So, we're often asked, "Do the boys know English?"
When I say, "No," they ask, "Do you know Chinese?"
But, sometimes I reply, "They know a little less English than I know Chinese."
Life is rather interesting when we try to communicate. We usually manage well with lots of sign language. The context of our conversations help us understand one another as well. They have picked up some key phrases like, "Take a ba-ath." (It needs two syllables.) "Cu-lean up." and "Qing Zhaung's turn," or "Zhuang Zhuang's turn." And don't forget, "Time to eat!!"
I knew a little bit of Chinese and picked up just a few more words since the boys have joined us.
I try to use the Chinese phrase...IF I know it...followed by English.
Well, today Zeke (Qing Zhuang) was pointing to his knee for some reason. So I said, "Knee." He heard, "Ni," which is pronounced the same way as the joint that connects your thigh to your lower leg. Only this is "ni" means "you."
So, he pointed to himself and asked, "Qing Zhuang??"
I said, "No. Zhe shi "knee." No, this is knee."
He asked again, "Qing Zhuang???'
So, I tried, "Zhe shi xi gai." Chinese for this is knee....forgive the butcher of the pinyin. Followed by "Zhe shi "knee."
Still asking "Qing Zhuang," I am afraid one day I will say, "Hey you!" And, he's going to point to his knee.