I speak mandarin to my parents, English with my siblings and with TH mainly in English, mandarin or dialects when we are saying things that the children shouldn’t know or German)
He speaks hokkien(chinese dialect) with his family. I don’t even know how to speak that. So we shall just stay with 3 main languages for now.
We have been super not disciplined with the languages. So Big J speaks only English at home, German in school. And since Dec 2018, he goes for an hour mandarin class per week. He knows some words here and there but I’m not able to teach him. Thus, I’m paying someone to teach so that we can pick up from there.
The Chinese teacher (from China) asked how come we don’t speak Mandarin at home because TH is also a chinese (Malaysian chinese)?
I think it’s because not all Malaysian speaks mandarin. And probably because when I know TH, we started speaking in English first.
How to explain to a chinese then?
Big J attends mandarin class with a fellow kindergarten friend, A (American- German), She is 6. Who has no chinese background. So it’s perfect. Coz Big J has none too. If he goes to those Chinese school. It will be stressful for him. As he would be expected to know mandarin then.
Chinese teacher asked what do I expect? I just want him to know the language. He doesn’t need to write poetry. If he likes it, we can go to Munich for the more intensive class I said. But for now. I don’t want to force or stress him.
And that’s how we started learning mandarin.
This is what he knows so far. The first week was terrible. It is hard for him to relate. He learns mandarin in german. So imagine how his brain works and how it matches the language together.
After the first 2 weeks, everything was easier.
After each class, the teacher will send us a YouTube link where we sing and revise at home.
First was 两只老虎 （two tigers song) then body parts, family members, numbers, big and small and now colors.
Merely 4 weeks of class.
He enjoys it so far. And let’s see how it goes.
He has an English accent when he speak mandarin, he also has an English accent when he speaks german (said his school teacher) and he speaks Singaporean English. How Strange is that. 😬