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Learn the numbers
Last updated: 02.02.20
This is an absolutely delightful song that has given me great pleasure. In it, children are introduced to numbers by comparing each number with a well-known everyday object to whit: 1 looks like a chopstick, 2 like a little duck, 3 like a little comb, 4 like a little flag, 5 like a tiny hook, 6 like a little pear, 7 like a little scythe, 8 like a pair of rings, 9 like a little spoon and finally 0 like a tiny bean. By the description one notices of course that the numbers being taught are the Arabic numerals known to occidentals and not the Mandarin numerals which we disrespectfully called "icks" in the Royal Navy in the 1960's. The final lines are quite strange for occidental ears as they are devoted to thanking the teacher for his/her endeavours!
This song is as you already knew also to be found in Cindy Mao and Ma Baolin's Sing Chinese.
Little friend, little friend, come here with your chair xiǎo péng you xiǎo péng you bān lái yǐ zi
Together together, we are learning the numbers lái lai lai lái lai lai dà jiā zuò hǎo xué shù zi.
One looks like a chopstick yī zì xiàng gēn xiauo kuài zi.
Two looks like a little duck. èr zì xiàng zhī xiǎo yā zi.
Three looks like a liitle comb sān zì xiàng bǎ xiǎo shū zi.
Four looks like a little flag si zì xiàng miàn xiǎo qí zi
Five looks like a little little little hook wǔ zì xiàng gè xiǎo ya xiǎo ya xiǎo gōu zi
Six looks like a little pear liù zì xiàng zhī xiǎo lí zi.
Seven looks like a little scythe, qī zì xiàng gēn xiǎo pá zi.
Eight looks like a pair of rings bā zì xiàng duì xiǎo huán zi.
Nine looks like a little spoon. jiǔ zi xiàng gè xiǎo sháo zi.
Naught looks like a little little little bean. líng zì xiàng kē xiǎo ya xiǎo ya xiǎo dòu zi.
Big or small all numbers go to our heads, xiǎo shù zi, dà shù zi zhuāng jìn xiǎo nǎo zi.
Clap our hands, laugh aloud, let us thank our pāi pāi shǒu xiǎo hā hā xié xie wǒ mén de
Good teacher ya good teacher hào lǎo shī ya hǎo lǎo shī.