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It’s Chinese English month!

The IATEFL (International Association of Teacher’s of English as a Foreign Language) event has put me slightly behind on this month’s trumpeting. But here we go: It’s Chinese English month, yeeha!

This is exciting for a number of reasons: we recently rolled out the Chinese version of the Macmillan Dictionary Online. You’ll see that all of the informational content is in Chinese. Also, the Shanghai Daily has adopted the Dictionary’s double-click feature, which means that their readers have direct and immediate ‘pop-up access’ to definitions for words they don’t know … yet.



So: we’re all about China in more ways than one. Mostly, though, I’m excited because I taught English in Taiwan for ages and so it’s nice to be back in touch with Chinese in some way. My favourite (relevant) story about teaching English to Mandarin-speaking students was when I first said the word McDonald’s in a kindergarten class. Speaking Chinese at school was strictly forbidden for teachers and pupils, and the class of 5-year-olds gasped at my transgression and yelled in unison and with glee: ‘MissLaineyouspeakchinese!’ I sort of wished it were true as I spoke hardly any Chinese at that point. After a bit of ‘No, I didn’t’, ‘Oh yes you did!’ back and forth, it became apparent that McDonald’s had been claimed as a Chinese word by my tiny charges and that no amount of explanation or incredulity would convince them otherwise – it was all in the pronunciation.

Also I, personally, want to thank Chinese for words like:

ketchup
chow
chop-chop
honcho
silk
typhoon
lychee
tea

Happy Chinese English month! Keep your eyes peeled for our first guest post tomorrow!

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Laine Redpath Cole

10 Comments

  • “Long time no see” : a great phrase directly from Chinese, too. Still enjoying teaching English in Taiwan.

  • I am looking forward to getting to know more about Chinese!thank you a lot for your more and making us more qualified professionals!

  • Growing up in the cosmopolitan melting pot of Trinidad and Tobago, I have vivid memories of Chinese words in our vernacular especially when it comes to food: chow mein and pow are that come to mind immediately. I guess they´ve always been around but we were unable to notice.

  • I´m in a cosmopolitan city in Paraguay which chinese is spoken. It would be great to learn the language. Thanks!!!

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