Monday, September 17, 2012

Learning Mandarin

Bānmǎ hé xióngmāo ( the zebra and the panda)
So, NZ and I haven't started taking Chinese lessons, but we have learned a few key words, and we use them often. Too often. My ayi laughs at me, because the only words I say with certainty are nihao,  xie xie and Míngtiān. That's "hello", " Thank you" and "tomorrow". She in turn, knows "hi", "I go" and " shank you". She's taught me a few other words, like Píngguǒ (apple) and Lěng ( cold--she's always telling me that Sal is cold), but I often get self concious about my pronunciation, so I mangle it and probably say something totally offensive instead of what I meant.

Maybe that's why she laughs at me so much?

A few of my friends here who have taken lessons, suggested buying kids books and school charts with common items pictured and written in English, Pinyin and characters. I found a stack at Tesco this week, and for less than a dollar a book, Sal and I are reading Mandarin, yo!

Well, actually, I enter the English word into google translate, then listen to the pronunciation, and theeeeen I repeat it to Sal. When Liu reads to him, I try to listen, but she's so dang fast, and anybody who's read to an 8 month old knows, it's more about the taste of the book's cardboard pages than the pictures.

Sooner or later I will have the vocabulary of a three-year-old. I will know my numbers, my directions, fruits, vegetables and random zoo animals.

You know, in case we see a zebra at the zoo or something.

1 comment:

  1. that will be great! Your mah will be proud of you!!!! HOw do you say good bye?