Published by under categories Bilingual Baby, From Lina | comments Comments (5)

To help DD acquire Chinese language, I have been looking for all the possible resources to get books, DVDs and CDs in Chinese language. One of the resources is the library.

Compared to tremendous books, DVDs and CDs I can borrow from the library, books DVDs and CDs in Chinese are very limited. One book I found is called My First Book of Mandarin Chinese Words.

This book is part of the Bilingual Picture Dictionaries Series, which includes French, German, Chinese and Spanish. The book is divided by 13 chapters, namely, family, body, clothes, toys, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, food, farm, garden, colors, classroom, and city. For each chapter, the book shows a list of words, accompanied by a related photograph, both in English and Chinese.

For example, for the chapter family, the book shows a picture of a big family celebrating grandpa’s birthday. Beside each family member, the English word appears first, followed by the corresponding Chinese word and its pinyin pronunciation.

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When I showed the book to DD, I let her point the images on the page and I said the Chinese words to her. Later I said, in Chinese, the name of each image and asked her to identify the object. Very soon she could get it right 100%.

By teaching single words, My First Book of Mandarin Chinese Words provides a good basic introduction of a child’s world in Chinese language for English speaking children. Colorful photographs and neat designing help engage young children and compliment the text.

The downside of the books is, since the book is one of the foreign language series and the author translated the words via, it was not designed especially for learners who want to learn Chinese. Besides, it will be far more effective if the book offers an accompanying CD to assist readers, especially for children and parents who are not native Chinese speakers.

Overall, My First Book of Mandarin Chinese Words offers a good start to expose Chinese language to young bilingual learners. Hopefully, as the book gains popularity, its future version will become more interactive.

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  1. 2
    Valerie Ormond // August 15th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Lina,
    Well, I just HAD to check out this post because I just posted a link on the Booknificent Thursday Link-up Party about my brother, Eddy…who is now in China! He is in China teaching, and is learning as much of the language as he can. He loves the people he’s met and the experiences he has had. It would have been great if he had a resource like this book many, many years ago. Thank you for sharing.

  2. 3
    Lina // August 15th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    @Valerie: thank you for stopping by! What is your brother teaching in China and in which city? This book will be too simple for him right now. I am sure he has picked up a lot of Chinese words by living in China. Great to know he likes China!

  3. 4
    Mommynificent // August 21st, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve always been really afraid of books like this in Mandarin because I have no idea how to pronounce the words! I’m fairly confident when it comes to books in French, Spanish, German, and Indonesian/Malay because I have at least a basic understanding of their phonologies, but Mandarin freaks me out! I agree that a CD is absolutely necessary! Thanks for linking up with Booknificent Thursday! Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got this week!

  4. 5
    Lina // August 22nd, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    @Tina. I don’t deny that Chinese is a pretty hard to learn. Different from the western language system, like English, French, Spanish or German, Chinese is more a tonal and homophonic language. So difference is tones ends in different characters. A CD will surely help to brige the tones with the characters. Keep in touch!


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