Back during Kiddo’s first year in Chinese school in 2020, a parent asked a question the teacher addressed during class. The question was, “Why do you explain anything in English? I don’t understand Mandarin.” That describes my scenario: the teacher goes on and on in fairly measured Mandarin but it doesn’t mean I understand except through context and repetition and routine after all these years. She responded to the parent – at least I think what she said was – she’s creating an immersive environment for the students. That speaking in English is a slippery slope and they will demand and expect it more. After three years, I have respect for the teachers who have resisted making themselves more clear (to us) by using English. At the same time, these teachers are teaching over Zoom – the kids all have blank or distracted faces and she can’t see the parents who are looking perplexed!
The communications are no different, entirely in Chinese with little translation. I am definitely accustomed to copy and pasting email text to Google Translate if I’m access the emails on my computer.
But recently I was provided with text in images which is not possible to copy but on my phone between Google Lens operation to recognize and grab the text and then feed it to the translator to provide text copy or the audio reader, I got to understand it like I’m living in the twenty first century!
Of course, my gripe is that the audio is only in Mandarin. It looks like it used to be available in Cantonese.
Short video below of me wrangling with the controls and getting the results.