Monday, February 14, 2011

iPad Apps for Kids: Kids Mandarin

Even before Connor was born, Dear Hubby and I were determined to have Connor learn Mandarin. Me, because I wanted him to know his cultural heritage, something I never did being the banana that I am. Dear Hubby, because he sees China as an economic power and boy, it would be nice to visit Connor when he's grown up and working in Shanghai!

I downloaded this Mandarin app for Connor when we got the iPad. It's called Kids Mandarin. We have version 1 where they show flashcards in categories such as food, animals, body parts, colours etc. There is a matching game for each category that kids can play.

To my surprise, Connor really liked the app. He played with it everyday. That's a start. I hated Mandarin classes as a child and never got anywhere with the language which is why I can only speak very basic Mandarin now and can't read/write it.

One night, I was dressing Connor in his jammies, getting ready for bed. Imagine my surprise and pleasure when Connor suddenly reached up, grabbed my ear and said, "Er duo!" (Mandarin for "ear") Then he touched his eyes and sang out, "Yan ching!" Whoa. Mummy was floored. I clapped and clapped. "Very good, Connor! That's absolutely right!"

His 1st four Chinese words were ear, eyes, sushi and.... hippopotamus. A hippo is called he ma in Mandarin and much less of a mouthful for a 2yo than hippopotamus. He ma is literally "river horse", the same as the ancient Greek name for this animal.

Last night, he grabbed my cookie and said "Ping kan!" Brilliant app or what. He already knows more words than I do. Good starter app for kids to pick up some words in Mandarin and pique their interest in the language. I'll get Kids Mandarin 2 once Dear Hubby sorts out his credit card for the iPad.

*banana = local term for someone of Chinese descent who speaks mainly English and is largely ignorant of Chinese culture... yellow on the outside, white on the inside.. banana!

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