We moved to Shanghai a few days ago and are trying to find a nanny but are struggling. We are meeting someone today who comes very highly recommended, but cannot speak English. Dd2 ( who in 2 and will spend the most time with her) will be going to a fully bilingual preschool, so I don't see her having too much of a problem). Dd1 will get one hour of mandarin a day, but will be at school most of the time, so won't spend too much time with her ( unless she is sick, or has a day off school). When the dds are at school, she will clean, do laundry, iron, shop for groceries and do some cooking. Dh can speak ok mandarian and loves to study languages. I can get around in a taxi and shop in a market and that is it. Are we crazy to even consider hiring her? I think it will either be wonderful and we will all be forced to learn, plus with all the translation apps, we can get our point across. Or it could be hell. Would you do it? Thanks.
Welcome to the Middle Kingdom! I don't know anyone who has an ayi that speaks English, so I don't think you're mad. With my ayi I had a contract drawn up in english and mandarin detailing all the key issues ( rate of pay, working hours, notice period etc) to ensure there were no misunderstandings. I speak reasonable mandarin and together we can talk about her changing days, or coming later, going earlier etc and if there any more complicated issues I ask my mandarin teacher to translate.