Learning Chinese for Kids Blog
10% Off - Join our E-Mail List!
Subscribe so you get a weekly, fun to read Learning Chinese E-Mail newsletter including sales, tips, events, and new product announcements. Unsubscribe at any time safely! A 10% off one time coupon ($25 minimum purchase) will be sent to you with your E-Mail subscription.

Monday, December 31, 2007

China's Economy - Size Adjusted Down

Per the LA Times, the size of the Chinese Economy has been adjusted down per the World Bank. The article analyzes the impact of the changes such as that China will not be bigger than the US economically in 2012, as well as the fact considerably more people are poorer in China than thought before.

Amazing what you can do with statistics. How reliable are the measurements? I am not sure. Statistics on economic output in China are state controlled for the most part from what I have read. There is usually an incentive to overstate statistics on a lower, state level (who wants to admit to being poor or not making their growth estimates). Would it be in China's interest to have lower statistics? Would it be in their interest to have higher statistics? I can see arguments for reasons for going either way.

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Chinatown - Rowland Heights

A local Christian School in Rowland Heights, Southlands Christian School, is going to move and sell the property to a developer that is proposing to put apartments in there. More evidence of changing demographics. The area has changed to a mostly Asian (Chinese and Korean) plus a bit of everything else, while the church has not. There are so many Asian Churches in the area (see map that gives some clue - I did a search on churches around Rowland Heights).

It's a nice school, unfortunately they have not successfully adopted to the changing demographics and are moving because of it to another area. translation, the property has gone up a huge amount, the church members are for the most part no longer local, and why not move and use the money from the sale.

There is a shortage of apartments in the area, so many younger adults will rent a room in a house in the local area. Going rate I understand is $600 per room.

View Larger Map


Friday, December 28, 2007

Rowland Heights - New Chinatown - Observation

Why are there so many dentists in Rowland Heights where Childbook.com is located?

I just noticed and every strip mall seems to have a dentist office in Rowland Heights. I can think of 10 off the top of my head and per google there is 30+. I am not sure on the reason. My guess is an education emphasis among ethnic Chinese and Koreans (which a large number live in Rowland Heights).

View Larger Map

ChildBook's Listing of Chinatowns: Chinatowns of the United States

Associated Product:

Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture
Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture
Our Price: $22.95
Sale Price: $19.95
You Save $3.00!

This is a book for kids, families, and teachers who’d like to get more out of their visit to Chinatown than an “I escaped Alcatraz” t-shirt or oversized pencil. It’s a guide to what makes Chinese culture, well, “Chinese.” It covers almost everything, from how to order in a restaurant, and what not to do with chopsticks, to how to write characters in Chinese and how to make potstickers. It tells about herbal medicine shops, temples, and tearooms.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Learning Chinese Year End Deals 2007

Year End Deals Sale Page for Chinese Children Books, Music, and DVD's. I have marked down some items to the lowest price of the year. If I was a buyer, I would buy because these are the best prices of the year...

Chinese Children Songs, 12 CD's, #3, Mandarin
Chinese Children Songs, 12 CD's, Mandarin, #3
Our Price: $39.95
Sale Price: $19.95
You Save $20.00!

Chinese Children Songs, 12 CD's, Mandarin. A great selection of all the well known children's songs around the world. A total of 194 songs and the musical, Crystal Palace.

Let's Play Games, Play & Learn Chinese With Mei Mei, DVD Volume 6
Let's Play Games, Play & Learn Chinese With Mei Mei, DVD Volume 6
Our Price: $24.95
Sale Price: $19.95
You Save $5.00!

Teaching Games for Learning Chinese? Mei Mei's new video does that in a new, fun way for learning Chinese. Sixth in her series of Children Learning Chinese video's. In English with Pinyin and Simplified Chinese sub-titles. For all ages.

Three Little Pigs, Chinese Children's Book, Mandarin, Traditional Characters, Picture book
Three Little Pigs
Our Price: $8.95
Sale Price: $3.95
You Save $5.00!

