BRUSH UP ON YOUR MAN­DARIN

Simply Her (Singapore) - - SimplyHer is 10! -

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.

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