Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Video: Two Tigers - Liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ - 兩隻老虎

"Two Tigers" is a classic Chinese song for children. This is a familiar tune and is fun to sing with the little ones. Don't forget to add movement and action along with the lyrics to make it an action-filled play-learning experience!

I've put the lyrics below in Pinyin, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese with the English translation on top.

Two tigers two tigers
Liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ Liǎng zhī lǎo hǔ
兩 隻 老 虎 兩 隻 老 虎
两 只 老 虎 两 只 老 虎

Running fast running fast
Pǎo de kuài pǎo de kuài
跑 的 快 跑 的 快
跑 的 快 跑 的 快

One does not have eyes
Yī zhī méi yǒu yǎn jīng
一 隻 沒 有 眼 睛
一 只 没 有 眼 睛

One does not have a tail
Yī zhī méi yǒu wěi ba
一 隻 沒 有 尾 巴
一 只 没 有 尾 巴

How strange how strange
Zhēn qí guài zhēn qí guài
真 奇 怪 真 奇 怪
真 奇 怪 真 奇 怪

(Lyrics above from the Companion Learning Guide for the Miss Panda Chinese audio CD)

*** Video source: amandalin720's channel on You Tube ***

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chinese Character Fun: 月 -"yuè" - moon

Check out my featured Chinese character: 月 (yuè) - This is a picture word, which means "moon" or "month."

Chinese Vocabulary - CLICK the Chinese character below to see its stroke order


*Click to generate your own vocabulary.

We can use 月 (yuè) in the following phrases.

Moon (used when referring to the phases of the moon and its brightness):
Yuè liàng - 月亮

Moon (used when referencing the moon as a heavenly body as in "astronauts visited the moon"):
Yuè qiú - 月球

Moon cake:
Yuè bǐng - 月餅

Month - "Which month?":
Jǐ yuè - 幾月

September (literally "9th month"):
Jiǔ yuè - 九月

Listen to the pronunciation of the word and the phrases CLICK BELOW.

Check this out on Chirbit

Hugh Jackman Singing in Chinese

This is fun. Check out Hugh Jackman (X-Men) singing in Mandarin Chinese!

Title of the song is "Give me a kiss" - Gěi wǒ yī gè wěn 給我一個吻.

Useful phrases to know:

OK - Kě yǐ - 可以
Not OK - Bù kě yǐ - 不可以

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reading Time: "Dumpling Days" and more!

Reading together makes learning a language and its culture fun! I like to share my own stories with my children when we read stories related to Chinese culture or life in Mainland China or in Taiwan.

Recently my daughter, Meimei, was asked to help out a Chinese girl who does not speak very much English in a weekend art class. Meimei told me that the girl was able to work on her Valentine's day art project because she explained to the girl what the teacher wanted them to create. A week later, she told me she found out that there is another girl in her class who can also speak English and Chinese. I could tell she was happy to meet someone just like her who has two languages and two cultures.

One of my recommended books below, "Dumpling Days", tells the story of a young girl who goes to Taiwan for a month to help prepare for her grandmother's 60th birthday. At first she finds fitting in harder than she expected but at least the dumplings are delicious!

In my family we love to make dumplings at home. Our homemade dumplings come in different shapes - they are not the traditional dumplings, they are the "creative" kind. My children have a story behind every dumpling. It is just like the fun we have when we read together.

Have fun reading this month's book picks from Miss Panda! Happy Reading!

A New Year's Reunion
by Li Qion Yu

Dumpling Days
by Grace Lin

Yeh-Shen A Cinderella Story from China
by Ai-Ling Louie

Sam and the Lucky Money
by Karen Chinn

Enjoy and keeping learning fun!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Lantern Festival! Closing out Chinese New Year Celebrations with a Lantern!

Today is the fifteenth day of the lunar new year and it is the Chinese Lantern Festival.

The Lantern Festival marks the end of the fifteen days of Chinese New Year celebration. Families eat sweet or salty sticky rice balls known as “tang yuan” or “yuan xiao” on this day. As the night arrives children carry paper lanterns with battery-operated lights to join the annual lantern festival celebrations, which are typically held at parks and monuments throughout the island of Taiwan. The design of the lanterns change each year according to the rotation of the twelve Chinese birth signs.

2012, for example, is the year of the dragon – the most popular of all birth signs. This year dragon-shaped, paper lanterns were given away for free to the residents and visitors of Taipei. The Taipei Lantern Festival 2012 is at Taipei City Hall and the nearby Sun Yat Sun Memorial Park area. These little lanterns and the beautiful, giant lanterns on display at these festival celebrations make for a wonderful field trip for the kids.

What's More?
There is one more tradition on the Lantern Festival that is the Lantern Riddle Game. It is a game for both adults and children. The traditional Chinese Lantern Festival riddles can be quite challenging. Some of the them are based on history and some of them are based on the Chinese characters. The riddles are attached to the lanterns and the person who can solve a riddle can win a prize.

Sky Lantern Festival. See the lanterns flying to the sky!

Have a wonderful year of the Dragon! = Lóng nián wàn shì rú yì = 龍年萬事如意

Learning More About Chinese New Year:
The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac -HapaMama
Chinese New Year Traditions and the Year of the Dragon -Jeanette's Healthy Living
Celebrating Chinese New Year in Taipei, Taiwan -Travels With Baby
The Symbolism Behind Chinese New Year Foods Bicultural Mama
Gong Xi! The Excitement of the Chinese New Year! -Making Multicultural Music