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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Accents in Chinese

I asked my daughter how a friend of hers Chinese was. She said it was OK, but her friend thinks my daughter has an accent. My daughter's comment was her friend has the wrong accent.

So both are in high school in the US, what's the missing info. My daughter's family is from Shanghai, where my daughter's Mother is from Taiwan. Chinese does have accents, the standard accent in China is called a Beijing accent. The Taiwan accent is a little bit softer. Both understand each other fine, and the Taiwan accent last I checked is seen as a little bit more stylish because of pop singers.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chinese Poems and Poetry

I have two lesson plans now for Chinese Poetry!

Chinese Poetry Lesson Plan History of Chinese Poetry Lesson Plan
Learn more about Chinese Poetry including:
  • Learn some of the history and purpose of Chinese poetry.
  • Hear some examples
  • Practice writing Chinese Poetry
Learn more about the history of Chinese Poetry including:
  • Learn some of the history and purpose of Chinese poetry.
  • Hear some examples
  • Practice writing Chinese Poetry
They go with this book. Great book. Lots of interest per my site reports. I believe now there is 2 lesson plans this will help.

A Thousand Peaks: Poems from China
A Thousand Peaks: Poems from China in English and Chinese
Our Price: $19.95

Poetry that spans 2,000 years--from the Han dynasty to the 20th century--is presented here in faithful but inventive and rhythmic translations that capture the astonishing beauty of the original Chinese. The accompanying text describes the world of these poets, the culture that inspired them, and the history that stirred their deepest emotions. The work is enhanced by illustrations that foster an appreciation for the close relationship of poetry to other art forms.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Chinese Athletes Cashing In

For Chinese Athletes, Western-Style Perks - from the Washington Post.

A sentence that capture everything:
Attitudes about sports in China have undergone a dramatic shift from the days when the government focused on collective gain rather than individual accomplishment. Those changes have helped foster the development of a new kind of athlete, one whose sacrifices result in fame and fortune -- and, if the athlete has a distinct personality, national celebrity.


300 Posts! Learning Chinese & Culture

This is my 300th post!

Achievements since I started this blog:
  • Posts about Why Learn Chinese. One of my posts is at position 1 on Google!
  • Probably to many posts about the Olympics and China and some of the challenges
  • Posting on a daily basis.
My favorite posts:

Comments are always appreciated on the blog!

Best Wishes,

Ray, Owner
ChildBook.com - Great DVD's & Books for Learning the Chinese Culture and Language


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Exploring America’s Chinatowns

Exploring America’s Chinatowns from MSN.

It only lists a couple of Chinatowns, my list has a few more :-) Chinatowns of the United States and Szechuan restaurants are a bit scarce. In LA, which has a huge selection of Chinese restaurants from A-Z, the two best are in Monterey Park (no, I have not had the guts to go there). LA Weekly - Eat+Drink - Chile Scenes of Summer - Jonathan Gold ...

Cantonese in the older Chinatowns are the most common. New Chinatowns will have a mixture of Northern China and Taiwanese, along with the usual dim sum places.

Cute book - Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture


Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Nation Still At Risk - Education

Shaming statistics:
  • 75% of High School Students don't graduate in Detroit.
  • 30% nationwide of students don't graduate from High School in the US
  • There are schools in Los Angeles that have a 60% drop out rate (I did my student teaching in one. Nice kids, but so sad).
I find the overall state of Education in the US sad. The US seems to do a poor job with the lowest performing, and a great job with the higher performing students. With the disappearance of most high paying jobs that need limited education in the US that can support a family, this is a big concern as a society. As a parent there is a lot you can do to help your child. Many Chinese in the US have figured out the system enabling their kids to go to great colleges/universities.

Some articles in the new section School Tips & Education Articles:

So why do I care about this? I have a Teaching Credential and education is highly important to my family. And yes, may be someday I will go back to teaching, because I do enjoy making a difference. That is the great feature of teaching, that you can make a difference in a person's life that can change their life, it usually makes up for all the negatives.


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More on anti-CNN Protest in LA

L.A.'s Chinese siding with Beijing from the LA Times.

