Ni hao mummy


Apparently my son can speak Mandarin.

Ok, you’re right, that’s probably overstating things somewhat. However, he has Mandarin lessons at daycare. So I thought it would be fair enough to ask him to say some of the things that he is learning and since I’d been sent a prompt sheet of the words they had learnt so far I thought I’d give it some of them a try.

I asked him to say train in Mandarin this morning. My exact words were “Can you say train in Mandarin?”

“Yes.” was his reply.

“Well then, say it. Say train in Mandarin”

“Mandarin” he replied.

Awesome. Child genius.

I tried a different tack, using my extremely limited Mandarin.

“Ni hao” I said.

“No! You can’t say Ni hao.” he admonished me. He didn’t tell me why and then after a short pause he followed it up with “Ni hao mummy.”

“Ni hoa son” I replied.

“No! You can’t say Ni hao.” he told me again.

“Ni hao picture” I tried something inanimate to see if it would be better received.

“NO! You can’t say Ni hao to the picture. Ni hao daddy.” he added and thinking he was leading by example I gave it another go.

“Ni hao Daddy.” I parroted.

“No, YOU can’t say Ni hao to daddy.” he rejoined, emphasizing that it was me that was the problem.

So it would seem that my son is the only person that both can or is allowed to speak Mandarin in our house.

* Image from


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