Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chinese for Helicopter Parents

Has little Timmy been in need of some serious adult supervision (jiāndū 监督) every moment of his life?  Do you cringe at the thought of him having to make even the most minute of decisions without your help (bāngzhù 帮助)?  Do you think that school is an evil place where children are hidden away from their parents - who should be free to sit next to them all day long coddling them and making sure they don't make spelling errors?  Well congrats to you - you're a helicopter (zhíshēngjī 直升机) parent (fùmǔ 父母)!

As a helicopter (zhíshēngjī) parent (fùmǔ), you of all people should be aware that knowledge of Mandarin Chinese is a must for any growing prodigy.  Why not pick some of it up yourself so you can teach it to your kid when you call to check on him () in between each of his classes?  (Remember, it isn't hovering if you aren't there in person...)

And let's not forget to take the future into consideration.  You're going to need to listen in to grown up Timmy's business calls while he jockeys for clients in Shanghai.  He might just need you to sneak into the other room and listen in on the other phone to make sure he doesn't miss a single opportunity (jīhuì 机会) to tell those potential clients how great he is!

The most important word you're going to need to know is the word "perfect" (wánměi de 完美的).  What more needs to be said about your angelic boy aside from the fact that he's perfect (wánměi de)? Of course, explaining how perfect (wánměi de) he is will require hours and hours of very detailed anecdotes (that everyone obviously enjoys hearing!).

You'll also want to know the word "obstacle", as in "I have removed each and every obstacle (zhàngài 障碍) standing in the way of my son's happiness as they would have inevitably lead him to a life of crime and solitude."  Who needs problem solving skills with a mother like you who's so adept at, well, everything? You hero you!

And before you head off to call his teacher to make sure he was getting sufficient social interaction today (you wouldn't have to call if they would just let you stay for his classes...), make sure you pick up the word for "psychologist" (xīnlǐ yīshēng 心理医生) because a bright boy like yours, with an involved mother like yourself is certainly going to need one...

Did you enjoy this post?  Then you might also enjoy Mandarin for Mummies.

1.  jiāndū ("jyehn-doo") 监督 supervision; to supervise
Billy wasn't allowed to use the scissors without adult supervision (jiāndū).

2.  bāngzhù ("bahng-joo") 帮助 help; to help
Children whose parents are the most helpful usually need the most help (bāngzhù).

3.  zhíshēngjī ("juh-shung-jee") 直升机 helicopter
The helicopter hovered (zhíshēngjī) over the lake - it hovered (zhíshēngjī) and hovered (zhíshēngjī) and hovered (zhíshēngjī) and hovered (zhíshēngjī)...

4.  fùmǔ ("foo-moo") 父母 parent
The job of every parent (fùmǔ) is to make sure that their child never has to go through the horrifying trauma of making a mistake.

5.  jīhuì ("jih-hway") 机会 opportunity
Little Frankie finally had the opportunity (jīhuì) to eat a meal alone.
6.  wánměi de ("wahn-may duh") 完美的 perfect
Isn't this a perfect (wánměi de) day for hovering?

7.  zhàngài ("john-guy") 障碍 obstacle
Every obstacle (zhàngài) can be overcome - unless your mommy isn't there to help!

8.  xīnlǐ yīshēng ("shin-lee yee-shung") 心理医生 psychologist
A good psychologist (xīnlǐ yīshēng) is worth his weight in straight jackets. 

Don't forget to check out this week's interactive vocabulary list.

For more help with Mandarin pronunciation, click here.   

Image: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Edgington [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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