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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home Tuition in Chinese Mandarin.... by a Banana Mom

This is what gets said when I try to help my girl learn Chinese using our trusted Electronic Dictionary which also happens to be my birthday present ...... Usually I will ask my girl to highlight the words that she doesn't know than we'll go through them.

"Can you stop playing with the dictionary. Don't waste time!" ..... Mummy, let me find lah, I am faster than you...."

"Hmm... I can't find the meaning of this word. Nevermind we'll skip it. ..... But I want to know mummy...... Well, I can't find the meaning and I don't know it, so lets just move on, shall we?"

"Aiyoh! Why you highlight the whole line? You know these words already what. We don't have the time to check each and every word. Just highlight the words you don't know.......But I want to know the whole sentence... can or not mummy, can you write down the meaning of the whole sentence for me.....No need to be so detailed one lah.....as long as you understand roughly can already lah."

"Mummy, no lah, its not pronounced like that. Its...........Wuah, your Chinese pronounciation not bad already hoh. Much better than mummy's.....Beams proudly.....

"This word means......"indicate" in English......."What does "indicate" mean?" ..... Errr errrrr.... wait lah, I check the dictionary for you." (Replace the word "indicate" with any other difficult English words. It happens all the time to us. This is just an example.)

And then finally..........

"Hmm..... no more battery already. Wait hah, I charge the dictionary first."

You see lah? Cham or not, trying to teach your kid Chinese when you don't know Chinese yourself is really really tough. Sometimes the father comes in and asks us......

"Eh, how come you two studying like fighting like that one hah?"


  1. contentedmom,
    Sounds cute but sometimes I want to pull out my hair. Haha.

  2. this is called co-operation.. mother and daughter bonding... :)

  3. Hahaha, MG, I can understand. That's why my mom never taught me Chinese cos she doesn't know. You are trying your best and that's good enough.

  4. hahaha...MG! No comment..just keep smiling :)

  5. Teaching Chinese to children is the great way to boost their memory especially when you teach them the Chinese characters.

    To me (a Malay) learning mandarin is really difficult especially when you are totally new to the concept of tonal language and the fact that Chinese words are not formally (except pinyin) spelled but the Chinese writings are basically the collection of 'symbols' which you to remember around 2,000 characters before you can fully read the Chinese newspaper.
    You did the great job on this home tuition in Chinese.

    I myself don't know Mandarin (because it's very tough in pronounciation) but I know a bit some of the simple Chinese characters.

  6. reanaclaire,
    Yes, in a strange way, it actually is bonding time. Hahaha.

    I think I can still manage Std 1 and Std 2 but I think by the time she reaches Std 3, she'll have to teach me! lol.


    There are quite a number of non-Chinese students at my girl's school. I admire them for being so brave because I find it really hard even as a Chinese. I remember during the school orientation, a Malay man got up and asked several questions in perfect Mandarin. He got a good round of applause because about 80% of the parents there were Chinese who did not know Mandarin.

  7. hahaha....your hubby comment so cute!!!

    But the effort your are taking is SPLENDIDOUS !!!

  8. so cute. I was just telling hubby just now that I want to get an electronic dictionary. Will ask you more about it when the time comes.

  9. haha, that's what happened to me too. Really, really not easy when we don't know Chinese. You're doing great in coaching your gal. Keep it up!

  10. Kudos to a wonderful mom.....next time if you need assistance in mandarin,let me know,,,hahaha, i am kind of good in that language too... love to blog in mandarin but i started in English, so i stay with it lah,,,,,,,,,

    take care


  11. Ann,
    But its true... hehe.

    No problem. Ask away. :)

    Fussy Mum,
    lol. but the e-dict is great.

    Start another Mandarin blog then. After a while, you may find that one blog tak cukup. But I tell you first, I won't be one of your Mandarin blog followers. Hahaha. BTW, I can now read and understand the mandarin words you posted in your comment, thanks to learning together with my girl. :)

  12. i can just picture the whole scenario in my mind... so cute and lovely!

  13. zewt,
    However, at that moment, we felt anything but cute and lovely. lol.

  14. See.. last time no study Chinese.. now struggling.. Hahaha.

  15. zara's mama,
    Haha. Yah lor....you ar... laugh sumore.

  16. Hi Shireen,

    Rachel from LittleLamb sent me your link.

    May I ask how your daughter is coping in her school? Are there many children whose parents also cannot speak chinese. Me and hubby are total bananas too. =P


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