Too much to do, far too little time! A sneak peek into our nearly 9 hour day on a Saturday…way too much overtime being done… let’s just call it organised chaos? ;P
So, the interactive and fun lesson style works well? 😉
Here are some lil’ bits and pieces collected together about the Chinese language. Feel free to contact us if we should add anything else interesting. This info and more is available on Wikipedia and other encyclopaedias 🙂
“Mandarin” is derived from the Portuguese word “mandarim”, which was used to refer to the Chinese bureaucratic officials….thus, the language of mandarins, or the mandarin language.
The “Standard” version of Chinese (what we usually refer to as Mandarin) is known as:
- Guóyǔ (國語, literally “national language”) in Taiwan.
- Huáyǔ (华语/華語, literally “Chinese language”) in Singapore, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.
- Hànyǔ (汉语/漢語, literally “Han tribe language”) in the United States and elsewhere in the Western world.
- Pǔtōnghuà (普通话/普通話, literally “common speech”) used in / by the People’s Republic of China.
- Be aware that there can be political reasons for the different naming conventions too.
Mandarin is only one variety of the Chinese languages. Supposedly, 30% of the People’s Republic of China’s population (or 400 million people) do not know how to speak Mandarin.
There are many other Chinese language varieties: Cantonese, Taiwanese, Hokkien, Hakka, Shanghainese, Teochew, to name just a few.
The People’s Republic of China has become increasingly prominent over the years – but don’t think it’s only about the PRC. Mandarin is used in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and other “non-Asian” countries with large Chinese communities like United States and Canada. Mandarin is just one of many Asian languages and learning one Asian language can open the doors to learning other Asian languages 🙂
Taiwanese Chinese and Cantonese Chinese is closer to the Ancient Chinese language than Mandarin. Mandarin has its roots from the North, which came about when Northern China invaded the Central areas, so a lot of the original Chinese population escaped southwards.
Historically, the Nanjing dialect was used as the basis for Standard Chinese/Mandarin. It was only in the early 1900s that it was decided from the top that Standard Chinese/Mandarin would be based around the Beijing dialect.
We usually reserve our song audio files for enrolled families only…but this one is a blooper 🙂 We were trying to put together something for Row Your Boat while having a bad case of giggles – and spent 10 minutes laughing before and after it. You just can’t see how hard we were trying to keep a straight face!
We learnt Row Your Boat last term, and are adding to it and learning the silly version in Term 3… “If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream! AAHHHHHH!”
The blooper is one example of our crazy little office – and yes, we work extremely hard too!!!!
A funny and insightful video about learning languages by Tim Doner. Tim is 17 years old and fluent in 10 languages 🙂 German, Arabic, Mandarin, Farsi,…
This is a recent example of a teaching centre advertisement from Singapore that my cousin just saw. Yes, they do exist, people do sign their children up to it, and it will meet needs of some parts of the population. At least this one finishes at 6pm – I’ve seen some places advertising things til 9pm or 10pm at night. Won’t be doing anything like this anytime soon at Ni Hao CC! 😉