Ciao Time

Okay, we are on the Pottery Barn Kids mailing list.

Okay, I peruse the catalog now and then because, well, I think some of their stuff is nice looking.

I also like to check out what the “hot” kids names are these days. As defined by PBK, at least. I just want to know what names to avoid.

I also like to find interesting details in the catalog. If you got the most recent catalog, see if you can spot the page where they Photoshopped just one section of a shelving unit. You can tell because, while all other items in the unit look fine, one section contains a stack of books where the titles are all backwards (as if looking at them in a mirror).

They also have some interesting educational toys, such as the Triangle Puzzle, the Color Wheel, the Alphabet Puzzle, the Additional and Subtraction Puzzle. Oh, and my person favorite, Learn Language Circle Puzzle.

pbk puzzleThe circle puzzle has several “layers”, if you will, which represent words. There are also “slices”, which represent languages. There is a slice for English, for Spanish, for French, for Germany, and for Italian.

For example, the outer layer represents “Hello”. Easy in English. In Spanish, kids learn “Hola” for hello. “Bon jour”, of course, is French. Get to Italian, and you learn that hello is…

Now, I am not the Italian one in our family. My wife is Italian. Well, at least 1/2 Italian, but Italian halves tend to crowd out any other halves. But, I have learned a few things. Like a love for food, garlic, and wine. And, you tend to pick up some words along the way.

So, of course, “hello” in Italian on the Language Puzzle is… uh… “chow” ?? (click on the photo for a larger version)

Ok, like I said, I am not Italian. Maybe “chow” is an acceptable alternative to “ciao”. Better run it by Ms. Kaz. “Maybe they are spelling it so kids can pronounce it?” she counters. Well, that wouldn’t explain “Arrivederci” or “Per Favore”.

I even checked with some (okay, one) Italian at work. They also attempted to defend PBK.

The only defense I can figure is that the photo is Photoshopped, and the entry-level graphic artist just didn’t know how to spell it. I’ll have to get to a store to see how it is spelled on an actual puzzle.

Unless there’s someone out there than can tell me this is an acceptable spelling..?

Update: Finally, an explanation. Linda Phillips writes in the comments that, had I been more careful in my reading, I would have noticed that the reverse side of the puzzle pieces contain the words spelled phonetically. I just knew there was a good explanation, I just never thought it was my own carelessness!

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4 Responses to Ciao Time

  1. Darren says:

    I don’t think that w even exists in Italian spelling. And you’re absolutely right that Italian halves crowd out the other halves.

  2. To me, this smacks of yet another company that fails to spell check.

    Another big offender is new home sellers. Many advertise “Homes from the $400′s (or whatever dollar amount)” The problem is the apostrophe – it shouldn’t be there.

    Or folks who talk about decades write 70′s, 80′s, 90′s, etc. The apostrophe belongs before the first number, as in ’70s, ’80s, ’90s.

    And that’s my $.02. (wow, could I be more anal?)

    [Kaz: Uhm, ye's, ye's you could.]

  3. Linda Phillips says:

    Hey buddy,

    You need to read the copy a little more closely! I followed the link on your blog and it took me to the PBK website. Looks like the backside of each piece has the phonetic spelling of every word. They must have had the ciao piece flipped over when they took the picture. Details, my friend!

    [Kaz: Ahh, people who know me know I never read the details! Thanks for pointing that out. Now I can buy one of them for my daughter...]

  4. [...] a toy sold by Pottery Barn Kids, which teaches kids foreign words for hello, goodbye, please, etc. Apparently, “hello” in Italian is spelled “chow”. (Yeah, there’s an explanation if you read the post I linked to, but STILL! How [...]

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