My daughter is studying Mandarin in school. She's able to adapt well, she can read w/ or w/o hanyu pinyin, & translate it to me in english. When they have spelling, we study together kaya pati ako natututo na rin ng Mandarin kahit papano.
sometimes some auntie would ask us or talk to us in chinese ([textspeak!]
kami singapore,btw) naiintindihan nya so may translator na kami...hehe even though i know a bit, im not confident to speak the language kasi they have different intonations..so magkamalu lang intonation iba na ibig sabihin.... like, ma...'ma' can mean mom or horse depending on the tone! Lol