Thursday, February 04, 2010

the student becomes the teacher

the coming lunar year of the tiger is heavily promoted on tv. so when this chinese character came on-screen today, i tested the boy & asked what the character was. nonchalantly, he said, "hu."

i said it should be pronounced "fu", since i remembered from young that the tiger was called lao fu. hmm, i thought, his school must be teaching him wrongly. he insisted that he was right & i insisted i was. so we checked the dictionary, & guess what?

i stand corrected & that's when i realised all these years i've been calling the tiger by the wrong name. i shook his hand & congratulated him for doing well.

& that's when i ate humble pie  the student became the teacher.


Jo said...

hahaha! If you have not learned Mandarin like he has, how could you be so adamant that you were right? ;)

This is a good time for you to improve on the Mandarin, learn together with the boy.

doc said...


i was so sure because that's how i've been pronouncing it all this while, from the little mandarin i picked up in primary school.

i'm glad the boy stood his ground, or else i would not have learned from him.

Reanaclaire said...

oh .. i m worse off than u.. dont even know how to write except for my name.. hope i can still remember that..
ok off to another topic, about the singapore post, i love the signboard at the customs.. i really love it!! Dilarang thingy.. hahahaa..

fishtail said...

The signboard on your previous post really made me laugh! So no chewing gum, no littering, no smoking inside kopitiams, and no burning of churches, haha!

doc said...


better late than never. LKY didn't learn mandarin till he became PM.

the signboard was from an email i received, which is actually doctored.

doc said...


that's right - when in s'pore, DON'T PRAY PRAY!

suituapui said...

Well, at least you don't call his teacher - lau tsu (mouse)... LOL!!!

doc said...


ah, that would certainly invite a backlash!!

Anonymous said... you, I have always thought lao fu is the correct pronounciation.

Unicorn Girl said...

It's great to learn things from our little one's - isn't it ? I'm also picking up Mandarin words from my seven year old nephew :)

doc said...

Mei Teng,

my friend who is mandarin-educated told me it's common to pronounce it as lao fu in m'sia & s'pore, but it china & taiwan, it's lao hu.

doc said...

Unicorn Girl,

it's always good to learn another language & personally, i think learning mandarin is essential since more than a quarter of the world's population speak it.