Sunday, May 6, 2007

Multilingual Madness

Every time we take Cate anywhere, she chatters away with the store clerks. I was originally told she speaks Mandarin, which is China's official language. Guangxi, the area she is from, is the home of one of the largest ethnic minorities in China called the Zhuang. A local dialect as well as Cantonese (being close to Canton and Hong Kong) is also spoken there. It turns out that she speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese. The Chinese people who speak to her say she is really smart.

With us, however, she has figured out we don't know what she's saying, so she just makes noise to express her emotions. This, along with her lack of exposure to toys, puzzles and other developmental things, makes her seem babyish. But already she is responding appropriately to many questions we ask her. Her hearing seems to be fine. The orphanage told us the problem had resolved itself.

Let us hope that her smart little brain will work quickly for her as she learns English. I think things will be a lot easier when she can understand us.


Margaret said...

It's great news to hear that Cate's hearing seems to be fine. We cannot wait to see you and hear even more details from your trip. Our family has enjoyed gathering around the computer for the latest news. Give Grace a hug for us. I am sure Lindsay will be able to give her some big sister tips and some sympathy over the difficulties of being a big sister. We wish you a safe and peaceful trip home.

Marla said...

Cate and Grace,
Please know that we will all be united very soon at the airport. Your Poppy is so very happy that he will have all his girls home safely very soon. We have traveled up the coast of the United States and that is no where near the mileage you will travel to come back to the states.
It is a wonder and a true miracle that the reason this adoption occurred so quickly no longer exists. God works in mysterious ways. What can we say---we say thank you for all Your gifts.
Poppy and Marla