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Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

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buyan
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Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby buyan » Mon, 02 Jan 2012 11:17 pm

Interesting when I looked around for Chinese tutors here to continue improving my kids' Mandarin - I thought they'd be easy to find, but no. I tried a couple of locals but their accents were not right and after starting their Mandarin in China, my kids had difficulty understanding them (and vice versa!!). Finally I found a north-easterner who seems good with kids and now they're doing well. Southern mainland Chinese tutors are also not so suitable (their first language is Cantonese), especially if you want your kids to pick up "correct" Mandarin. Interested in hearing any other experiences out there...locals vs "authentic" Mandarin tutors...!

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Postby carteki » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 8:29 am

Guess you could say the same about the way that Singaporeans speak English - the accent just isn't right either :P

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Postby boffenl » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 4:30 pm

I'm honestly really surprised by this comment. We had friends from China visiting and they got a few sentences out of my daugher--exclaiming--"Her accent is amazing!" I've heard that a few times, maybe they're just surprised an ang moh can speak any intelligible Chinese? I don't think so, since our friends are mainlanders and said she's fit right in there.

Hummm, not sure what else is behind your comment......

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Postby buyan » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 6:48 pm

I learned my Mandarin while working in China for several years and even I find the Singaporean Mandarin accent difficult to understand... I thought maybe I was too fussy, but when chatting with my local staff here, they say they wish they could learn "correct" Mandarin themselves...

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Chinese tutor

Postby jthrivikraman » Wed, 18 Jan 2012 1:51 pm

I am looking for a Chinese tutor and wanted to know how you were coming along with yours. My daughter learned in Shanghai and we need to get her up to speed on pingyin in the next few months. Would you recommend your tutor? If yes, could I have their contact details?

thanks,
Jyothi

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buyan
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Postby buyan » Wed, 18 Jan 2012 9:49 pm

pm
Last edited by buyan on Fri, 03 Feb 2012 10:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 18 Jan 2012 10:12 pm

It is a pretty well known syndrome. Sindarin and Singlish. Mainlanders have the same complaints about Singapore Mandarin as do native English speakers about singlish. When my daughter first started Kindergarten, because there were no Mandarin speakers in my household, I got her a Mandarin Tutor who was from Shanghai for the first three years. Her foundations were very strong and at the end of P1 she was at the top of her class in Mandarin (the only non-Chinese in the class). Her teacher often made comments about her intonations & accent but the teacher also recognized that they were PRC based. If you go to China they will tell you that the local brand of Mandarin is poor when compared to "native" Mandarin speakers.

It's bound to happen as other languages get mixed into the pot as well here.

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Postby BillyB » Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:18 am

If you go to Beijing there is a huge difference in tone and local slang compared to what is spoken in Singapore.

Personally, I'd get someone from the North to teach you as Mandarin originated from North China and you know it's likely to be closer to how it should be spoken.

I've always found that people who have been taught by a mainlander, or have learnt Mandarin in China, have much clearer and crisper tonality.

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Re: Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby jianhuifan » Sat, 05 May 2012 6:02 pm

buyan wrote:Interesting when I looked around for Chinese tutors here to continue improving my kids' Mandarin - I thought they'd be easy to find, but no. I tried a couple of locals but their accents were not right and after starting their Mandarin in China, my kids had difficulty understanding them (and vice versa!!). Finally I found a north-easterner who seems good with kids and now they're doing well. Southern mainland Chinese tutors are also not so suitable (their first language is Cantonese), especially if you want your kids to pick up "correct" Mandarin. Interested in hearing any other experiences out there...locals vs "authentic" Mandarin tutors...!


I am new here and am also trying to find a Mandarin tutor for my daughter. Can you PM me on your tutor's contact info? or how you go about finding a good one. Thanks.

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Postby kaseyma » Sat, 05 May 2012 7:52 pm

BillyB wrote:If you go to Beijing there is a huge difference in tone and local slang compared to what is spoken in Singapore.

Personally, I'd get someone from the North to teach you as Mandarin originated from North China and you know it's likely to be closer to how it should be spoken.

I've always found that people who have been taught by a mainlander, or have learnt Mandarin in China, have much clearer and crisper tonality.

In general, northerners tend to have a more standard (proper) accent.
However, had an employee from Guangdong that spoke perfectly standard Mandarin (her mother was a northerner).

Being from Beijing is no guarantee - they could have a difficult to understand Beijing accent (and idioms).

There are also those from Singapore and other parts of China that do speak and teach proper Mandarin. Just need to find out their background and credentials.

By the way, in China, the pronunciation of Da Shan is sometimes held up as a standard, even though he is a Canadian Laowai.
That's what comes from rigorous study.

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Postby Dolph » Fri, 25 May 2012 8:31 am

Just wondering if anyone has experience with Little Mandarins at Dempsey? Is it any good?

My son's Lao Shi told me yesterday that his Mandarin is excellent (for a Westener who had never been exposed to Mandarin until a little less than one year ago). She encouraged me strongly to give him more lessons as he clearly has an ear for it. He is only 4.5 years old so it would need to be play-based learning. Is Little Mandarins the best choice or are there other good options?

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group vs one-on-one

Postby buyan » Mon, 28 May 2012 5:25 pm

Not sure about the place at Dempsey Hill, but in our experience, if you can get one-on-one with a good tutor for the same or less, often in the convenience of your own home, why wouldn't you? In a group you would have less control and the children in the group all need to be at the same level. Finding the right tutor is important though, and at least your child would be taught to their own individual level.

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Postby sensei_ » Mon, 28 May 2012 9:24 pm

no tutors from taiwan these days?

with taiwanese you could also pick up a dialect if you had the mind for it.

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Re: Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby smartwander8 » Wed, 05 Dec 2012 4:06 pm

buyan wrote:Interesting when I looked around for Chinese tutors here to continue improving my kids' Mandarin - I thought they'd be easy to find, but no. I tried a couple of locals but their accents were not right and after starting their Mandarin in China, my kids had difficulty understanding them (and vice versa!!). Finally I found a north-easterner who seems good with kids and now they're doing well. Southern mainland Chinese tutors are also not so suitable (their first language is Cantonese), especially if you want your kids to pick up "correct" Mandarin. Interested in hearing any other experiences out there...locals vs "authentic" Mandarin tutors...!


Except tutors, you may also try some Apps or chinese learning materials (with audio CDs or Interactive CD) to help her practice at free time. In fact, to avoid "accent" problems from tutors, you may hear the most accurate pronounciation from those materials. I personally try some Apps from App stores for my little kids, my opinon is just for your reference. Well, always better the free version before purchase.

KidsMandarin - There are different topics with photos and pronounciation. But, after 2 minutes, my kid got bored.

Mandarin - photos with pronounciation. Opinions same as the first one.

Far East-I Can Do This Lite - photos with pronounciation but with animations, which holds my kid finish the whole. I saw they have two topics in FREE. You may take a look if they fit your need.

小寶寶學中文 - this is based on game play, which you hear the chinese pronounciation then you choose the matched picture. For practice purpose.

Maybe someone has tried more?!

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Postby Bkl » Thu, 16 May 2013 8:16 am

Hi,

I am looking for a Mandarin Tutor for private lessons for my son (2yrs). We would prefer a Mainlander (northern, or anyone with the standard accent) who is good at interacting with young children for play-based learning.

Do PM me if you have contacts. Thanks!


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