All set to shame yourself at the Chinese New Year reunion? Be better prepared next time.

How's that New Year's resolution to learn French/Japanese/Elvish coming? Yeah, didn't think so. How about brushing up on a much more immediately useful language? Like Hokkien, Cantonese or Teochew?

A bunch of community organizations like the National Heritage Board, the Chinatown Heritage Council and NTU have joined up for the My Father Tongue campaign, and the number one perk for you is free dialect classes at Nee Soon East and Changi-Simei Community Clubs and the Chinatown Heritage Centre. Running from mid-Feb to March, classes happen once or twice a week on weekday evenings and last anywhere from an hour to three hours. 

Don't expect miracles, though. The classes only total six contact hours and cover simple instructions, numbers and easy vocab. Not a bad start, though. We hope we'll soon be able to take free classes in Malay and Tamil, too.