  • Chinese embassy had limited involvement
  • Buses were paid for by the groups themselves
  • Thousands of protesters outside CNN.
Previous post with information about the protest China Protests - Pro China and Tibet


Friday, April 25, 2008

Rice Shortage in the USA?

The Great Rice Squeeze from the SF Chronicle. Some Costco's and Sam's Clubs are limiting purchases in SF Bay area of large bags of rice. My wife did not know about it, till my Father called and asked if we were stockpiling rice. No - we still have around 20 lbs left (we buy in bulk).


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bundles, bundles, and more bundles of Chinese Language Books, Video's, and Music

I am in the process of adding new bundles of products. Here is the first one:

Harry Potter Set - Simplified Chinese
Harry Potter Set - Simplified Chinese
Our Price: $145.00
Sale Price: $128.00
You Save $17.00!

Harry Potter Complete Set of all the books translated into Simplified Chinese
  • Big discount when purchased together.
  • Great addition to any library
  • Guaranteed to keep the reader busy for a few days.
More to follow...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trilingual in San Diego

A school that is having kids learn English, Spanish, and Chinese! My daughter is also trilingual - English, Mandarin Chinese, and Taiwanese. Spanish and Chinese - great combination for additional languages beyond English. My brother-in-law is Quad lingual - he speaks Mandarin, Spanish, Taiwanese, and English.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:
Language immersion to become trilingual


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chinese Zodiac Coloring Pictures

Chinese New Year Coloring Pictures Zodiac are great. All 12 of them. I like the Mouse the most.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Learning Chinese & China's Challenges

With the recent negative publicity on China, should you still Learn Chinese?

China does have challenges and many of the activities of the government are not the most popular. Darfur, selling weapons to Zimbabwe, corruption, largest green house producer, environmental issues, intellectual rights, product safety, Taiwan, Tibet, Burma, Falun Gong, religious control are all issues that are unpopular with many people.

So with all these negatives, Why Learn Chinese? Learning Chinese is not about liking the Chinese governments actions, I view it as doing what is best for your kids.

Updated List of Why Learn Chinese
  1. I believe a lot of what is happening in China is growing pains and China emerges from a period of stagnation (100+ years). China's the second largest economy in the world and still has a high rate of growth.
  2. China's growth in the world is not going to change. China has become the factory of the world.
  3. China's 5000 years of culture and a great way to learn and understand more, is by Learning Chinese.
  4. Chinese imports from the US (trade goes both ways. China is a huge market).
  5. The world is become more interconnected, and China is part of this. This change is both good and challenging for China. It's because of this growing interconnection that China is having many of these challenges. An event that happens halfway across the word in South Africa (dock workers refusing to unload Chinese weapons for Zimbabwe) gets global attention. Images of Darfur are easily accessible from one of the more remote areas of the world.
  6. Learning Chinese does give another viewpoint. From the grammar and how sentences are formed, to the differences between a character based language and a romanized. Chinese poetry/poems are better in their original language Chinese, than English.
  7. Many jobs already are connected to China, and as China's economy grows many more will be. Knowing Chinese gives your kids an advantage in taking advantage of the opportunities with this huge market for both imported and exported goods.
  8. Learning of Chinese is going through Huge Growth in the US. Can you afford not to have your kids learn Chinese?
Further Resources:


Sunday, April 20, 2008

China Protests - Pro China and Tibet

Protesters target CNN after Jack Cafferty's remarks on China in Hollywood. Currently the most viewed article on the LA Times. Note in the picture the signs are well done with clear English (many Chinese protests in the US have signs only in Chinese) and their are a lot of older protests.

And in Wisconsin, a Double rally on the Wisconsin Capitol steps: Free Tibet + Pro-China.

Wisconsin I am surprised as a location for a pro-Tibet protest - apologies in advance to anyone from Wisconsin, this is probably showing my fourth generation California bias :-) The pro-China protesters from the age are probably college students. There are a lot of college students spread out across the US from China.

I find all the protests to be extremely positive because people are using their right of free assembly and speach.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

And you thought the US Stock Market was bad...

China Stocks, Once Frothy, Fall by Half In Six Months article from the Wall Street Journal. They have lost 49% of their value, or 2.5 Trillion dollars of value.