Three Little Pigs. Three little pigs built three different houses. The big bad wolf huffed and puffed wanting to blow down all 3 houses. Traditional Characters with Bo Po Mo, Soft Cover, book with CD.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Zoneless DVD Players

Article that mentioned that Amazon sold a zoneless DVD player. My recommendation was finding a local Korean or Chinese Electronics or Video Rental shop and buy one there. Or do an online search since there are sites that sell them. This DVD zone issue is annoying! Previous post of mine on the DVD Zone Issue.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

TV's in Chinese Restaurants

Recently a lot of Chinese Restaurants in the Rowland Heights area are putting in flat screens. I am not sure what is causing this, a local importer that is trying for brand recognition (one restaurant had a sign next to the TV with the mfg. name), or a company that is supplying them for free for a cut of the advertising revenue.

Personally, I find it annoying. And I know, it's my choice and I can choose another restaurant (which I usually do). It's just becoming more and more widespread.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Finding Chinese Schools

Chinese Phone Book under schools is also helpful. This is the best resource so far I have found:

There are also a couple online.


Another page I need to update... Chinese School Finder for the US and Canada

A parent was asking me for recommendations for schools and I started doing some research. Chinese Telephone book was the best way I have found so far.


Another China Lead Story - Chinese Toy Factories

WSJ story about Chinese Toy Companies not doing that well. Basically razor thin profit margins and increased costs due to testing that their customers are not absorbing are causing problems. Their also seems to be a feeling of betrayal on both sides between American Toy Companies and the Chinese suppliers (translation - finger pointing). The story also mentions how some companies are moving production to Vietnam because of lower cost.

Tennis Shoe is a great example of following the labor cost. First it was off shored to Japan. Then Korea. Then Taiwan. Then China and Indonesia. Now Vietnam.


Christmas in Beijing

From the blog of the WSJ, the Expat Life

This sentence leaps out at me:

Other American families of different faiths were also upset, but our British and Aussie friends couldn't understand why. It was another reminder that in my expat life, the cultural miscommunication is not always between me and China.

Separation of Church and State in the US I am sure nobody really understands. The economist had a wonderful cartoon a few years ago on an article explaining it. It was on one side state, and the other side church, with this non straight fence being put up by judges that went back and forth to keep a balance between both sides.

Peter Drucker taught the reason that Churches did so well in the US was the free market, and the lack of state support. This creates competition by churches for members. I can see this where I live, as the population changes to more Asian (Chinese mostly, some Korean), the churches are also changing as more and more Chinese and Korean Churches move in. One Lutheran church my daughter went with her hand bell choir was a few months later sold to a Korean Church. The Lutheran church moved out to Chino I believe. My daughter's school she went to through 5th grade, a Christian School, also got sold with plans to move out to Chino. Rick Warren spoke at Alumni Day last year for the Drucker School for Alumni Day.


China and Taiwan Draw Fire From Washington - New York Times

Basically the US is caught in the middle between Taiwan and China. Historical reasons for this.

What is more interesting is the Chinese refused, last minute, to let the US Carrier Kitty Hawk visit Hong Kong during Thanksgiving. What is worse is many family members of the crew of the Kitty Hawk crew had flown to Hong Kong. The Chinese Government foreign office said is was a misunderstanding initially. This article says it's in retaliation for US arms sales to Taiwan. The real question is whom is running China's foreign policy? For the US carrier visit, it seems to be the Chinese military. Economist in an older article, with a great article has more details

Good-bye Kitty


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chinese Fortune Cookies

Fortune I got the other day, "Your clever mind will lead you to many rewards.

Other fortune I have saved (my poor monitor) are :
"If you want something, you must earn it"
"you will find hidden treasures where least expected"
"You shall soon make a long overdue personal decision"
"To get what you want you must commit yourself sometime"
"Money and health matters will improve around you"

Cute book by Grace Lin that includes a good history of Fortune Cookies (they were invented in California). If your in the SF area, you can visit a factory that makes Fortune Cookies or even order custom fortune cookies online - Only $35 for 150 qty.

Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin
Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin
Our Price: $6.99

After a young Chinese American girl opens fortune cookies with her family, she notices that the fortunes seem to come true, in a story which includes brief notes on the history of the fortune cookie

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Corruption Complaints Crash Chinese Web Site

Washington Post article that a new corruption web site in China was overwhelmed and crashed. The question is why the web site? There is a new agency in China for fighting corruptoion, National Bureau of Corruption Prevention. China is trying to reduce corruption, the challenge is it goes pretty high in the party. So there is a lot of suspicion whenever corruption charges are brought up there may be a political component. There is a huge amount of anger in China about corruption which the central government is being careful on how they handle it.

