At 30mo, Asher understands English and Mandarin language. I am quite sure he understands mandarin because I start speaking mandarin to him, about 60% of the time today and he replies me in English. Mandarin? Yes, only when I ask him to do so and he says after me. I’m actually quite glad that he does try to speak a little. I was sharing my worries at a closed group over FB this morning and now, before turning in, I am blogging about his progress for today. The mommies are right, it is the environment and I have to be persistent.
To decide who speak what language to him is important. I reemphasize to our helper to speak only bahasa to Asher since her English is not good. “who make spoilt?” is a big no no ! I told popo to speak only Hainanese and Mandarin to him as he is picking up some broken English too. Not much, just some sentences, anyway, not that he can speak fluently so we can still correct him. As for me, I don’t have strong English background so I decided to speak Mandarin to Asher but during our learning together session, I will stick to English. Okay, no rojak? I will try.
Daddy and the rest speak English to Asher as they speak proper English. Actually Ben and I can speak Mandarin pretty well, both of us took Higher Chinese with and passed with good grades ( he got A for A’ level and I got B3 for O’ level). We can read Traditional(complex) Chinese, Simplified Chinese and I can read and translate Literary Chinese (文言文). Daddy and I also know Zhuyin (注音, bopomofo) but daddy is better in Hanyu pinyin ( 汉语拼音), no, correction – daddy is very good in HYPY, zero mistake.
Occasionally, daddy will speak mandarin to him. No rojak, there is no mixture of English and Mandarin in his sentences, sometimes I don’t know how he did it! Okay, strong background perhaps. My MIL is very good at Chinese and she always write articles to the Newspaper, she can write poems too. She used to keep a blog and she posted her poems online. My ILs sent all children to Private Chinese School and they learn their maths, science in Chinese. Yes, till now daddy still remember all the terms ! In order for daddy to enter NUS, he attended some extreme program to convert all the terms from Chinese to English, that explained why he is very strong at both languages.
I wish, okay, let’s not stress Asher now. I just hope Asher can pick up more languages like us. Daddy and I can speak 7 languages and write 3 languages. I will try my very best to teach Asher and hope by 3.5yo, yes, 1 year later, we can communicate in proper mandarin. By then, I believe my ILs will be very happy too. 🙂