Our Chinese teacher, Mrs. Liu, brought 3 decks of cards to our last lesson. Cards with pictures of animals, food or stuff, with the chinese characters and Pinyin/English translation on the reverse. This is what 3-6 year old Chinese kids use to learn reading Chinese. Contrary to us, these 3-6 year old Chinese kids can speak Chinese, though.
What struck me most, however, was that the word for Panda is ç†ŠçŒ«, or xiong mao (roughly pronunciated shee-oon ma-oo. Xiong means bear, which is okay. But mao means cat. A panda is thus a bear cat.
I wonder whether Alba gets a black-and-white pattern once she grows up.