Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's Talk Chinese

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I swear (and no pun intended - well, ok, maybe a little) that we do not teach our children naughty words. In our house the "s" word is "stupid" and we are not supposed to say it. Of course the kids try to circumvent that lovely rule by saying, "You're the 's' word."

It's working well, it is.

The past few weeks we've been studying China in our geography lessons thanks to the Oympics and the girls have really been excited to learn how to write things in Chinese, eat Chinese food, learn all about the country...and they want to speak in Chinese.

To help them out, I put in a Chinese language CD from Chick-fil-A and let the kids listen to it in the car while we were out running errands. When we got home for lunch they decided that they were going to speak to each other in Chinese during the meal. With their vast knowledge of the language, they had it whittled down to two key words: Yes and No.

If you've read my previous post on this subject, you might recall that the Chinese word for "Yes" is "shi" and "No" is "Bu shi". When spoken these two words sound suspiciously a LOT like two words that one would not want to hear coming out of the mouths of young (or any) children. They are oblivious to how the words sound, or even what the other two words are or mean.

Lunch went a little something like this:

M: "Laurianna, would you like a sandwich."

L: "Shi."

L: "McKenna, would you like some more raisins?"

M: "Bu shi!"

And it went on and on and on. The voices of my children VERY loud and emphatic. Until I was hiding behind the kitchen counter trying not to laugh out loud and wondering how I could best divert the kids from their desire to learn a foreign language.

So, next week we are going to practice phrases like: "I love God" and "Jesus loves me". Or counting from 1-10. Anything other than "yes" and "no" thankyouverymuch.

And hopefully they will revert to a "Yes ma'am" and "No ma'am" shortly.


  1. LOL I am cracking up over here! That is hilarious! I am not sure I could have kept a straight face.

  2. We weren't allowed to swear when I was a kid, which is fair. We weren't allowed to say "snot" either. Ha!

    Happy blogoversary!

  3. LOL

    Who knew the Chinese language was so crude? ;-)

  4. Oh my goodness, your kids never fail to crack me up! :)

    The complete innocence with which they were saying them is the funniest part to me!

  5. Oh that is too funny! My kids (4 tomorrow and 3 in two weeks) are obsessed with potty words. (literally potty words, hiney, poo-poo... you get the picture) which of course are not allowed unless you need to use one of those functions. So they have made up words that I know are just replacing the real thing. Bella will come and say, "Can I say lapooi" (or however you spell her latest made up word) I, oblivious to what in the world she is talking about say, "Sure, I guess so" One would think by now I would realize what she is really getting at. Then later I will hear she and her little brother saying something like, "don't touch my lapooi" and giggling uncontrollably. I really don't say things like don't touch my hiney. I have no idea where that comes from. Ugh!!!! I totally sympathize with you. Don't they keep us entertained and wondering... "What?"

    Love your blog, glad I stumbled upon it.

  6. That's a hilarious predicament that you've found yourself in. However, most of the Chinese people I know simply use "bu" as no--or in certain areas (like Innner Mongolia), they repeat "bu, bu, bu". That avoids some of the difficulty (although not all).

  7. Now that is funny! I am cracking up over here.


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