欢乐学习看图词典 Fun Chinese Picture Dictionary (2nd edition) - Bilingual
This is highly recommended and a must-have resource for every single Chinese-speaking family in Singapore, and I absolutely mean it!
It's definitely useful for child and adult learners of any age in Singapore.
Over the years while observing my 3 kids, I've found that to acquire new vocabulary effectively, it really helps if learning
- has a context - in a setting with related scenario, place or usage, not introduce random words on their own
- is experiential - best if it's in real life, something that my child can experience with his or her senses
- is associated with a memory - best if with family or friends! Perhaps during mealtime, grocery shopping, meal prep, playdate, family outing
- is tailored to our local setting - I've recently realised the importance of this! There is no confusion on terms used abroad or locally.
This picture dictionary, also an encyclopedia, is written based on the Ministry of Education, Singapore's latest Primary School Chinese syllabus (2015). Every single scenario is tailored perfectly to the local setting, with terms thoughtfully chosen to reflect local lingo and norms.
The book is divided into 10 themes.
Here are some of our favourites and samples of topics covered:
- 学校 School - 教室 / 课室 Classroom, 食堂 Canteen / Tuckshop
- 家 Home / House - 家庭树 Family Tree, 家务 Household Chores, 邻里设施 Neighbourhood Facilities
- 我 About Myself - 身体 Body, 游戏 Games, 爱好 Hobbies
- 公共场所与设施 Public Places and Facilities - 游乐场 Playground, 小贩中心 Hawker Centre, 地铁站 MRT station
- 学习之旅 Learning Journey - 动物园 Zoo，新加坡著名景点 Singapore Attractions
- 节日 / 节庆活动 Festivals / Events - 农历新年 Chinese New Year，中秋节 Mid-Autumn Festival，圣诞节 Christmas Day
- 其他 Others - Numbers 数字，Directions 方向，Singapore Currency 新加坡货币
Features we love:
- Chinese term, Hanyu Pinyin and English translation included for all nouns featured
- Includes vocabulary from our local Primary School Chinese curriculum - this will give children a headstart in oral vocabulary to 听 and 说 better, before subsequent 读 and 写 comes along!
- 78 daily-life scenarios that are familiar to families in Singapore, especially for kids!
- About 1000 commonly used nouns 名词, with related measure words 量词, collective nouns 集合名词, and verbs 动词
- Accompanying mobile app (Android & iOs platforms) makes learning intuitive – listening to audio playbacks and learning verbs through animation. The audio especially helpful for parents learning alongside our kids, so that we can use these terms accurately in our daily family conversations
- English-Chinese index provided at the end of the book - I love that there are 2 versions, index sorted by Chinese words' hanyu pinyin, and another arranged in alphabetical order for English words. The other day I couldn't remember the Chinese term for "Flamingo" and my 6 year old located it on his own through the English index!
- Contents page is thoughtfully categorised - The other day my 6 year old wanted to look for the page on "Hobbies", so he went to the contents page, to the section "About Myself" and he could locate the information independently!
Ways to use this book, tested and trialed with my kids of ages 1.5, 6 and 8:
- Let kids randomly flip through and check out any topics. Perfect for on-the-go learning.
- Zoom into topics or things that we know the child likes eg favourite animal, colour, food, place of attraction
- Reference what we already experienced to aid in recall and to give a meaningful context - eg learn about fruit after we recently ate fresh rambutan from a tree, compare real banknotes and coins against the specimens in the book after child runs an errand to buy something
Gently introduce a new topic, theme, upcoming festival or outing!
eg before National Day, to learn about our flag, pledge, local tourist attractions, local food. Before Mid-Autumn festival, to look at different types of lanterns, learn that Chinese like to pair mooncakes with Chinese tea etc. This helps us work on increasing intentional and meaningful language input for our kids!
- Jumpstart deeper learning with intrinsic motivation - Choose any topic you'd like to learn more about!
- Share stories about my own childhood and past, using pictures as conversation starters - eg while reading the page on Games, I share with the kids that I used to play five stones with my friends in primary school.
- Do some hands-on activities - eg make a simple craft after learning about pets, discussing what would make a great pet and why, give it a name.
The only downside to this book I can think of is that it comes in softcover. If it were hardcover with slightly sturdier pages, this would be perfect!
Recommended for Ages: 1 and up
Language: Bilingual - Simplified Chinese and English, Hanyu pinyin
This is the second time i purchased the 欢乐学习看图词典 as a gift for my close friend's kids as well as helping some of my friends to get it. The consideration in the design of the content is very细腻. This book should be a must in every household as it encompass 15 scenes you will encounter in school, 9 scenes about home (inclusive of family trees), 9 scenes about myself inclusive of my ambitions/hobbies, 6 scenes about food inclusive of cuisine from Indian and Malay, time tables (time, day/month/year, celebrations), public places and facilities, and 4 other main themes! It is a very thoughfully designed content that has nomenclature for all the things around the scene in bilingual and pinyin. The book is great for walking thru the scenes doing a I spy whether the item or words or even great to explain certain places or occasions to get the kids familiar before experience it. It could be also helpful for discussion after we go to certain places/celebration to re-inforce what they saw.
Useful dictionary for me to refer to when I'm unsure of some nouns in Chinese as there are often many translations on Google that I can't be sure which is correct. Having a reference book around also helps me to encourage my boy to look things up himself. It was a bit disappointing that there's only one brief page on the road as my boy loves the road vehicles and construction vehicles that he sees daily.
Dear Rui, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the book! Oh yes, sometimes we're not very sure of which translations on Google apply to our local context, and that's where this book comes in. There's also a Singaporean Mandarin Database on https://www.languagecouncils.sg/mandarin/en/learning-resources/singaporean-mandarin-database - which lists down local Mandarin terms! It's worth a look too.
As for vehicles, we have several other resources all about them, which would be right up your boy's alley!
I bought this for my K2 kid to expand her vocabulary because I often struggle to think of the right Chinese word to describe things. I ended up using the book a lot for self-education! Now I have a better range of words to chat with my kids. The topics are very local and relateable. Great buy for the price.
This book is definitely a must buy. Every pages are colourful and exciting. Both my girls (3 & 6 YO) love the book. Thank you for bringing in this book!
This book is so amazing, it's not pricey yet it has so many things that one can learn from. My 3 year old enjoys this book. We like that it is based on local context, like attractions and money etc. It'll be able to last him till primary school.