AyiConnect Staff, Aug 06, 2021
Read 3 hours ago

Many American families are joining the list of people looking to engage the services of Chinese maternity and night nannies. Chinese nannies are popular because they are often affordable, dependable, and can teach kids a second language.

However, language barriers often pose a problem when American clients seek out Chinese nannies. 

Let us answer the big question: What happens if you and your helper have a language barrier? How do you overcome it? 

A language barrier means that there will be lots of miscommunication and misunderstanding if the barrier is not bridged or lifted. So, what is the best way to go?

Decide if you can accept a nanny with limited knowledge of English

Chinese nannies are amazing, but some don't have a good command of the English language; are they what you need? As a client, you need to ask and answer this question honestly before engaging the services of a nanny who has limited knowledge of English. 

Can you deal with the difficulties that might arise? If you can, then the next step would be to consider how you would communicate with the nanny. It can be through translations, the use of sign language, speaking, and showing, or other methods. 

However, if you don't think you can cope with a nanny who has a poor command of English, then you probably shouldn't go for one.

What level of English Language are you open to?

Different Chinese nannies have different levels of command or understanding of the English language. Chances are that you might find a Chinese nanny who speaks English fluently, just as you might find one who understands basic communication in English, and another who speaks little or no English.

Are you okay with a nanny who can understand basic directions and instructions, and can respond as well? Or do you need a nanny with a firm hand in the language? 

Some families are open to taking nannies with a basic knowledge of English and then teaching them using books, TV, and other English learning methods. Others would only hire Chinese nannies that meet their English requirements. In such a situation, you should do what works for you and your family.

Do you have a Chinese-Speaking family member?

Is there anyone in your family who can communicate with the Chinese nanny in her language and express your needs to her?

One spouse or relative might have an understanding of the Chinese language and can serve as an interpreter between the nanny and the family. He/she can relay information, give directions to the nanny, and inform the family about the nanny's thoughts or responses. 

Are you open to using communication tools?

Thanks to technology and globalization, we have some communication and translation apps like Google translate and WeChat that help to bridge the communication gap between people.

You can send messages using the app, and they would be translated into the language your nanny understands. She can also reply to you and it would be translated into the English Language.

Alongside communication tools, some applications make language learning easier. Your nanny can download any of these apps and begin to learn simple English language so she can communicate better with you.

How do you handle a misunderstanding with your Chinese nanny?

What happens when there is a misunderstanding between you and your nanny? What is the best way to handle it?

Patience is the first thing that comes to mind in such a situation. 

It can be exasperating when trying to sort out a misunderstanding with your nanny, but you cannot understand her. However, don't forget that it is also confusing and frustrating for your nanny and that she is trying her best to make you understand her.

If you attempt to communicate with her, but it still proves difficult, seek the help of a translator or interpreter who will speak on your nanny's behalf and yours as well. 

A language barrier is bound to cause a misunderstanding on several occasions, so be prepared to work things out while you seek other ways to improve communication with your Chinese nanny.

We hope this helps you to make an informed decision when considering engaging the services of a Chinese maternity nanny or night nanny.


AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can engage with them directly through self-service or concierge service. The concierge 1:1 service can provide another option to ensure successful matches for busy families who don’t have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or check us out on ayiconnection.com