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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Speaking Mandarin

**updated - 10 Aug 09** I wonder what's wrong with blogspot. I was pretty sure I've updated this post but somehow it didn't appear..

Amber's childminder speaks Mandarin to her and some other kids at the center speaks Mandarin too. Lousy me, can hardly speak and don't try talking to me in Mandarin. I might misunderstand your words.

I did attend Mandarin class at KL Plaza prior to having Amber. It was for the good intention of preparing myself and my 'future kid' for Mandarin school. However after Basic Elementary Class, the hype fizzled out. We didn't have enough students to proceed to the next level. There's only 5 of us (me, my friend- an insurance agent, a French guy working at KLCC, a former hairstylist turned Daum crystal lover - now running a Daum crystal shop and another 1 or 2 more, I can't remember). The teacher would only run the class if ALL of us could commit one evening per week but none of us could. So my Chinese-English dictionary is now buried deep somewhere in the store room.

Then I watched Singaporean series. Their Mandarin is much easier to understand than Taiwanese or Chinese programmes. I stayed up every night to watch Holland Village. I like the storyline too :) but.. but.. their Mandarin is spoken with a Singaporean 'slang' complete with 'lah', 'mah', 'meh' , 'liao' with some Hokkien words added ('limpeh')

Then, Amber came along. I resorted to learning my dialect 'Hinghwa'. Hubs speak to her in our mother tongue and I'd better learn fast, otherwise I'll not know what father and daughter talks about, right ?

She's been with the current childminder for 7months and I'm happy with her development. She learns manners and Mandarin. I've learnt a few words from her :

MIL assisting her to wash hands.
pu yau fei chau lah

Apatu fei chau ? Shame on me, I only learn that 'fei chau' is soap from my little girl.
When she eats something yummy .
Mmmm.. hen hao wei
Mmmm.. hen mei wei

I know 'hao wei' but 'mei wei' is a new word to me.
Now, she tells me :
Mama, ni jian hua yue lah.. Amber huay jiang mar..

Gosh, looks like I need not learn Mandarin to teach her but she'll teach me instead. :)