Pen Pals

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Pen pal in Mandarin?

Oct 2015

I am looking for a pen pal for my daughter 8 and my son 10 to write back and forth in
Mandarin. The pen pal does not necessarily have to live in China (although that would
be fun!). I really just want my kids to practice writing and reading in Chinese and
have them feel as if they can actually communicate using the language.
My only ask is that the children write back and forth frequently.
Please let me know if you know of anyone (or if your children would be interested!)
Thank you!

I don't have anyone to recommend, but I do want to make some clarifications. If you are interested in a PEN pal, meaning only WRITING (not speaking), then Mandarin and Cantonese are the same. The thing you should specify is whether you want to learn the written language in TRADITIONAL or SIMPLIFIED Chinese characters. (You may try Google Translate to see the difference.) Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Simplified Chinese is used in China today, created by the Communist government after 1949--a sort of watered-down pidgen Chinese. The official reason was to educate the masses quickly, but really it was to cut off communication with the Chinese outside China and to make it difficult to read traditional literature written before the communist revolution (part of the Cultural Revolution strategy). Anon