Historically speaking, the US used to be much more corrupt (Tea Pot Dome Scandal and Tammany Hall for example) and has somehow gotten to our current state where there is not much corruption and is a society pretty much where laws are obeyed.


Christmas Rush - Chinese Learning Materials

Today the orders all became priority mail, which is normally (but not guaranteed) 2-3 days in the US per the USPS. Prior to that most orders used free shipping which can take up to 14 days.

People have finally found Chinese Children Songs, 12 CD's, Mandarin, #3 which is a great deal at $24.95. Weighs in just under a pound.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Learning Chinese Starter Kit

Phone conversations with customers are few since my store selling Learning Chinese Products is online, but they do happen. They are great since I always get new ideas such as this:

New Product Bundle I am going to create for children just starting to Learn Chinese. Ages 3-10.


1. Long Is A Dragon by Peggy Goldstein - Great book that teaches Chinese Characters and their history. One of my favorite books.

2. Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Simplified Characters
Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Traditional Characters
It's more of a traditional exercise book that children can work through covering the Chinese sounds and characters for fruits, numbers, colors, and others. This includes coloring, word puzzles, and cut and paste to expand the daily vocabulary for young children. 68 pages, softcover. Best Seller and another of my favorites.

Play and Learn Chinese with Mei Mei DVD, #1 - My most popular DVD that was the first video made teaching Children Chinese in the US. It has now expanded to 6 in the series (the bundle is a great deal Mei Mei DVD's 1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Bundle. The instructor, Mei Mei taught at Montessori and has a great teaching style.

4. Teach Me Chinese! - CDL001 CD and Book - Very popular Songs in English and Chinese with a great booklet in Pinyin, English, and Chinese Characters. Extremely popular! Fun way to learn Chinese.

Chinese Flash Cards by Berlitz - Traditional Characters 50 jumbo kid-friendly cards build Chinese vocabulary.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Learning Chinese - What works in the US

I had a nice chat with a parent/customer buying some items for their daughter and the talk turned to Chinese Schools.

Interesting Points:

1. The traditional teaching methods in China/Taiwan did not work with her child and just made it so her child did not want to go to school.

2. She liked the fact that Mei Mei, who has six Learning Chinese Video's in her series of Learning Chinese, taught in Montessori in the US. She likes the way Mei Mei teaches and bought the rest of the series today.

Quick deal announcement of a Mei Mei DVD's 1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Bundle for only $118.88, regular price would be $134.75.

Includes Mei Mei's DVD 1-6.

3. She also liked the Practical Chinese Series because the author is US based. She already bought the Learning Chinese coloring activity book and bought the first textbook and workbook in Simplified (also available in Traditional) and is going to test it out. If it works out, she will recommend it to the school her daughter goes to. I like the fact the author created the material to teach her children Chinese, after being frustrated with the regular Chinese Children Teaching Materials available in the US.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Daughter's High School made the LA Times

The LA Times had an article about the gun threat at my daughter's school. The article had a few more details, such as the Principal decided to have some police cars at the front of the school, which supposedly scared (who had heard the rumors) some parents when they went to drop off their children. I drop my daughter on the side of the school so I did not see this. And the Principal was taking calls to 10:30PM that night.

My 2 cents - reactive was not the right decision. Plus, when I called at 7PM that morning, I was told there would only be the regular security on campus.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Psychology of Rumors

More on the gun threat at my daughter' school.

Boring day and nothing happened at her school. About 2/3rds of the school did not show up on Friday. My guess is the school lost $70,000 in state funding due to the absences. About 10:30AM that morning there an E-Mail broadcast to parents about the threat.

What happened was some person who was turning 18 mentioned they could now legally buy a gun, which started the entire rumor. Thursday night at a wrestling match the local sheriff was questioning people about the rumor and the Student Government, whom was setting up for a rally the next day was told the rally had been canceled. My guess is since the people who are part of the student government are popular and talkative, the rumors spread quickly. From an ethnic viewpoint the majority of those who showed up to school were Asian. One class she had that was mixed, only Asian students showed up. Seniors were also more likely not to show up than Freshmen. I am not sure what this means.

