Our family at Mandarin Motion have been learning AUSLAN sign language 🙂 So we will now use these signs more and more in our Mandarin Motion Song and Story Time as we learn them 🙂 Doing actions with words gives us a multiple intelligences work out, and helps us remember the vocab of a second language with the associated gesture, and we get to learn Auslan vocabulary in the bargain! Here are the kids practicing with the Hungry Caterpillar 🙂
In this sentence the kids are saying 星期一毛毛虫吃了一个苹果。(Xīngqīyī máomaochóng chī le yī gè píngguǒ) ‘On Monday the caterpillar ate one apple’.
Auslan is a language, with its own grammar, word order and culture, just like any other language. When we learn another language we have to learn a new set of grammar rules, and often a word order that is different to our first language. But in doing so we actually get to understand our first language better! Mandarin has a different word order to English at times, and some grammatical particles that just don’t exist in English. But as we learn the language, we get used to these differences. Auslan too has a different word order to English! So it is important to know, that if you want to learn Auslan, I would really recommend enrolling in a course, like the ones Lisa Mills Online has. That way you can become a multi lingual and communicate in Auslan!
What we are hoping to do at Mandarin Motion, is to include actions as we tell stories and sing songs, in Mandarin. We feel using Auslan Sign is the best way to do this, as then kids are learning vocabulary for two languages at the same time! It is important to know though, that we are using the signs alongside Mandarin, and of course in Mandarin word order 🙂 The bonus is, not only does it help our brain network Mandarin, we are getting a foundation of Auslan vocabulary in the bargain 🙂
In the above sentence there are 2 words that don’t exist in either English or Auslan! These are 了 pronounced ‘le’ and 个 pronounced ‘ge’. But we want to include a sign for these words, because we just can’t ignore these words in Mandarin! So for 了, which in this particular sentence is changing the verb 吃 from ‘eat’ to ‘ate’, we have used the Auslan alphabet letter ‘L’ sign. For 个 we have used the Auslan letter ‘G’ sign followed by the sign for ‘counting’ , as 个 (ge) is a measure word used when counting things in Chinese.
Hope we can have fun learning to sign together, as we sing and share stories in Mandarin 🙂