I'm officially not a chinese or rather disowning my own race LOL. I'm a western- period!
I cannot believe how hard mandarin is. Luckily I did not learn Mandarin at a young age or else I would totally fail all mandarin related subjects like seriously. I'm assisting a Mandarin 5 year old class at a kindie and I cannot keep up with the mandarin it's not even funny anymore XD
I'm a freaking law degree student for heaven's sake and 5 year old mandarin seems harder to me LOL My pronounciation sucks to the brim because mandarin has so many tones and each tone translates a different meaning like WTH! I know how to say it but when I pronounce it, the word becomes a different meaning. This is driving me crazy!!
For example, 'su' has the meaning of book and tree. When I want to say tree, I'll say it as book. Then 'lung' means dragon. But when you put a 'kong' in front- 'kong lung' it means dinosaur. So sometimes it's confusing. The worst part is the writing. Don't even get me started on that. There are thousands of strokes and to write one word will take me forever. Further, you do not write the word as it is, you must follow steps for what stroke to come first!
At least I can understand basic mandarin. Not too bad lah. But go further than that and I'll embarass myself as a chinese. Also, I can write my chinese name and can recognise and write a few simple chinese words. But talking i must watch out my pronounciation.
I can say teaching in this kindie has taught me further in mandarin. Most teachers there speak mandarin. Besides, I'm learning the most basic of mandarin- I'm learning 5 year olds syllabus *blushes* Well, it's not too late to learn =p
Anyway, I'm a self-proclaimed western haha I'm not into chinese songs neither am I into chinese movies and I'm English educated. Oh well, perhaps next time I could send my child to mandarin classes but definitely not chinese school. It's too hard!!