I wouldn't have thought so, but travelling around Europe, and only knowing a few choices words of the country that I was (and usually getting confused with the one that I had just been in), has helped myChinese.
The following conversation took place yesterday. I was looking for some huge mosaic statues nearby.
Me: Uncle - what are those things called in a bathroom that are on the floor?
Me: Ah okay. Tiles. Do you know a place where they got the -uhm- those things on the ground, and then they hit it so it broke into little bits, but has lots of colours?
Update 25/12/06: Went through the convo with my mum, in Chinese. Perhaps I wasn't as successful in communicating as I thought I was; she had *no* idea what I was talking about!