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Word of the Day-Children (Xiao Hai)

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011 By Ni Hao Books

The Words of the Day for today is 小孩, xiǎo hái (children). 小 means small, and 孩 means kids. Both of my kids have found this word hard to remember, even though they are both 小孩, and it's an easy word. What confuse them is because of the word for adults is 大人,(dà rén). Since adults are 大人, the children, who are smaller version of adults, should be 小人 (xiǎo rén). I can see this logic going through my kids' heads whenever this topic comes up. It's very logical, however, the Chinese language sometimes doesn't work like that. It works in examples such as a big apple is 大苹果 (dà píng guǒ), a small apple is 小苹果 (xiǎo píng guǒ). But if you call anyone a 小人, he/she will be very upset. 小人 is someone who is tricky, cheap, and who stabs others in the back. Just not a good person. Hence, I correct my kids every time they call themselves 小人, because they are not. They are 可爱的小孩, kě ài de xiǎo hái (cute kids).

 

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