Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ni Hao Kids - Colors

Welcome to my first Ni Hao Kids lesson! I'm super excited about this! If you have any feedback please share it in the comments below or contact me via the "contact me" tab at the top of the screen. 

Alright, let's do this! We're jumping right in this week with colors! I love talking about colors with Miss M. She relates to them easily, they are everywhere indoors and outdoors, and they naturally occur in everyday language. 

To introduce you to the colors in Chinese I'd like to share this video with you from Basho and Friends! I love their videos and can't wait for more in Chinese. There are a lot of other languages available too, check out their YouTube channel and be sure to subscribe! They also have CDs; I plan on getting the Chinese CD for the car sometime soon. 

Watch the video then we'll talk about the colors: 

Isn't that catchy? Miss M loves it. 

Since the woman is singing she isn't exactly pronouncing the words correctly because she isn't using tones, however, for the purpose of exposing your child to a foreign language in a fun and catchy way, I think it's perfect!

In the video you'll notice they use English letters rather than Chinese characters. I wish they had both, but you can't have everything. This use of the alphabet to represent Chinese sounds is called Pinyin (also pronounced Peen-Yeen, with a long "I"). Since Chinese is a tonal language (we'll talk more about that later), there are normally marks above one of the letters in the word to convey the tone of that word. The song also doesn't use the tone markers, which is kind of a set back but since it's directed towards children I don't think it's that big of a deal. 

Here are the colors in the order they appear in the song. I'll give you the tone markers as well as the Chinese characters. 

红色 hóngsè - Red
绿色 lǜsè - Green
蓝色 lánsè - Blue
白色 báisè - White
黑色 hēisè - Black
橙色 chéngsè - Orange
紫色 zǐsè - Purple 
颜色 yánsè - Colors

The second character,色 (sè), means color. So 红色 literally means "red color". 

At the end of the song the singer gives examples of things that are these colors. The first is red. 

红纸 (hóngzhǐ) - Red Paper

Here the 色 (sè) has been dropped. The reason is the same as it is in English, I don't need to say the word "color" to make you understand that I mean "red" as in the "color red". 

Example: The red colored paper vs The red paper 

We'll leave it at that today! As far as first lessons go I may have just tossed you in the deep end, but I want to start off with something you can share with your kids. As important as it is, Pinyin pronunciation is not going to entice your toddler. 

Next week I'll be introducing the Early Lingo DVD series with a review and giveaway! I love this series and so do my kids! 

I'm also going to see about putting more audio on here and try to catch some video of Miss M saying her colors. 


  1. Wow - I'll need to come back when I'm fully awake. Nice of you to post all this.

  2. This is really neat! Thanks for sharing

  3. This is cool! Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Very cool! I would love for my kids (and myself) to learn more languages!

  5. Alright, I think the toddlers know more than I do, officially! This is a great way for kids to learn, and their little minds absorb so much!

  6. This is awesome! My kids go to a bilingual preschool and it's amazing how quickly kids can become fluent!

  7. Very interesting! I like learning about different languages but my only Chinese comes from Ni Hao Kai-Lan when my daughter watches it.

  8. i showed the video to my 4 yr old and he loved it =]

  9. Very cool! I am going to teach myself Mandarin, lol, then the kids. I am looking forward to your upcoming review and giveaway, too.

  10. It is really cool and simple to understand, it is a great way for kids to learn in a quicker way.

  11. Love this! I speak Cantonese but I would love to learn Mandarin! When will you be posting more lessons?


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