The Pain of Studying Chinese Abroad

身在海外,你一定体会到孩子学习华文的难处。我的孩子在新加坡上小学,学校推行的是双语教育,几乎每天的课程中都有华文课,可为什么还是说不好华文呢?作为两个孩子的妈妈,我觉得孩子们还是阅读华文书太少了。

我虽然天天在家和他们说华文,但是毕竟限于口语,书面用语并不太多。这样的结果就是,在家和我日常对话好像没什么问题,一旦想用华文表达某领域的内容,就完蛋了,一定要去找Google翻译帮忙了。

如果让他们去读华文书,我会问他们是否看懂,并且挑出其中一些词询问他们是什么意思,他们给我的解释往往让我大跌眼镜。像我们小时候爱看的西游记,他们完全进入不了状态,因为他们确实看不太懂很多词的意思。如果没有人解释给他们听,他们慢慢也就失去了阅读华文书的乐趣。

创立这个网站的初衷就是帮助那些旅居海外的孩子以及父母们。在网络技术发达的今天,我们可以通过很多渠道,获得中国本土众多优秀的、甚至免费的音频朗读材料,但身在海外的孩子们,也许需要的不仅仅是这个。他们需要更多词语的解释,更多背景知识的介绍。希望通过网站上的这些故事以及我们自然舒服的讲解,让孩子们爱上阅读华文,增加华文的口语以及书面用语的词汇量。

As overseas Chinese, you must have realized how difficult it is for your children to learn Chinese. For my two children who are attending primary school in Singapore, it looks that we are so lucky because Singapore promotes bilingual education. For primary school students, they would have Chinese lessons almost every school day. However, why are they still struggling with Chinese? They could not speak Chinese so well, not to mention write a decent Chinese composition. In my opinion, I think the children are listening and reading Chinese too less.

Although I speak Chinese with them at home every day, our communication is limited mostly to spoken language. As daily communication, I would not use too much descriptive vocabulary. The result of this is there seems to be no problem for them in daily conversations at home. However, if they would like to talk something on a special topic, they just could not find proper vocabulary and have to seek help from Google Translate.

If you ask them to read Chinese novels, it might be a torture for them. Sometimes, I would pick out some words and ask them the meaning, their wrong explanation would surprise me. Because they really didn’t understand the meaning of many words, if no one explains to them, they will gradually lose the interest of reading Chinese books.

The intention of this website is to help children and parents living abroad. Today, with advanced IT technology, we could obtain many excellent and free podcast reading materials through many channels, but children living overseas might need more than that. They need more explanations of words and introduction of background information. I hope that through those stories and our concise and enjoyable explanations, children will like reading Chinese and increase their vocabulary of spoken and written Chinese.

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