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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Writing in Cantonese, not Mandarin? Ask Ray

My guess is the immersion nursery is run by somebody from China, that automatically said Traditional Characters are Cantonese.

Original Question:

hi there

Some time ago I bought a number of CDs from your online shop and had them shipped to me in London, UK.

I have since been told by my daughter's Mandarin immersion nursery that the pictures I have shown them of the CDs show Cantonese language writing.

I have not had a chance to lend them the CD yet, but that is my next stop.

For these two CDs at least, ALL the writing is in Cantonese not Mandarin:

I have not had a chance to take pictures of the other CDs that I purchased yet, neither have I had a chance to play the CDs to the fluent Mandarin speakers.

However, I am already a bit shocked. Are you absolutely sure these are Mandarin?



My response:

Dear K,
Short answer is the books use Traditional Chinese Characters with Mandarin Chinese on the CD's and were published in Taiwan.

Longer answer is there are basically two styles of writing in Chinese.  Traditional Characters and Simplified Characters.
Hong Kong, where Cantonese is spoken uses Traditional Characters officially. And that is what is mostly taught in the schools.
Taiwan, where Mandarin Chinese is the official language uses Traditional Characters.
China where the official language, but a lot of dialects are spoken, uses Simplified Characters since the revolution in 1949, and the use of Traditional Characters was outlawed in China.
Simplified Characters are the same as Traditional (if you know one, you can read the other), where some strokes on some characters were removed.
The difference between usage of Traditional Characters in Taiwan and in Hong Kong, are more of a grammar issue.

On which is easier to learn, you have people who argue one or the other is easier. The claims are one has less strokes and the other has a system. My opinion is they are both equally hard and the simplification did not go far enough.

The books with CD's I sold you are in Mandarin, and published in Taiwan with Traditional Characters along with Bo Po Mo, which is a traditional type of phonics used in Taiwan. China uses Pinyin for phonics, that is based on Russian pronunciation. There are also claims on which type of phonics is easier to learn from.
Ray, Owner


UC-Davis Students: Sumo Wrestling Fat Suit Amounts to Anti-Asian Racism, White Supremacy

This comment captures it best:

Difficult to distinguish sincere social justice activism from parody.

Basically UC Davis has a block party, and part of it was a fat suit opportunity.

My thought was intent is a large portion of how something should be judged as racist or not.

I remember that Sumo is now dominated by non Japanese now at the top levels.

UC-Davis Students: Sumo Wrestling Fat Suit Amounts to Anti-Asian Racism, White Supremacy - Reason Magazine


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

China is buying up American companies fast

China is buying up American companies fast, and it's freaking people out - Business Insider

Wow - A Chinese company is going to buy Ingram Micro! Total deals announced this year are $81 Billion dollars. The previous period was $11 Billion. Ingram Micro is part of Ingram Industries, which includes Ingram Content Group. I wonder if this would be part of the deal? Ingram is the largest book distributor in the US, but Amazon has taken away a lot of their business.

Some questions:

  • So what has changed? Why are Chinese companies buying more businesses outside of China? 
  • Why is the Chinese government supporting this?
  • Can Chinese companies successfully manage a non-Chinese workforce? In the US, the Japanese bought a lot of US companies and often this was a failure. Culture is a huge issue when doing a successful acquisition. Cisco is one of the few companies I know that has been successful in acquisitions.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

If You Major in STEM, it Doesn’t Matter Where You Go to College

I am surprised by this.

I wonder, if the percentage of people actually working in Stem varies depending on the college?

Or is it mid-tier have as good, or actually better Stem programs?

Disclaimer - I am a graduate of Cal Poly, Pomona, which is a huge source of Engineering graduates, but in most measurements would be a mid-tier at best college overall. In Engineering, it's one of the top ones.

If You Major in STEM, it Doesn’t Matter Where You Go to College - The American Interest

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Friday, January 15, 2016

The China Bubble

China's Bubble

There are so many articles out there about China's bubble. How it's the end of the world, and China is going to lead us into economic doom. This article is much more balanced, and points out how there are really two bubbles. One within China, the other the suppliers outside of China. From German high tech good, to raw materials from Australia and Brazil.

China does have a lot of challenges, but amazingly since Deng took power, China has prospered. I would not be against China, if I was a betting person.

The China Bubble - The American Interest

55 Comments, which add a lot to the discussion.

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Trio faces sentencing in Rowland Heights torture case

Wow. Sounds like something out of Lord of the Flies.

Note how some suspects left the country...

Trio faces sentencing in Rowland Heights torture case - Rowland Heights


Monday, January 11, 2016

PhD's - Are they worth it?

Good question in Quora, if getting a PhD makes sense.

Am I crazy to leave a six figure salary to get a PhD in computer science?

The person had a 6 figure job with a BS and MS in statistics, and went back to get a PhD in Computer Science.

The person answered yes, but more for the intangibles.

My 2 cents:

If you want to teach College, you need a PhD. The key is you need to get a PhD from the right college and major, or you just wasted your time. Key things to look at are the drop out rate, hire rate, and expected salaries. From what I have read, there is a surplus of PhDs due to a system that has more supply, than demand.

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