At this age, rumors spread like crazy and are challenging to deal with. Even in a workplace rumors are a challenge to deal with. I remember one work place that I worked briefly, that even had signs not to believe rumors.

In an article, Rumor and Gossip Research by Ralph L. Rosnow and Eric K. Foster they write of the law of rumors, where the strength of the rumor is related to it's importance (R) and the ambiguity (how certain is it). There is also a social network component that needs to be added to this, when for example with my daughter she got multiple phone calls on the subject which reinforced the strength of the rumor. The fact the rally was canceled showed how serious the school was taking the rumor to the students. The school administration, my guess, saw this as a safety issue, on having so many students crowded in the gym and if a balloon popped the possible panic could result in injury. The fact there was sheriff's investigating the rumor also reinforced the possibility of it. Plus the famous incidents such as Virginia Tech and Columbine.

How I analyzed the decision should my daughter go to school was:
1. Likelihood of something happening at the school. Low based on my gut feel for the school compared to others ones I have been at.
2. Low since the rumor was so widespread I believed this would deter anyone even thinking of such an act.
3. The huge potential for this to be a rumor (high). The US has over 16 Million Students in High School and the number of on campus shootings, vs. schools in the US.

So the decision was my daughter went to school because I judged the risk to be low.

I would have appreciated if the school had been better communication from the school and they had increased the number of security at the campus. The school administration had a hard decision to make and I am sure were worried about increasing the level of concern in the community by broadcasting a message about this. Unfortunately they missed ability of the rumor to spread quickly through the student population letting the students shape the perception of what would the potential risk. In the corporate world when dealing with damage control it's better to let out the news yourself, than have others do it for you and be in a reactive mode. Johnson and Johnson with the Tylenol scandal is a classic on how to deal with emergencies that had the potential of destroying the companies reputation. Classic case on what to do in Public Relations.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Graduation Rates

Pasadena (home of the Rose Parade) at one school improved their graduation rate by 30% by putting in place a program for at risk students. What was the graduation rate before? In LAUSD (Los Angeles is next to Pasadena), the graduation rate per the LA Times is a little above 44%. The graduation rate in 2006 for California on average is 71%. NY City per the same study had a graduation rate of 39%.

The original article point was by increasing the graduation rate by 10%, you could reduce the homicide rate by 20% statewide (I know, how do they reach this statistic and the weasel word could is used). This article puts the cost of drop outs each year at $12 Billion in California.

The big question is what works to reduce the drop out rate? Why does Finland have such great test scores and the US does not. A site on education I have a lot of respect for http://joannejacobs.com/


School Safety

At my daughter's school there was a rumor about a gun today being in the locker room. My daughter got four or five phone calls from her friends last night. I called the school before school started, and they said it was a rumor that had been investigated by them and the Sheriff Department, and that they had their normal security (I asked if they had extra).

I still noticed that a lot of students did not go to school today because of the rumor which made dropping her off easy. A friend did not have their child go to school today and was unhappy the school did not use their automatic system to alert parents and check all the lockers last night. They did cancel an assembly today and for PE had all the students walk as a group to the gym.

I am not sure the Principal had many good alternatives. My opinion is the Principal and whom ever else made the decision did not know the power of the rumor network, and is paying for that by having many students miss school today (which reduces funding, because the school gets paid, say $34 per day per student. So if 1000 students miss school, about 1/3rd of the school which looking at the parking lot makes sense, that is $34,000 the school is out).

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Benefits of Learning Chinese or Why Learn Chinese?

Chinese Language Association of Elementary-Secondary Schools 全美中小學中文教師協會 (CLASS), has the best list I have found yet on other sites of the benefits of studying Chinese! My comments are in bold.

Why study Chinese?

1. China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.4 billion people. Mandarin is spoken by almost one billion people. It is the #1 spoken language in the world. One out of five people in the world is Chinese.

Good point, but not a major selling point as a reason to learn a language.

2. Mandarin is spoken in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia,Brunei, Singapore, The Philippines, and Mongolia.

This is actually a much better reason than the first, but there is a huge network of overseas Chinese the have a great deal of economic power in the countries listed above. Actually many of them speak Fujian Dialect or Cantonese, but because of the growth of Mandarin they are now Learning Mandarin because of the rise in China's economic power and how Mandarin has become the Chinese dialect used in business. Which goes with the entire growth of Mandarin in China over the past 80 years that has been pushed by all the Chinese governments as a way to unify the country. So the other dialects are becoming languages spoken at home. I believe this is also happening with Cantonese with the Hong Kong becoming part of China.

