The Fun of 疊詞

疊詞/Reduplication is a unique yet important feature in Chinese. It is the "doubling" of a character in a word. Some examples are:
疊詞是漢語的一個特色。以下是一些例子:

綠油油
紅彤彤
慢吞吞
靜悄悄
亮晶晶
笑哈哈
依依不捨

The structure of 疊詞 can have many combinations. Some common patterns are:
疊詞有很多不同的型式。以下是一些常用的型式:

ABAB 學習學習
AABB 家家戶戶
ABCB 前看後看
AAB 排排坐
ABB 亮晶晶

The use of 疊詞 makes the language more colourful, whether in writing or in speaking. It also adds a certain rhythm, and sometimes subtle nuance. For example, when we compare:
無論是書寫抑或日常對話,疊詞都能使本來平舖直敘的語句變得更生動,亦能加強語調節奏,甚至增添一些含蓄的語意。試比較以下兩句話:

a. 一片綠色的草地
b. 一片綠油油的草地

(b) depicts the grass as younger, fresher, more vibrant and more in abundance.
我們會感到 (b) 句的草地顯得更嫩、更鮮、更亮澤、更欣榮。

A lot of names in Chinese are 疊詞:

爸爸/媽媽/哥哥/妹妹/叔叔/伯伯/舅舅/太太

It's a common practice to double up a name in baby talks, such as: 吃果果、穿鞋鞋、肚子痛痛、玩球球. It is not used among adults.

在現代漢語中,很多稱謂都演化成了疊詞 (如上面的例子)。
我們跟小孩子說話,也會經常用到疊詞,但成人之間就不會這樣說話喔。

Subtle changes in meanings

When some 量詞 are doubled up, they mean "every single one". For example:
當一些量詞重疊使用時,往往代表了「每個」。例如:

件件衣服都好看
家家的窗口都亮起來了
個個小孩都上學
本本書我都看過了

When some verbs are doubled up, they become a suggestions, or are changed to a polite form. Some examples as below:
當我們表示禮貌或婉轉時,很自然會將動詞重疊使用。

請您看看。
我來拍拍照。
給花加加水。
在這裏坐坐。

Some verbs can be doubled up to signify little pauses in some continuous actions. For example:
有些動詞重疊了,我們就感到在一段時間內做的一件事中間有些間歇。

走走看看 / 進進出出 / 說說笑笑

疊詞, similar to 成語 (Idioms), has evolved throughout history. New ones are also being constantly added through our everyday use. The most effective way to learn them is by reading extensively, talking with people, and finding opportunities to use them.
If you are interested in more examples of 疊詞, please read our article 漢語的「疊詞」 (in Chinese).

疊詞,就像成語一樣,經歷了長時間的積聚,同時又因我們日常的使用不斷增新,因此越來越豐富。孩子要學好運用的方法,必須透過廣泛的閱讀和使用。
我們另一篇文章 漢語的「疊詞」 有更多的參考舉例,歡迎你參閱。

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

Most of these activities are geared towards teaching children some common 疊詞 to help them start building their vocabulary.


疊詞 Matching Activity (age 3+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper 紙 (裁成大紙卡)
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Using the examples (or your own), write the two parts of 疊詞 on multiple cards (eg: 綠on one card and 油油 on another)
  • 準備一組幾個疊詞,將每個疊詞拆開兩組,重疉的部分寫在一張卡上,另一部份寫在另一張卡上。例如:綠油油 - 「綠」寫在一張卡上,「油油」在另一張卡上
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 

  1. Lay down one half of the 疊詞 face up
  2. Give your child the other half of the 疊詞
  3. Have your child match their half with the face up cards
  1. 將所有疊詞前一半的字卡排在孩子面前
  2. 將另一半的字卡給孩子
  3. 由孩子將兩部分的字卡配對,組成正確的疊詞
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. Having your child match the FULL 疊詞 instead of each half. This will be easier for younger children.
  2. To make it easier, split the 疊詞 in half at the doubled word. (eg: 綠油 on one card and 油 on another)
  3. To make it more difficult, you can also have the full 疊詞 on one card and the MEANING/definition on the other card.
  1. 開始時可以將兩個重疊詞拆開 (例如: 「綠油」在一張卡上,「油」在另一張卡),會比較容易
  2. 要增加難度,將疊詞寫在一組卡上;另一組卡是可以配合使用的名詞、動詞、近義詞...

疊詞 Unscramble Activity (age 5+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper 紙
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Write each character of the 疊詞 on individual cards
  • 將疊詞所有的字都分別寫在獨立的字卡上
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 

  1. Take all the character cards in a 疊詞 and mix them up.
  2. Give all the cards to your child and have them unscramble into the 疊詞
  1. 將所有字卡洗亂
  2. 由孩子將它們組合排成正確的疊詞
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 
  1. To make the activity harder, you can mix up multiple 疊詞 cards together and have your child unscramble ALL of the 疊詞. The more 疊詞 you include, the more difficult.
  2. You can also make it a team activity. Either have the children unscramble 疊詞 together in a group, or have two separate teams of children and see who can unscramble the 疊詞

  1. 要增加難度,只要增加疊詞數量就可以了
  2. 也可以讓孩子之間計時比賽

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Just because it was hard, doesn’t mean it will always be hard.

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that sometimes, teaching our children Chinese is just difficult. Whether the actual characters are hard or our children are having a tough time, sometimes, learning new things is exhausting.

We wanted to remind you that often, difficult or easy phases are temporary. You can take heart that a rough patch isn’t forever as well as not take for granted the easy moments. Children go through cycles and developmental phases and adults also go through seasons depending on life.

Don’t be too proud and don’t be too despondent.

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加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】

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