November 18, 2010

Of being a busy body and speaking in Chinese

Yiu Yiu's primary language is English, and though hubby and my mum speak to her in Mandarin and Cantonese, her grasp of Mandarin and Cantonese is not so strong. Many a times, her conversation in Mandarin and Cantonese is a direct translation from English, e.g:
我要玩今天(wo yao wan jin tian – I want to play today)instead of 我要今天玩。

One day while in the car, I was talking to my mum in Cantonese and Yiu Yiu couldn't quite follow our conversations, and kept asking me, "Mummy, what did 婆婆 say?" or "Mummy, what did you say to 婆婆?" After some time, she got a bit frustrated that I wasn't translating everything to her so she commanded,
Yiu Yiu: Mummy, I told you already - whatever you say to 婆婆 or whatever 婆婆say(s) to you, you must tell me in English, OK.
Mummy: Why do you want to know? Why are you so busybody?
Yiu Yiu (smiling cheekily): Yes ah, I (am) very busybody one mah. You don't know meh?


smallkucing said...

lol....but memang true. Direct translation mah

Liew said...

Hahahaha, at least she admits she is bz body ;)

Bloghopper said...

isn't it "今天我要玩" instead of "我要今天玩"?

A Mom's Diary said...

smallkucing - yeah lor, she uses direct translation from English.

WK - honesty is the best policy :-)

Bloghopper - thanks for dropping by. When she said that, she was asking permission to play with something, and since it was already late, we said no, and told her she can play with it tomorrow. She insisted on playing and hence, it's 我要今天玩.