3. China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, over 5000 years old.

Interesting reason and there is a lot of Chinese Scientific Advances that the Europeans adopted that started in China. The question with how advanced China was for many years over Europe, was why did China stop advancing scientifically and Europe got it's act together with the Renaissances and age of the enlightenment. The example of Zheng He who had a huge fleet and my have discovered America before Columbus, but the fleet was destroyed due to the government wanting to focus internally for a couple of hundred years (which China continued to do until relatively recently).

4. China has the second largest economy in the world. Knowing Chinese will allow students to compete effectively in the global economy of the future.

Many articles on parents having their kids learning Chinese have mentioned how this will help their kids compete in the future, many executives are having their children learn Chinese because of their frequent travel to China.

5.China is one of America's largest trading partners.

And the US also exports a huge amount to China, as well as importing even more.

6.Many American companies do business in China, including Motorola, Coca Cola, and Ford.

We live in a global economy and the world is becoming flatter everyday.

7.Knowing Chinese may be an edge when competing for a job. The demand for business people who know Chinese is skyrocketing.

Makes sense for the right type job. Can't hurt.

8. China is playing a major role in world affairs and will continue to do so.
Very true.

9. A May 2006 Newsweek article stated that "In U.S. homes, Chinese has eclipsed French, German, and Italian and become the third most commonly spoken language after English and Spanish."

My thought is this is due to immigration from China and Taiwan. Ethnic Chinese that speak other dialects are having their children learning Mandarin Chinese

10. By studying Chinese, students will develop an appreciation for Chinese culture and history.

Learning a language gives you a better understanding through the grammar and even how the words are derived of the culture behind them. There is a lot of Chinese Poetry that lose some meaning when translated.

11. Leaning a second language develops critical and creative thinking skills.

It does seem to help mentally as you develop new areas of your brain. It also helps as people age. I once had a fun talk with a programmer explaining how learning a new computer language helped keep his mind fresh.

Class also has a list of why Chinese is also easy to learn on the same page is also a good read.

I definitely need to update my page on the Benefits of Learning Chinese, or as I titled it, Why Learn Chinese and incorporate my previous blog post on Why Learn Chinese into it. Basically re-write the entire page, which I just did. The history of this page is interesting. First it was focused on why Ethnic Chinese in the US should have their kids learn Chinese, and then re-writing it a bit for a more general audience. Anyway, time to revise!


Monkey King Bilingual Chinese English Books

Monkey King is a favorite character of Chinese Mythology and he is a bit of a rascal, brat, and all run fun to read about here who does the right thing eventually. He fights gods, dragons, demons, etc. Journey to the West is one of the four great Chinese novels and I need to stock it. Unfortunately the regular book distributors don't, which is there loss.

Here is a listing of all the Monkey King books I carry. From an English version that was one of my first items I carried Adventures Of Monkey King and my daughter could not put down, to Bilingual book versions with excellent English and Chinese such as The Making of the Monkey King, Monkey King wreaks havoc in Heaven, and Tang Monk Disciples Monkey King.

I also have a coloring picture of Monkey for kids to color.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lead Jewelry found in Gap, Macy's, and Sanrio

I am not sure which one is more surprising. The name of the stores involved or the fact more was found. Hello Kitty (Sanrio) was a surprise. This just shows the need to constantly test suppliers. I believe stores selling Toys such as Toys R Us, Walmart, and Target have got the message by having their own testing done, as well as the mfg. Mattel. Also note, DTSC (California EPA, Department of Toxic Substance Control) was the one who found this using secret shoppers. If I was in charge of one of those stores, I would have questions why after all the publicity from previous lead scandals, why this was allowed to happened. The cost in reputation! DTSC has an informative page on the Lead Issue.

Tainted kids' jewelry ordered off shelves

Lead-laced items are found in 11 California stores, including Macy's and Gap Kids. State regulators tell the retailers to remove the products.
By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
1:22 PM PST, December 12, 2007
SACRAMENTO -- Children's jewelry with as much as 600 times the legal limit for lead contamination was found at 11 shops around California, including at Macy's and a Gap Kids store, and ordered off the shelves -- at the peak of the Christmas shopping rush, state toxic regulators said today. Click here for the rest

Details - US Getting more access on China Safety

Various articles including Washington Post, LA Times, etc.

