logo AyiConnect Staff, Aug 06, 2021
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Overcome Language Barriers with Chinese Nannies

As the popularity of Chinese postpartum and night nannies grows, many American families are seeking their services. These Chinese nannies are affordable, dependable, and can teach children Chinese Mandarin or Cantonese. However, language barriers can pose a challenge when communicating with Chinese nannies. 

This article explores strategies for overcoming these barriers and fostering a positive working relationship.

Addressing the Language Barrier

A language barrier can lead to confusion and problems if not addressed effectively. Here are some strategies to consider: 

1. Decide if you can accept a nanny with limited EnglishPostpartum Chinese Confinement nanny

Determine if you are comfortable with a nanny who has limited English proficiency. Consider how you would communicate with a nanny who speaks less English. Options include using translation tools (google translate, wechat translate, etc), sign language, speaking slowly and clearly, or demonstrating tasks. 

If you prefer a nanny with a stronger level of English, find one who meets your language requirements. A nanny who only speaks Mandarin or Cantonese may not be the best choice for you.

2. Leverage Communication Tools

Technology offers various communication and translation tools like Google Translate and WeChat to bridge language gaps. 

These apps let you send or speak messages in your language. The app then turns your words into the nanny's language. She can reply in the Chinese language, and the app turns her words back into English.

3. Use Family Resources

If you have a family member who speaks Chinese, they can serve as an interpreter between you and the nanny. This can help relay information, provide instructions, and understand the nanny's perspective. 

However, using a translator can be inconvenient. You will need to find a translator who is available when you need them. It can also be expensive to use a translator all the time.

Use this strategy when you need it most. For example, you might use a translator when you are first getting to know the nanny or when you need to discuss something important.

4. Encourage Language Learning

Support your nanny's English language learning by encouraging her to use language learning apps or attend language classes. This will enhance her ability to communicate with you and your family.

Tips for Communicating with Your Chinese Nanny

Even if you try your best, mis-understanding may still arise. Here's how to approach them:

1. Practice Patience

Communicating with someone who speaks a different language can be frustrating, but it's important to remain patient. Remember that the nanny is also trying her best to understand you and communicate in English.

Speak slowly and clearly and use body language. 
Use simple English languages and sentences, different words or examples to help your nanny understand. Body language can be a helpful tool for communication, especially when words fail. 

2. Seek Help from a Translator

If communication remains difficult, consider a translate tool or interpreter who can facilitate communication between you and the nanny.

3. Be Open to Compromise

Be prepared to work through mis-understandings and find solutions that work for both of you. You may need to adjust your expectations or find alternative communication methods.

 

Occasional issues may happen when a language barrier exits.  Be prepared to work things out while you seek other ways to improve communication with your Chinese nanny.

We hope this information helps you prepare when hiring a Chinese postpartum confinement nanny or a child care caregiver.

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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. Our concierge service can help busy families who don’t have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation for our concierge service, or download our app.