Sunday, May 24, 2009

Colors in Chinese: Red, Yellow, and Blue

Here are the color names in Chinese that match the first three colors in the Montessori Color Tablets Box:

= hóng = red
黄色 = huángsè = yellow
= lánsè = blue

(these three examples should copy and paste well into Word for printing...please let me know if they don't).

If you have the Dora DVDs in Chinese, you will see these color names used a lot. The "se" part of the word is usually needed in conjunction with the color name -- a lot of flash cards and books have only "hong" for the color red, for example, but you usually need to say "hongse" when you talk about the color -- excuse my lack of tone marks here, they take a while to add, so I am just using them in the formal examples for kids above.

We have fun bilingual color word flash cards that we created in conjnction with Lori at Montessori for Everyone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Introducing Pinyin to Young Children

A quick note to everyone with young children. If your children are not yet old enough to read English very well, we suggest not introducing pinyin yet. Use the pinyin as a guide for yourself, but introduce the characters or only the sounds of the words to your children.

English and pinyin pronunciation varies quite a bit and it is hard for children to keep the distinctions in place when they are just learning to read their first language!

How has your experience gone with teaching children under six Chinese? Other languages? We would love to share your comments and experiences with our other readers!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine in Mandarin

Chinese: Video of Numbers from 1 to 20 and 20 to 100 by Tens

We were able to take this video (on a very small camera), so here it is. There numbers are from 1 to 20, 30, 40, and 100. The video volunteer is a former television broadcaster, graduate of China's most prestigious film and media university, as well as the executive producer of some major films!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Barbie in Mandarin Chinese - Sample Clip

Ooh, the new Barbie in Mandarin Chinese shows got unpacked today. I took this video by shooting the television with my mobile phone and it's still pretty good, but I hear boxes being unpacked in the background, so I'll replace this video with a better one asap...leaving this sample here in the meantime.

As soon as the new products are put up on the site, I will post a note here, too. Here is the link for our Mandarin Chinese DVDs for children.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Do you have our Dora the Explorer in Chinese DVD set? Here is how you build the word "backpack" in Chinese.

Here are words from the backpack song:


bèibāo, bèibāo, bèibāo... wǒ shí bèibāo!
(are the tone marks coming out okay on everyone's computers? if not, please let me know!)

backpack, backpack, backpack..I am backpack!

bèibāo = 背包 = backpack
bèi = 背=back
bāo = 包 = bag

Another similar compound word would be shūbāo. shū = 书 = book, so shūbāo = 书包 = book bag.

If you get gibberish where the Chinese characters should be, see our notes below about adjusting your Internet browser to view Simplified Chinese.

Take a peek at our Dora DVDs in Mandarin Chinese.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine in Mandarin Chinese is So COOL

I have got to get a better photo of this box! Thomas the Tank Engine in Mandarin Chinese is one of the best programs I have seen for children. It is definitely in the top three along with Dora the Explorer and Strawberry Shortcake. So, for all of the parents who have written us asking for Thomas in Chinese, here he is!

And, Thomas also has Chinese character subtitles that are great for learning basic words and sentences. If you play these on your computer, you can use the print screen function or other capture, save, and print functions to create great pages for reading practice.

Here are all the brand new Chinese DVDs for children that just arrived.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Introducing Chinese to Kids

Here are some quick tips...
  1. Introduce simple songs in Mandarin using CDs (or sing yourself, if your Chinese is good)
  2. DVDs! Look for native speaker material.
  3. Start with short projects that use related words such as counting from one to ten, days of the week, and time of day. All of these three projects are based on numbers.


  1. If your child's textbook from Saturday Chinese class is not simple and easy for you to learn from, scrap the book (and, perhaps, the class). It is better to get kids together and watch cartoons in Chinese than to let them drown in a class that makes no sense (does this sound like I felt my time in Saturday language class was miserable and useless? Yeah, sorry, Mom...)
  2. Stay away from traditional teachers who focus on rote memorization.

Children can soak up native speaker level accents at a young age, so our focus is on providing great listening practice and creating a love of learning languages that will last a lifetime. Vocabulary and grammar can come later!

Montessori Material in Mandarin Chinese

"bi zi" means nose in Mandarin Chinese!

Super and superb new bilingual Mandarin-English material for children learning Chinese! Browse our collection of bilingual language material on the Montessori House website.