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.