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Friday, May 14, 2010

Learning Chinese

Hubby and I plan to send Elyssa to a chinese school next time. But both of us can't even read or write Mandarin!

I was worried that we can't guide Elyssa with her chinese homework when she goes to school. So at the end of last year, when I thought about my 2010 New Years Resolution, I decided that I wanted to learn how to read and write basic Mandarin.

I found an adult chinese learning class near my area. I went there to find out more but was told they didn't have enough students to start a class yet. Anyway, I ventured into Popular Bookstore one day and then thought, hmmm...... mebbe I can just do this myself !!! I can speak basic mandarin so it's not like I'm starting totally from scratch.

So for the past few months, I got myself busy with all these -

My reading materials (yup, pre-school books !!!)

My Homework
(for chinese characters, it's all about repetition, repetition! I think I've finished about 10 exercise books)

My well-used dictionary.
A very good investment @ only RM19.90! I really like this as it shows stroke sequence and the words are big enough for a beginner like me.

My daily homework (about 10-20 mins)
Start with the pre-school story book. For new characters -
(i) check meaning in dictionary
(ii) if not sure about pronunciation, go to this website to find out.
(iii) learn stroke sequence from dictionary
(iv) write out character over and over again in exercise book.
(v) add character to my "list of new words learnt". (another exercise book)

My personal target was 5 new characters a day with a minimum of 2 characters if I was busy.
Ha hahhh........ with a minimum set like that, yup, my daily norm is .......... TWO characters a day ;)

I know I'm inching forward like a snail with just 2 characters a day when there are tens and thousands of chinese characters out there, but at least I'm making an effort eh?

Surprisingly, I actually enjoy this daily routine. It is satisfying when I come across more and more words that I recognise. And after a stressful day dealing with all sorts of people and expectations at work, it is somehow therapeutic to just write and write the characters in my exercise book.

So I started all these for Elyssa, but somehow along the way, it feels as it's for ME as well :)


LittleLamb said...

wow...u r truly hardworking. Its not easy to learn up a new language.. I remembered my company sent me for Jap language training...after the class over, my learning also ended..sigh..

To succeed really need to guide her n coach her. Also have friends who speak the language. Can refer to my post long time ago on this or MG's blog.

Mommy to Chumsy said...

wow, you are really very hardworking. you are such a good mama. i am sure Elyssa will learn to speak mandarin before she starts pre-school. i am also learning some words now from ashley's books :D

the little prince said...

WOw!!! Salute u Mummy!!

Is not easy to pick up new language!!

My suggestion to u : can try to find one Chinese nursery song from this publisher -> 童悦坊,it comes with a book + CD, play the song to Elyssa, you do not need to teach her, she will pick up by herself!!

Unknown said...

Wow, hats off to you! My hubs and I are bananas too, and we're jst too busy or lazy to learn chinese ourselves. So I found a chinese tutor to come to our hse to teach Vic... hehe! Kudos to you! Next time you can teach me? ; )

Kristie said...

Adrine, I really respect ur committment and determination! :)

I hated the times when I had to go through mandarin classes for pri and sec, but now I thank my mum :)

Alice Law said...

I tell you what, you are really a role model for all the mommies on earth!! I salute the efforts and advocation you have put for your child, you are such a wonderful mom!

Thank for dropping by My Little Sprouts, please have a nice day!
p/s: Mind if I added you into my blogroll?... no answer, I'll take it a 'yes'!LOL!

Mummy Gwen said...

Wow...I salute your determination and hardwork in learning Mandarin. I can't even speak basic Mandarin..maybe a little. I'm going to get that dictionary too. :)

I'm gonna try your website too. Kristie's website is very useful. :)

Shenny's mommy said...

Really salute your spirit in learning chinese. If you are Astro subscriber, can subscribe "Xiao Tai Yang" channel too. It is a very good channel for you to pick up Chinese too.

cre8tone said...

Wow! Can write very well ler...

Priscilla said...

Oh wow! Kudos to you! I'm also not chinese educated and speak rojak mandarin.
I chickened out and sent the kids to english schools.. i do wish they knew mandarin, as it is our heritage and also China is becoming more prominent, so it would help with their careers in the future!
hubby is also not chinese educated, so it would be hard to help the kids with homework! I'm also not as disciplined as you to learn on my own!
Keep up the good work!

Adrine said...

Tq, Tq for the encouraging comments!! I have cursed dozens of times - "why can't they use alphabets like English/BM??? life would be so much simpler!!"

But I will not give up :)

2ma said...

i really SALUTE you!!! for the sake of elyssa, you self-study chinese!!! keng ah!!!

Inspired Momx1 said...

Hi, 1st time here from Shireen's blog. Me too, my Chinese "half pail full water" but with the help of the talking English-Chinese Dictionary online,, I manage to coach my son (well, struggle a bit sometimes) who is in std 1 this year.;) You are truly a strong-willed and hardworking mom!

Chinneeq said...

u are really hardworkiing. even for qiqi, i hardly teaches her (except to play!)

Chandrika Fern said...

Hi! I just came across this blog of yours... Well, 1st of all, like everyone else... I SALUTE you in doing your homework in learning Chinese daily.

Just sharing this, hope you don't mind... I'm English-ed... Can speak & read basic Chinese... Hubby & everybody else (except me) want my girls to be enrolled in a Chinese school...

So, for a start... kindy for my girls is STRICTLY ENGLISH BASED... this I think is good for them to have a good English base first... or else their "r", "l" and other pronounciations in English will be all out once they start their formal schooling in a Chinese school. At home too, I speak to my girls in English. And watching cartoons, Astro Channels, never never changed it to Mandarin.

Yes, no doubt, Mandarin is important in today's world, with China coming up and so forth... but to me, it (Mandarin) can never take English's place!

I'm definitely not worried that they can't speak Mandarin much when they start Std. 1 'coz kids DO pick up languages faster than adults... bet that they will be speaking fluent Mandarin when they start formal schooling and while playing with their school friends!

Meanwhile... happy learning... btw... I'll be using online dictionary to help me guide my girl in the future... and yes, I've got a Chinese-ed hubby & in-laws!