From what I read:

1. Inside China, giving access to the US is seen as a major concession.
2. Only a limited amount of food and drugs are covered by the agreement. This will require licensing of the companies exporting. Before, there was no license required to export. Basically the areas that have had the most issues have been covered, such as pet food ingredients.
3. Food production is a cottage industry, so there are questions if it's even possible for China to regulate this area.
4. Regional differences in interpretation of the standards will be a challenge.
5. Best quote so far "They have got a good framework, but if the agreement is not policed adequately both in China and at our ports of entry, it won't be worth much more than the paper it's written on," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest in the LA Times.
6. Questions on if the FDA has enough resources to make the agreement work.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why Learn Chinese?

Why Learn Chinese?

1. China is emerging from a period of stagnation and again taking it's place as one of the great powers of the world.

2. Learning Chinese could give you an edge in doing business in China competing with people who don't speak Chinese. I like this quote from a Time Magazine Article: British linguist David Gaddol. If you want to get ahead, learn Mandarin. "In many Asian countries, in Europe and the USA, Mandarin has emerged as the new must-have language," Gaddol notes.

3. Mandarin Chinese is the most taught foreign language after English in Japan. If the Japanese are learning it, shouldn't people in the US?

4. Chinese is the fastest growing Foreign Language being taught in US schools. I like Mayor Daly's quote: "We want to give our young people opportunities to advance ... and [Chinese] is a great opportunity to survive in today's economy."

5. It's a great ice breaker when working with people from China if you can say a few words in Chinese. This helps especially when dealing with business people on the other side of the world via conference call.

6. Over 16,000 US companies sell products in China. Trade is not only from China to the US, but also the other way. $41.8 Billion in 2006.

7. China has become the factory of the world and is moving up the technology food chain. Look at the balance of trade between the US and China. Per Nobel Prize Winner Robert Mundell China will become the factory of the world, in my opinion it already has.

8. Learning Chinese has become easier. ChildBook.com offers products for Children to learn Chinese from DVD's to books with songs especially designed to help teach Chinese. A recent addition was a series of textbooks, workbooks, and CD's called Practical Chinese that is also called “The Effective Way of Learning Reading, Writing, and Speaking Chinese” as well as free fun stuff for Children for Learning Chinese such as coloring pictures and game instructions.

I would usually do 10 reasons, but 8 is a lucky number in Chinese!”

What some other sites have as reasons for Learning Chinese!

Why Learn Chinese from ChildBook. I will be updating it soon :-)
Why Learn Chinese by the Asia Society
Why Study Chinese from an Ohio State Page
Why Study Chinese from the Union College in NY
Why Study Chinese from a Colorado College Students

My thoughts on the other sites reasons from the ones I don't have in common.

1. Ordering better Chinese Food. Makes sense, it's frustrating to go into a restaurant and the entire menu is in Chinese and the person taking the order and you can't communicate. There is a breakfast place locally I like, that has that issue.

2. Olympics as a reason, following this line of reasoning every four years you should learn a new language?

3. Amount of people in China. OK reason.

4. 5000 years of Culture - Good reason.

5. Adding to your CV or resume - again makes sense.


Made In China Update

Some very smart moves today in the Media by the Chinese Government as they continue their campaign to save the reputation of the Made in China label.

1. In today's Wall Street Journal, an editorial China Stands for Quality by Wu Ji, Vice Premier of China, Minister of Health. Nicely written positive piece about what China has done on making sure it's good are of high quality and such.

2. China signed a Food Safety Accord. What this means theoretically is increased ability to track to the source when there are food safety issues including US inspectors in China.

It's vital the China get the product and food safety issue fixed in China not just because it's the right thing to do, but because of the potential harm to China exports if it's not that would directly hurt the Chinese economy. A trade war would be bad for China. The US has been lucky that the only product safety issues from China for food killed pets, in other countries they killed people including Children in Panama.

Labels: ,

Chinese Hair Dying - Youth in a bottle

Wall Street Journal today has a page one article titled - Youth in a Bottle. About how the Chinese Leadership all dye their hair black when needed, so you don't see any white hairs. I have seen this among a lot of ethnic Chinese in the US and I would say it's fairly widespread. On why this is done - my 2 cents is age discrimination does live, unfortunately.

