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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Practice with Children

If you are around with some children aged between 5 to 10 years old and their native language is Mandarin Chinese, you should practice your Manarin with them.

They are really good pals, and will never laugh at you if you make a mistake. They will be all heartedly trying to communicate with you! Real communications, and it's fun and you get to know more about Chinese people.

Once I was at a beach in Hainan , (there are many beautiful beaches there, by the way.) and saw a family of three, dad, mum and their about 7 or 8 years old daughter, sitting there. There was a white man walking on the beach, and was passing them. And this little girl saw him and she handed a sea shell to him and ask:" ni cong nali lai a?" This white man took the shell, but didn't answer the little girl for a very obvious reason: he didn't understand her at all! So this sweet little girl kept asking the same question several times until the white man murmured something back. Eventually they had a nice little conversation using two languages. The little girl's parents sitting there, also joined the conversation. But it didn't last long, and the white man's friend came and got him away.

Next time, be prepared. If there is a sweet little Chinese girl handing you a sea shell, talk to her and practice your Mandarin!