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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.


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*


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( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 8th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
Damn cheem man. Alison at this stage is only learning the simplest characters. And even that she struggles with. I think she's confirmed Chinese "B" syllabus one. Their generation are all bananas and potatoes.
Jun. 8th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
It really depends how much chinese is used at home. Those with kangtang parents like us..the kids sure of the bananas and potatoes sort. Sometimes, i wish I'd paid more attention during chinese lessons. Can you imagine I'd ever topped the class in chinese before (pr 1 or 2..cant remember liao)..but when i reached sec 1, everything went downhill :P
(no subject) - epicureanangel - Jun. 8th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Jun. 9th, 2006 11:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 8th, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
Wah piangs, I also haven't heard of this before lor... so cheem. I don't even recognise some of the words!
Jun. 8th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
okay..so im not that bad..somewhat comforted by this. i swear 1 wasn't taught this in school before!
Jun. 8th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
i only know the first 12 by heart.. haha..

my cousin was taught this when he was abt 3yo too. together with many other chinese poetry. i never learnt them till i was in sec sch??
Jun. 8th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
man..it only goes to show how 'advanced' the educational system is now. kinda scary eh. Think I'm gonna get a big shock when he starts primary level..
(no subject) - smallbully - Jun. 8th, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Jun. 8th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 8th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
i've seen it on posters but never been taught. i'm very stunned... my kid is so going to be stunted in mandarin unless V steps in.
Jun. 8th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
at least one of you is good in chinese..! in our case, our chinese 很差! I guess it's really due to the lack of practice especially after leaving school.
Jun. 8th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
wahlau that is pretty mad. I would think san zi jing would only have 3 words or something! I did pretty well for chinese at O and A levels, but I HAVE NO IDEA what this all means man!! Do the kids know what they're reciting?!
Jun. 9th, 2006 03:00 am (UTC)
heh..even i have no idea what this all means (even with the translation!)..how would the kids know unless their chinese is superduper solid!

well, i know for sure aidan is merely 'singing song'..
(no subject) - lolitapop - Jun. 9th, 2006 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Jun. 9th, 2006 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 8th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC)
This is seriously cheem! I definitely don't remember learning this @ any levels in school! LOL! Kudos to Aidan for being able to memorise it!
Jun. 9th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
i think kids at this age absorb stuff really easily..like sponge! if you were to ask me to memorise the entire passage, think i wouldnt be able to do it man!
Jun. 8th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
for a moment i thought you are so good in chinese that you typed the chim chim words out, because i for one could not make out their meanings at all!

i only heard of the first sentence. from tv, i believe, hee.

wow! the things kids learn nowadays!
Jun. 9th, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
i think it's quite good that they are teaching them such stuff.. even though the kids dont understand it. it could make them appreciate the chinese language more..

heh..if i can type chinese like that, i'll be happy like a bird!
Jun. 8th, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Eh, that's damn long lor. I only ever knew the first 6 words.

My dad knows man jiang hong by heart -- he used to live above an opera troupe in chinatown when he was a little boy -- but I can't say I do.
Jun. 9th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC)
heh i really have no idea what man jiang hong is..pls enlighten me!!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 9th, 2006 11:48 am (UTC)
someone mentioned here that the technics of teaching chinese has changed..they start with memorising and then after that, teach them how to recognise the words. im actually fine with them memorising these chinese classics..because it imparts good values and morals. afterall, it's not like these kids are tested on it..but they are learning it and having fun too :)
Jun. 8th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
The kids in China learn this at a young age too. Imagine this verse is thousands of years old. Woah.... I also can't comprehend all the meaning.
Jun. 9th, 2006 11:49 am (UTC)
yeah..actually, i realised that when aidan learns these stuff, i also get to learn them too so it's not too bad actually =)
Jun. 9th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC)
He is very rhythmic with his 三字经 woah.... sooooo cute. Macy is sprouting out cantonese now... jiak lat... she has to relearn another language. peng san.

Megan just had her p1 chinese exam. She could remember 242 characters and wrote it out for me in 1.5 hours. Edward looked at it and said," Wah lau, I think she knows more words than me liao."
Jun. 9th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
yalah..the boy's seems to be singing...at least macy can speak proper cantonese. i think it's good to know a dialect..dont think it will be hard for her to pick up mandarin too.

heh edward super kangtang lah! that's y!
Jun. 9th, 2006 12:26 am (UTC)
I think it's a trend these days to teach then 三 字 经. I know a few Childcares that are doing that.
Jun. 9th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC)
yeah seems like it's a teaching method by the chinese teachers..
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 9th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
actually i have the same problem too. i can speak quite decently..but i have problems writing and sometimes recognising certain words.
Jun. 9th, 2006 02:43 am (UTC)
ok once i started reading all the chinese words, i got completely lost!
Jun. 9th, 2006 11:56 am (UTC)
heh..yeah, i recall you telling me at the my paper launch that your chinese is quite bad.
(no subject) - ickleoriental - Jun. 9th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 9th, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)
To be honest, I always thought 三字经 referred to 王八蛋 or 他妈的!:P
Jun. 9th, 2006 03:15 am (UTC)
LOL! If it was so, im sure Aidan will learn it much faster. But yah..i should assume those are the modern version of the 3 words classic :P

My colleague was just tellin me that they used spout nonsensical 三字经 and it goes something like this..


(no subject) - lolitapop - Jun. 9th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nachon - Jun. 9th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC) - Expand
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