Thursday, June 23, 2011


Many Tsinoys and Tsinays like me learn to be multilingual at an early age, mainly because we are exposed to so many languages while we were growing up. We learned the following: Fukien (a Chinese dialect from the province of Fujian, China) by parents and grandparents, Filipino (mainly Tagalog) from our nannies, from most people around us (of course!), English from school and from Sesame Street, and Chinese Mandarin from school.

It depends on the family, though. I know a lot of Tsinoys/Tsinays who can't speak fluent Chinese already, much less read and write the characters. I'm hoping that I could educate my children with Chinese, but it's difficult to try to carry on a conversation with them in Chinese without offending my Pinoy husband. Sigh.

I haven't learned other languages, though. I'd need an online translator or a franklin electronic dictionary in order to figure out French or Spanish. It's a good thing for me that these languages are not commonly used in our side of the world.

I'm continually amazed by people who can speak a lot of languages FLUENTLY. I can claim fluency in the 4 languages I mentioned, but I feel stumped sometimes if I have to try to speak in 1 pure language. The tendency for me is to mix languages. Oh well, the downside of growing up with a lot of languages. But I guess the advantages outweigh the disadvantages!


JO said...

same here. I never taught my kids Chinese anymore. I am just glad that they still have the initiative to learn Tagalog.

~ Jo's Precious Thoughts ~

theworkingmom said...

Hi, Jo! Thanks for dropping by. I'm NOT losing hope. After all, they're still young. :D