Mandarin is the official
language widely used in many Chinese countries. Cantonese is one of the
popular spoken Chinese languages. Traditional and Simplified Chinese are
two forms of written
Chinese. Traditional Chinese is generally used by people from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore,
regardless of what they speak (Mandarin or Cantonese).
Simplified Chinese is generally used by people from China, regardless of what they
speak (Mandarin or Cantonese).
Currently the most popular children's videos that
we have are:
Bilingual Big Lovely Dog. These are children's cartoons on
DVDs or VCDs which are bilingual. With the push of a button, the audio can
be switched from English to Mandarin Chinese, or vice versa. This is
the best and most efficient way for children to learn both languages.
Studies show young children, before school age,
can learn multiple languages easily as long as they are exposed to them
on a regular basis. For example, multiple languages can be used at
home, say English by one parent and Mandarin Chinese by another
parent. It is nature to hear young children switch from one
language to another without hesitation when interact with different
Children are drawn to music and stories, At
these ages, playing Chinese music or children songs for them will make
an great impression for life. I also play Chinese story CDs to my
daughter who enjoys the story so much and usually even tell the story
details to me after listening. See... it is not hard, kids pick up
language easily as long as they are exposed to it on a regular basis.
Some parents work during the day and worry about
not having enough time to interact with their young children to pass
down the Mandarin Chinese heritage. Don't worry. You may
play the story CDs while eating dinner and play the song/music CDs while
kids are taking baths or riding in the cars with you
School Age Children:
When children start to go to school, one language
may become the only language used in school. At that time some
additional supporting materials may be needed to help retain the fluency
of the language which is not used in school. In the United States,
bilingual (English/Mandarin Chinese) children would need some video, CDs
or books to help them retain good fluency level of Mandarin Chinese.
The first child in the family usually can retain
more Mandarin Chinese skills as apposed to the second, third or any
subsequent children. This is because the first kid usually has
more opportunity to use Mandarin Chinese at home after school while
interacting with Chinese parents, compared to any subsequent children
who most likely interact more with elder siblings after school and hence
have less opportunity to practice Mandarin Chinese at home. So
supporting materials are more important to help subsequent children to
learn Mandarin Chinese.
It is very crucial for children to
enjoy using supporting materials to learn Mandarin Chinese. With
today's fast development of new technology in the entertainment industry,
many electronic devices are competing for our children's attention.
At the same time the technology can also make learning a language
interesting. It seems materials with both audio and visual are the best
to capture children's attention.
There are some children's cartoons on
DVDs or VCDs which are bilingual. with the push of a button, the audio can
be switched from English to Mandarin Chinese, or vice versa. This so
far is the best and most efficient way for children to learn both
languages. It is amazing how much children can pick up while
watching these kind of bilingual cartons. You may find many
selections of bilingual children's movies or cartons at:
Chinese Children Videos.
These materials are great for kids from 3 ~9 years old.
As children grow older, say from 9~14 years old,
another type of materials become more effective. Usually age 9~14
kids may have out grown the cartoons movies. At this time
Chinese TV Dramas can help a lot for their age levels because the story's
pace is slow so that it is easier for children to follow and understand,
as opposed to watching some commercial Mandarin Chinese movies which
usually are fast pace and last only about an hour and half and finished.
Quite often children are not sure what just happened in commercial movies
and lose interest very quickly. Chinese TV Dramas however can serve
many Chinese children much better by having many disks about one single
Many of us may think watching
dramas is just what adults enjoy. To the contrary, my daughter
picked up a lot of Mandarin Chinese by watching Mandarin TV Dramas with me.
Usually, one movie usually lasts only 90 minutes for one story which
flashes by very quickly. Children may not get much out of it.
However, Chinese TV Dramas have many episodes about just one story,
proceeding with a slower pace which is exactly what is needed by
children who want to learn
Some great selections of Chinese TV
Dramas can be found at:
What is Pinyin?
Pinyin is a Romanization system used to learn how to
speak in Mandarin. It transcribes the sounds of Mandarin using the western
(Roman) alphabet. Pinyin is most commonly used in Mainland China for
teaching school children to speak and read. It is also widely used in
teaching materials designed for Westerners who wish to learn Mandarin.
Pinyin system was developed in the 1950ís in
Mainland China and is now the official Chinese phonetic system of China,
Singapore, the US Library of Congress, and the American Library
Association. Library standards allow for easier access to documents by
making it easier to locate Chinese language materials.
Pinyin (Roman Pinyin) will show children how to pronounce
Chinese Characters is demonstrated stroke by stroke in
many of our products. It is very easy for non-Mandarin speakers
to say Mandarin by looking at the Pinyin. Hence if parents do
not speak Mandarin, they can still read Chinese story books to their
children in Mandarin if the books are printed with Pinyin next to
It is fun to learn Chinese
Character Brush Calligraphy. People believe it an art to use a
brush and black ink to draw the beautiful Chinese characters.
There is no more joy to see how Chinese words can be so artistic.
We have a great book to show you how Chinese Calligraphy can be done: