Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Learning Mandarin

Ni Hao, Kai Lan

I am a banana period.

Everyone is looking at the importance of learning the Chinese language.

Everyone is banking on China as a giant economy and thus we will lose out if we do not know Chinese.

Everyone is sending their kids to Chinese schools and enrichment classes to learn Chinese.

I don't like China (had culture shock a few years back...might change my mind in the future...). I don't like alot of Chinese culture but I am proud to be a Malaysian Chinese. Hahaha....

I can speak and understand Mandarin and Cantonese. Good enough to communicate or so I thought. When I went to China a couple of years ago, I felt totally handicapped! I cannot read Chinese characters and communicating with the Chinese was tough! But in Malaysia, I realised that the only reason I can 'so call' communicate in Chinese quite well was because I used a mixture of English, Bahasa and Chinese in all my sentences.... hehehe.. there.... a typical Malaysian.

So in order to make sure my son is not a banana like me and hubby, we are exposing him to the Chinese language gently. Gosh, he is picking up Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien all at the same time! Sometimes our conversation will go like this:

Reese: Reese 'kui peng' (Hokkien)...

Mummy: Oh.... what is 'kui peng' in Cantonese?

Reese: ?? eerrr...

Mummy: 'Che Fan'

Reese: 'Chee Fan'

At times I will repeat the same word in Bahasa, cantonese, mandarin.........get the idea? :)

Back to learning Mandarin....

A few weeks ago we stumble upon a cartoon named NI HOU KAI LAN on NTV 7, it's an American cartoon. The cartoon features an American Chinese girl named Kai Lan. It teaches Mandarin Chinese, Chinese culture and values and many more. The Cartoon also helps support social and emotional development of preschoolers through cause and effect problem solving. Another reason I like it is because it is targeted at children who don't know Chinese.

Reese loves this cartoon. I managed to download some episodes and he kept watching them repeatedly. He picked up so many Mandarin words and even can write 1-5 Chinese characters! (wrong stokes thou...). He even picked up the Beijing accent when he speaks those Mandarin words. Reese also learned to understand patience and what to do to calm down... really a great cartoon for young children.

So mummies... highly recommended cartoon for young kids to pick up Chinese in a fun way!


MeRy said...

I also same like you..a banana on chinese words.
I can only speak simple Mandarin which I learnt while studying in Singapore.
Now, I am learning how to write mandarin words together with my son.

A gift from God said...

MeRy, so hard working huh? I am a lazy mum...hehehe... so I will just let him learn the spoken language for now....