BRUSH UP ON YOUR MANDARIN
If you’re stumbling over basic conversations, or worse, struggling with your kids’ Chinese tests, Vivien Lai, then director of Little Mandarins Language Centre, tells you how you can get comfortable with the language again.
Find the right motivation. It could be an upcoming holiday to China, wanting to improve your child’s Chinese grades or just to keep up with your favourite Taiwanese dramas.
Don’t feel shy. Use it as much as possible in daily life – with your kids, neighbours, colleagues, friends, taxi drivers and hawkers. Work on your vocabulary and diction.
Keep your standards high. A Mandarin equivalent of Singlish is prevalent on the streets and in television shows, so be aware of what you’re listening to. Watch programmes from China Central Television (CCTV), listen to Chinese songs, or go online to hear the correct pronunciation of words you’re unsure of.