Friday, April 15, 2016

Studying Mandarin - 普通话

Studying Mandarin 

Little M loves that little red balloon

I wish with all my heart that I could update you on something exciting in relation to the adoption....however, if you remember just three weeks ago our dossier was Logged into the China system with the CCCWA.   Translation of the Dossier takes about 4 as we are so very impatiently waiting I have been spending many hours a day studying Mandarin.  I started studying Mandarin 1 hour a day in January, but the last few weeks I have been studying 1 1/2 hours a day minimum and then spending time listening to music and watching t.v. shows in Mandarin as well.

Dave´s new favorite movie is Tangled in Mandarin!!  

I think Kenzi and Cam are getting really tired of watching that movie as a family ;-)
However, Kenzi LOVES saying: 

Nǐ shāngle wǒ de mēn shāo

Essentially this means (You broke my smoulder)  Of course this has no real practical meaning in Mandarin but Kenzi finds it quite amusing.

The kids also walk around the house singing:  
Wǒ yǒu gè mèng
I have a dream

In the beginning when I was using the Hello Chinese app, which I highly recommend as a great starting point before spending large sums of money on other programs, I thought, this isn´t too bad.   Well, ha ha ha, jokes on me :-)  It gets MUCH harder!!   

Sentence structure is VERY different in Mandarin and although I have a vocabulary of about 500 words or more I still struggle to put it together into coherent sentences.  I do have a Mandarin teacher that I study with twice a week.  She lives in Shanghai.  The lessons are done via skype and we have lessons at 5pm my time and it is 7 am in the morning for her.  It is extremely helpful to have a native speaker to learn from.  

For example:

We are going swimming this morning.....Becomes: 

Wǒmen dǎsuàn jīntiān shàngwǔ yóuyǒng
    We     intend   today morning  swimming

As you can see, creating a proper sentence in Mandarin is very different and for that reason I am struggling a bit. 

Luckily I can easily say.....are you hungry, are you cold, are you thirsty, I love you and the most important of all.....Where is the bathroom?

Wèishēngjiān zài nǎlǐ

Oh, and of course I cannot forget another critical word.....Bread


I am somewhat of a bread connoisseur......I LOVE bread!!  I know it isn´t a staple item in China, as it is in the U.S., but I still wanted to learn the word for it.  The kids make fun of me for walking around saying it all the time.  

I will teach you a few words in Mandarin:

Nǐ hǎo - Hello

Nǐ hǎo ma - How are you?

Wǒ  - I or me

Jiā - Home / Family

Wǒ hěn è - I am hungry

Wǒ ài nǐ - I love you

Zàijiàn - Goodbye

We have sticky notes all over the house with the Mandarin word for the item written on it.  The kids haven´t taken to learning the language as much as we have.  I wish they would but I suppose in order to motivate a teenager there either needs to be massive amounts of junk food involved or a lion chasing them :-)  

Aside from any updates on the adoption front I hope you enjoyed this quick little update on our Mandarin study.  

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