I disagree on the author that it's a China only thing because of the majority of the Chinese in China are below 39, since I have also seen this with Taiwanese. I have also seen an increase in red accents in hair in ethnic Chinese women of all ages.

I guess I am lucky my daughter naturally has a slight red tinge to her hair, from my Mother's side that had some redheads.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Things Not To Talk About - Taiwan

1. Blue, Green, and Red (their political parties). People have definite opinions on them, even people who have immigrated to the US.
2. President of Taiwan, Mayor of Taipei, etc.
3. Use of the name Taiwan vs. ROC
4. Taiwan independence
5. Taiwan being part of China (easy way to start a fight).
6. Forty Niner (no, it's does not refer to the California forty niners).
7. Chiang K'ai-shek
8. Taiwan Culture (this leads into the Taiwan independence discussion).
9. Pinyin vs. what is used in Taiwan for Romanization (it's not consistent).
10. Use of local dialects in Taiwan, commonly called Taiwanese (Fukien dialect).

I was speaking with an author and the author mentioned the controversy how in one book they mentioned China's leaders which included Mao and Chiang K'ai-shek so I thought this would be an interesting blog entry. Especially for non-Taiwanese and subjects to be careful around people from Taiwan.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Get Ahead - Learn Chinese

Some thoughts I am working on:

Why Learn Chinese?
English is the number one language being learned in the world and widely used in business. But Chinese is rapidly becoming the other must have language. Time Magazine noted that many people believe, if you want to get ahead, Learn Mandarin Chinese. Per British linguist David Gaddol. "In many Asian countries, in Europe and the USA, Mandarin has emerged as the new must-have language". Kids have an incredible ability to learn Languages at a young age per many studies, and schools are teaching kids at younger and younger ages.

ChildBook.com helps kids learn Chinese by

Why do parents want their kids to learn Chinese?
1. Chinese is the language of the 21st century
2. Being competitive
3. China is becoming more and more important
4. Business Opportunities in China.
5. Not being left behind
6. China will be an integral part of world economy.
7. Increase economic of China. China's Economic Rise.
8. Understanding Chinese Culture
9. Learning their own culture (if of Chinese Descent).
10. Chinese is the new, must have language per this Get Ahead - Learn Chinese - Title of an article in Time Magazine.
12. Kids have an incredible ability to Learn a foreign language.

My own writings: Why Learn Chinese?


Friday, December 7, 2007

Chinese Cinderella

A number of my products are Chinese Cinderella related. These vary from the traditional European story Cinderella in Mandarin CD with Chinese Character book (cute book in Bo Po Mo and Traditional Characters) or just the Cinderella Story in Mandarin on CD. And there is what is perhaps the original Cinderella story, Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China, a bilingual book that is in English with Chinese Characters with some nice illustrations. Products I carry are somehow Chinese related focusing on Children Products, be it Chinese Culture or learning the Chinese Language (which is why I stock the European Cinderella in Mandarin Chinese).

Two exciting new products are:

Chinese Cinderella, The True Story Of An Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
Chinese Cinderella, The True Story Of An Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah. The daughter of a wealthy Hong Kong businessman describes her very difficult childhood and the psychological abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepmother. English. Paperback. 205 Pages.

and Chinese Cinderella And the Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah
Set during World War II, a young Chinese girl made homeless by her
evil stepmother begins a new life as a martial-artist and spy, joining
the Chinese resistance movement to work against the occupying Japanese. Fantasy.

Both by the same author
Adeline Yen Mah how has a web site! Some very moving letters about Chinese Cinderella as well as a picture album for Chinese Cinderella, since the book is based on her family history. Great reviews of Chinese Cinderella on the site as well as teacher notes. Here is one letter on Chinese Cinderella from a young student that is especially good. Looks like I need to go update my description on ChildBook.com of Chinese Cinderella Looks like the book from the guest book is used in schools, and a few students were asking for help :-) Wonders of the Internet when you can actually contact the author! It looks like the author lives in Orange County in California which is close to where ChildBook.com is located (we are in located on the edge of Los Angeles County in an area with some of the best Chinese Restaurants around, about 3 miles from Orange County).


