturday, so that I can speak about them with reasonable intelligence when our agency calls to talk to us on Monday.

Well, I have to go foreclose on some houses this morning (I am EVERYONE'S favorite lawyer) - so, that's all for now.

Law Mommy


Blogger Robinson 4 said...

I loved that book! It's definitely worth the trouble to find it!

Also, I don't know what other book you're reading but "ong" is pronounced "owwng"... It's funny the contridictory things you'll find in books. We actually just got a cheap tutor when we chose to adopt from's helped. Kindda...The real test will be at travel time. :-)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:45:00 PM  

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