沙滩漫步 Beach Walk!


Yesterday we went on a 沙滩漫步 Shātān mànbù (beach walk). It was led by Laurie, who volunteered his time to share his knowledge of our local beach with us. We learned so much and discovered some amazing marine life we had just never seen before! We 去沙滩探险 Qù shātān tànxiǎn (explored the beach) and made 海洋生物发现 Hǎiyáng shēngwù fāxiàn (marine life discoveries)!

If you are learning Chinese, you may have learned 散步 sanbu, to go for a walk, 漫步 mànbù is a kind of walk where you wander casually around, the kind you would do exploring the beach!

Do you also notice that many of the characters in the picture above have 氵as part of the character? This is known as the water radical, and seeing this in characters can give you a clue that it is something to do with water! 海洋 (sea, ocean) 沙滩 (beach) . Can you see 漫 in漫步 also has the water radical? This word for rambling around can be used for many other rambling kinds of walk other than near water…eg 书林漫步 (browsing for books, another one of my favorite pastimes!). My guess is that the kind of walk 漫步 is, is more ‘fluid’ than a straight walk…not saying that this is the exact etymology of this character, but it kinda makes sense to me that way! And it’s what makes it a beautiful and apt choice of word for our ‘beach walk’!

The beach walk was supported by ‘Keep Sandgate Beautiful Association’. If you would like to find out more details of when the next Sandgate beach walk will be organised you can call 07 3269 1671. We can highly recommend it!



复活节的十字面包 Easter hot cross buns


Easter is not traditionally celebrated in China, so there was never really a name for hot cross buns…so what do we call them when we want to let our Chinese friends know what we are doing for Easter? Well, the Chinese character for the number ten is written like this 十. Kind of cross shaped, so we call hot cross buns 十字面包,( shízì miànbāo ) or ‘the number ten character bread’ 😊Easter is 复活节, fùhuójié 复 meaning to duplicate, and 活 meaning life, 节 meaning festival, so kind of duplicate life festival…or being born again festival 😃

While I wheelbarrowed sand and pebbles to make our outdoor area for our new learning space, my little boy made hot cross buns all by himself following a YouTube video…they turned out pretty speccy, fluffy and yummy….so he can say ‘我自己做复活节的十字面包’ Wǒ zìjǐ zuò fùhuójié de shízì miànbāo, or ‘I made all by myself Easter hot cross buns’

Have a happy 复活节 long weekend !!

功夫熊猫 Kung Fu Panda!

The long awaited Kung Fu Panda 3 is about to hit our screens!  The theme tune is a cool bilingual song called ‘Try’ by Patrick Brasca and Jay Chou.  Why not learn the Chinese part to sing along? Even if you are new to Chinese, singing along will help your brain network the sounds of those unfamiliar pinyin syllables!  And you can impress your friends with Kung Fu awesomeness in Chinese!

Lyrics to the Chinese part, with pinyin transliteration and English translation see below the video link.

我说几华里我送别了过去                 I say, I waved goodbye to the past at a place a few miles away
他们说人生的结局非常的戏剧        They say, the ending of life is very dramatic
塞外羌笛孤城马蹄                              Beyond the Great Wall, there is a lonely castle, with Qiang (an ethic group) flutes singing and  horses trit-trotting.
在武侠的世界里谁与谁来为敌          Who is whose enemy in the world of Kongfu masters?
黄沙里用竹笔写下的字叫勇气          Yellow sand rises. “Courage” is written down with Bamboo stick

这世界有些事有些人凭感觉               Follow your feeling to understand people and the world
别管他旌旗密布遍野狼烟霜雪            though banners waving, smoke signals rising, frost and snow covering the wild
那故事在穿越而我也在翻页               That story is travelling across time, and I am turning to a new page
一行行做好准备敏锐而直接               Be prepared, word by word, abruptly and directly

爱不灭真实的一切废话全收回            Love never destroys truth, so stop chattering nonsense.


Wǒ shuō jǐ huálǐ wǒ sòngbiéle guòqù
tāmen shuō rénshēng de jiéjú fēicháng de xìjù
sàiwài qiāngdí gūchéng mǎtí
zài wǔxiá de shìjiè lǐ shuí yǔ shuí lái wèi dI

Hé:La la la la la la la la la
huáng shā lǐ yòng zhú bǐ xiě xià de zì jiào yǒngqì

Zhè shìjiè yǒuxiē shì yǒuxiē rén píng gǎnjué
biéguǎn tā jīngqí mìbù biànyě lángyān shuāng xuě
nà gùshì zài chuānyuè ér wǒ yě zài fān yè
yī háng háng zuò hǎo zhǔnbèi mǐnruì ér zhíjiē

hé:La la la la la la la la la
ài bù miè zhēnshí de yīqiè fèihuà quán shōuhuí

关掉!Turn it off!

Kids have a natural curiosity to learn about our planet and how things work on it, they also seem to get pretty enthused when it comes to working out ways to protect our planet, locally, globally, physically and spiritually…kids are caring, and it is amazing to witness the ideas and how absorbed children get within those ideas when we set off on a task to save our planet and our people from any number of problems we are plagued with at the moment!

It has direct meaning, it is their world, and as a family we integrate all learning areas into these saving the planet quests!   Mandarin always included!   Despite their natural caring attitude though, we live in a world where today’s children can take things for granted.  Energy use, and its consequences for us and our planet, is one of the things that can be pretty hard to get our heads around.   It seems to be a common problem…kids, and even lots of adults take energy for granted.  We leave a room and leave the light on.  We watch TV, go onto something else, and leave the TV on.  We run air conditioners endlessly.  How can we bring an awareness to think about saving this energy?

As a family we are on an ever developing energy exploring journey, but it is the Mandarin part that is relevant to this blog!  So our kids made the above art works, to hang around at certain parts of the house, to remind us to ‘Turn it Off! They wrote the message in Chinese, as not only will it help us to remember the Chinese, the extra work the brain has to do to read it in a second language will help the brain actually act on the notice!! We also learned the song ‘Turn it Off!’ by Groovi Pauli on his Green Album.  This way we can actually sing the song when we see the notice.  Get his album from above link, it has lots of songs to help kids save the planet in Mandarin!

I made a ‘Turn it off Powerpoint’ with the lyrics of the song on, with images to help students with the meaning of each line.  Singing this song with kinaesthetic gesture also helps reinforce the meaning. Click here to download it turn it off pp

Please feel free to copy and paste the Chinese characters in the powerpoint so kids can write them on their own arty signs for around the home or the school, to help remind us all to ‘Turn it Off!’  Any other ideas to help awareness of saving energy, especially in Mandarin, welcome!

Mandarin Motion Update!

We are STILL undergoing the required renovations at my home to create a learning space for kids in our local community to have some fun in Mandarin!

Plans, approvals, scheduling contractors…all taking time…but this week things are IN MOTION…underneath our house is now mud with a mountain of old concrete rubble to be taken away, ready to restump and re concrete and frame our new space!

With no official classes, not much action on this blog.  But we are still sharing our family’s Mandarin Motion moments on our Mandarin Motion Facebook page!  So go check it out, LIKE the page, and you will get learning tips and ideas, teaching tips and ideas whenever we post!

You can find out about these lanterns we made for Chinese New Year:

Or about how we learn Mandarin in Motion…

So go check it out! Mandarin Motion Facebook page!