Thursday, December 6, 2007

China's Food Safety Update

NY Times article mentions that China is also cracking down on food issues which is good if China wants to rescue the Made in China Label.

This goes back to the big pet food scandal of the wrong labeling on a chemical that killed many pets. And the counterfeit sweeteners in Panama that were used in cough syrup that killed365 mostly children.

Now the Toy District in Los Angeles is suffering because of safety worries about products that are imported with sales down 40%. This indicates the Made In China label is taking some hits, which is understandable with the Lead Paint and other toy scandals I mentioned:
And there were a few I have not mentioned - like aquadots, but this is Child friendly blog.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Is Playing Games a great way to Learn Chinese?

Based on Mei Mei's video, I would answer yes!

Mei Mei in her latest video, Let's Play Games, Play & Learn Chinese With Mei Mei, DVD Volume 6 uses popular Chinese games as a way to teach kids Chinese. By mixing fun activities with a DVD in English that teaches Chinese, your kids could have fun learning Mandarin Chinese! Mei Mei background is a Montessori teacher which is excellent for hands on learning. It's a great DVD and I recommend adding it to your library of Learning Chinese Products for kids today!

Don't your kids need another Christmas present?


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Dictatorship of Talent

OpEd by David Brook that argues that China is being run on a meritocracy. Other arguments I have read are some areas are more favored than others. And it helps if you have the right connections... There is the slight issue of corruption.


Counter Chinese Olympic Logo

Anti Beijing 2008 Pasadena Olympic Billboard and a newspaper story. It's an interesting coalition that is behind this billboard.

I feel a bit sorry for the Pasadena Government, they really are in a no win situation where no matter what they do, they are going to upset somebody.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Demand for Learning Chinese Classes Growing

Iowa Press Citizen Newspaper article with a number of great quotes on why people are Learning Chinese.

"People are learning this language to understand and communicate. It's not just the grammar, because when you learn a language you learn about the culture," Hanson said.

Good point, for example the difference in when does yes mean yes, and no mean no. Yes, I understand what you are saying, verses, yes, I agree with you. Typical communication issues. As well as the issue of being respectful by not disagreeing in public and such.

Chinese is the seventh most popular language to study and the second most rapidly growing language, next to Arabic, being studied in U.S. colleges, according to a report by the Modern Language Association. Enrollment in Chinese language courses spiked 51 percent since 2002, according to the report. Arabic surged 127 percent in that time.

Translation - Arabic enrollment was so low that it's easy to have rapid growth using percentages and the US involvement in the Middle East has sparked a huge growth in the need for US Arabic fluent language users. Chinese growth is more do to people seeing it as economic, where Arabic my guess is due to government needs (like having enough intel analysts).

"China's present and future are intertwined with ours economically, politically in all ways imaginable. Language is the best tool of human communication we have, so we should learn Chinese. They are learning English," Polumbaum said.

I agree - the US and China are definitely going to have more and more to do with each other as China rises from the position of weakness it has been in politically and economically for the last 200 or so years. Interesting times ahead!

"It gives you an instant hospitality from the people. Westerners, we typically want everyone to speak English. When you can speak their language, they are very impressed," Smith said. "We have to treat China as though they were in our backyard, as though it were a business in Ohio. They can't be seen as foreigners. They have to be seen as partners."

Nice sentiment, but when doing business in China, you need to be careful. You don't want to end up like Chrysler did with their Jeep. There are successes, and there have been failures on investments in China.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chinese Education Abroad - Malaysia

This article saying that Malaysia is trying to attract Chinese students surprised me.

Why - because Malaysia has a series of quotas that impact the native Chinese (how many can go to college, get government jobs, etc.). Racism Against Chinese Outside the US

I guess...

Labels: ,

Saturday, December 1, 2007

UC Berkeley - What Are You

24% of students at UC Berkeley identified themselves as mixed race. A big question is "What are you?" When you are mixed race it gets interesting. Assuming how a person will act just because of how they look is like judging a book by it's cover. Often it's wrong. Two sisters who were mixed identified themselves differently in surveys depending on how they felt. They were a couple of generation Japanese Americans with an English Father. One of the sisters arranged a blind date where I met my wife (so we know who to blame).

Labels: ,

Company Info
Account Info
Customer Service
News & Info