We have been making a conscious effort to practise speaking Mandarin with Faith. She understands much better than she speaks and we thought to help her along by speaking the language more frequently to her. M is more fluent in Mandarin than I am, so I tend to only remember to practise with F when he’s back home from work.
I was cuddled up in bed with F yesterday night, watching SING on the iPad when M came home from work. F loves to get us to tickle her and she asked her daddy if he could do that.
M (in Mandarin): Try speaking in Mandarin, Faith.
F: Mama, what’s tickle in Chinese?
I turned to M, who turned to look at me as well, and I grew tomato-red before bursting into laughter.
Me: Errrrr…..(laughs hysterically) GOO JI?!!!!
(For those of you who aren’t familiar with dialects/slangs, ‘Goo Ji’ means to tickle but it’s definitely not Mandarin!)
M glared at me and then started laughing as well.
M: It’s 搔痒 lah!!!
I mean, seriously, did you guys not think of ‘Goo Ji’ too?!
I think 冯老师 (my Higher Chinese Language teacher in secondary school) is going to throw my desk out of the classroom (she used to do that with students who weren’t okay in her books). I came from a reputable Chinese school and I think it’s safe to say that I am now a disgrace to my alma mater.
(Well, I know this should belong to the category ‘Things Mama Says’ but I hope I don’t make that many bloopers to fill up a new category, so I am just going to archive this conversation here.)