June 8th, 2006

green

三 字 经

李忠义's been having chinese lessons at school. But we understand from his 老 师 that he's kinda hopeless in it and the main problem is that us parents haven't been speaking to him much in mandarin. Unfortunately, I'm the de facto chinese teacher@home because my 华语 is supposedly the better of us two but man, I suck big time!

Here's a video of him spouting some cheem mandarin (click on the image above). When I first heard it, I didn't even know what he was mumbling and was only enlightened by Corrina that the kids have been taught 三 字 经 The Trimetric Classic and he'd probably memorised part of it. Her daughter Chloe can actually recite the entire passage (which consist of 216 chinese characters) by memory.

Here's what I gathered he's mumbling at such a fast speed...he's missed out some words but if he does it at a slower pace, he usually gets most of it right although his ennunciation and tone are kinda salah.

人之初,性本善。性相近,习相远。
苟不教,性乃迁。教之道,贵以专。
昔孟母,择邻处。子不学,断机杼。
窦燕山,有义方。教五子,名俱扬。


The entire passage is here and here's the english translation.. It's kinda embarrassing because I've never heard of 三 字 经 before this and it's totally alien to me. If I'd been taught that in school, it must have been completely wiped out from my brain because it didn't sound familiar at all. Can't believe they are teaching the kids that at such a young age. Gawd..my chinese standard is even worse than nursery level *awk*