Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mary Poppins

I imagine most of you will have seen the film, Mary Poppins?

We watched this film yet again on TV over Xmas ~ it seems to
be a perennial favourite with the programme makers ~ perhaps it
still getting high ratings with the general public?

My dad took my younger sister L to see this three times when
she was little ~ something which must have been really trying
for him ~ but he told us towards the end of his life that L was
the only child he really loved (which I was rather hurt by at
the time of his confession, and which explained a lot about why
he was a such a distant figure while I was growing up).

Parents! Who'd have them, really?!

Anyway, we watched the film while our granddaughter, Mini, was
playing with all her new things, but she must have been
impressed with how Ms Poppins tidied up the kids' bedroom, just
with a few clicks of her fingers.

Next day, Mrs C was recounting to Mini how Mary had clicked her
fingers and tidied up all toys and clothes in the room ... this
was while Mrs C was tidying up the main living room / playroom.
Mrs C clicked her fingers a few times, and Mini came out with
the words: "As in Hoppy Poppy!"

Her dad is very keen for her to learn Mandarin Chinese, and has
bought her a set of language DVDs produced by the BBC. We watched
about 10 minutes of this a few times while we were in London.

Some people might query why you should teach a child Chinese ~
why not French / Spanish / German, which are the usual subjects
taught at UK schools? And how much practice is she going to get
speaking Chinese, unless she were to get a job waitressing at a
Chinese restaurant? However, China is becoming one of the top
industrial nations in the world, so job prospects in the business
world are likely to be good for Chinese speakers.

Here are the first two words taught on this course...

Ni hao = Hello.

(say "Knee ha" ... with slight emphasis on the first word).

So there you are, you can now speak a little Chinese when you
order your next take-away.

Her mum, L, told us on the phone us a few days ago, that Mini
could now say 7 words of Chinese. The only problem is that L
had no idea what she was saying, and is now having to watch the
DVD with her.

Mrs C and I are about to start a beginner's German course,
which will be taught by one of our friends, who's just finished
an Open University degree course in the subject.

He'll be teaching us the basics of German conversation for
tourists, such as how to order a cup of coffee, which will be
very handy for future visits.

Auf Wiedersehen!


Blogger Kevin 'In Salford' said...

I could never decide whether it was Mary Poppins or the actress who played her part that I disliked the most. Or more likely that the time this film came out I was just beginning to grow up and had left that type of fairytale behind me.

Likewise I can't stand 'The Sound Of Music'; Julie Andrews just makes me cringe with embarrassment whenever I see or hear anything from it.

Must admit though that from that era 'Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang' had a message behind it that I didn't realise until I was much older.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Kevin 'In Salford' said...

Having recently attended University as a 'Mature Student' I witnessed first hand the multi-cultural society that all of us in Britain actually do live in compressed down into just a couple of thousand people or less. I met so many diverse cultures, languages, opinions, politics, dress styles and codes, religions and alternative beliefs - yet all with one thing in common, the yearning and enthusiasm for higher education.

One middle-aged woman I met was a recent immigrant from Eastern Europe. She was on a Languages course, already spoke nine international languages fluently and her ambition was to raise that to eleven with a high level qualification to prove it. I thought I had at least some basic capability in French - she very soon disproved that! And the worst was that in conversation with her she kept correcting my English grammar!! (Nice lady though!)

A young lass in her early twenty's who was on my course was of Chinese descent. (Wasn't a foreign student but rather obvious her parents or possibly more likely her grandparents were immigrants). At the start of one of the early modules we had to introduce ourselves. Hers was "As you can see I'm Chinese, my first language is English, my second is Mandarin - though that's hardly spoken now so I've had to learn (generic) Chinese as well, and yes my parents do own a Chinese restaurant, and yes it is located on the 'Curry Mile'!!!

2:42 AM  

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