中文程度

May 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm

(You’ll probably be able to relate to this more if you know Chinese)

After more than 4 months in a Chinese school, how is Zara doing in her Chinese? I would say she’s doing well, but her Chinese is probably at the level of a 5year old native speaker. I’ll quote some examples later.

What language do they speak in school? She told me when she’s in her class, she and her friends speak in Mandarin; but once outside the class, they will start conversing in English. Her school has many English speaking kids, so this is good, as she still gets to speak English while improving her Chinese. However, the down side is, she started mixing 2 languages in her speech, unconciously.

She told the teacher, an Indian, from the maths centre, “Teacher, I got 一百分for my maths in school.” She repeated a few times and couldn’t comprehends why the teacher didn’t understand her, not knowing she said, 一百分 instead of one hundred.

So to make her concious of only speaking 1 language at a time, I implemented a system for her and her (carpool) friend, James, in the car. Each day, they are to speak only 1 language, either English or Chinese, fully, on our journey home. On an English day, should they or even myself accidentally use any Chinese words, we’ll have to pay a RM0.10 fine, and vice versa.

Initially, we collected a lot of fines, but after a while, I saw them making a concious effort to speak only 1 language. This helps to improve their Chinese proficiency too, because on Chinese day, they’ll try very hard to find the word they need to describe something.

Here are some “Chinese Day” conversation taken on our journey home.

Zara : 今天,有个男孩子…err.. muak muak 我的朋友Ohana. [Today, there’s a boy who muak muak my friend Ohana] (obviously she doesn’t know how to say kiss in Chinese)
Me : 今天, 有个男孩子吻我的朋友 [Today, there’s a boy who kissed my friend] (corrected her)
Zara : (repeated) 吻我的朋友 [Kissed my friend]
Me : Ohana是马来人吗?[Is Ohana a Malay?]
Zara : 不是, 她是中文. [No, she’s Chinese language] o.O” (She’s supposed to say 华人or中国人the words for Chinese people)

She was playing this hand game with James.
Zara : 公鸡, 母鸡, 小鸡, kay-poh-jee [rooster, hen, chick, kay poh jee]
Me : kay-poh-jee 不是中文来的,kay-poh-jee中文是八卦 [kay poh jee (nosy) is not Mandarin, kay poh jee in Mandarin is 八卦]
James : 啊我知道, Bak-gua [Oh, I know, Bak-gua (BBQ pork slices in Hokkien)] o.O”

I asked James if he likes Chocolate cake.
James : 我不喜欢, 因为那个蛋糕很….我不会讲那个字, 我可以讲英文吗? [I don’t like, because the cake is very …. I don’t know how to say the word, can I speak English?]
Me : OK
James : Very strong (concentrated)
Zara : 哦我知道那个字, “很有力”. [oh, I know the word, it’s very strong (in strength).] o.O” She doesn’t know how to say the word 浓 (the Chinese word for concentrated).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...