China tries to limit Internet vitriol toward the West

LA Times has an article with more details - China tries to limit Internet vitriol toward the West

China is using there Internet monitoring ability to delete any posts about boycotts and protests of foreign companies.

China's government is in a tough position. They need to appear responsive and stand up to foreign criticism of China (such as by CNN's commentator Jack Cafferty who described China's leaders as a "bunch of goons and thugs."), and still make foreigners welcome for the Olympics that's goal is to show how modern China is. The 8/8/8 Olympics is seen as China's coming out party, after over a century of China being seen as backward and not a major power (starting with the Opium War).

Previous related post of mine on the subject - China's Response to Nationistic Anger
and China's Youth

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Why do many Chinese do so well in School in the US?

There is an old Doonesbury Cartoon when Kim was in High School. Kim is an orphan from Vietnam, and adopted by two Jewish parents. This other student is asking her why do Asian's do so well. Her first answer is lots of studying and do the homework. The other kid does not accept this. Then Kim answers she's secretly an Alien and the kid accepts that answer.

My 2 cents on why many Chinese Students do so well in the US:

1. High expectations in school work
2. Working with the kids on Home Work. Every night my wife works with my daughter on her Algebra 2 work.
3. Setting a career path at an early age (you will be a DR., you will be a Lawyer, etc.). Per a Harvard Business School study graduates that had written goals/plan made a lot more than those who did not.
4. Pressure to perform. B's are not acceptable.
5. Putting a premium on education. Examples of this is the huge amount of tutoring that Chinese parents will send their kids to. From reading at a young age to SAT preparation. There are so many of these after school tutoring where i live.
6. High expectations of going to a great college. Chinese American Education Expectations
7. Community expectations (my son is a law student at UCLA).
8. The amazing amounts that parents will spend on their kids education (My daughter now has a Grand Piano, that's a great example of this). My daughter is also going to Piano, Cello, and Voice lessons. Another example is how the best school districts in Southern California have huge Chinese populations. Why, because they are willing to pay the money for houses in good districts. Examples are San Marino, Arcadia, Walnut, and Diamond Bar. My daughter goes to school in Diamond Bar.
9. Proof of this working - high acceptance rates at University of California Berkeley for example. Chinese Asian Representation in Colleges
10. Focus on academics verses sports for status.

I have seen an article that lays out some of these ideas, but I can't find it right now.

Another example is one of my daughter's friends. Only spoke Chinese at home. Now in 9th grade is one of the top students in English.

An article on my site that summarizes the above with more information: Chinese Students - What can be Learned from them for Getting Good Grades? in my new section: School Tips & Education Articles



Thursday, April 17, 2008

China's Response to Nationistic Anger

China state media seeks to contain nationalist anger - It's a challenge to keep a balance. This has happened before with the response to Japan on an incident and the US.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Finally, Simplified, Pinyin, and English Books!

I have 20 books now that are in Simplified, Pinyin, and English that are illustrated! There has been a lot of requests for this type of book.

I am also adding more of the DVD's, that have sub-titles in Simplified Chinese, Pinyin, and English. I am very excited about them. They also have sub-titles in Traditional Characters. DVD has English and Mandarin Chinese sound tracks.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

PinkBerry - The Craze

Class Action suit against Pinkberry.

A PinkBerry just opened a few blocks from our house, and my daughter loves it! The branding is wonderful. I believe the first Pinkberry opened up in Koreatown. A graphic designer I worked with (A+ work), drove with his family from Chino Hills to Rowland Heights to go to Pinkberry. The finish they give to each of their dishes is a work of art. Just beautiful! There are many other places in our Chinatown, oops I mean Rowland Heights that are selling Frozen Yogurt, but none are as popular as Pinkberry.


Monday, April 14, 2008

New Video's first Sale

I sold my first Lady White Snake Animated Bilingual DVD Chinese/English and The Ballad of Mulan Animated DVD. These are great video's! I need to create some bundles (I have about 7 in my head). Soon, soon I promise :-)


Sunday, April 13, 2008

China's Youth

Oped from the NY Times on China's Youth and what they think. Very insightful in places. I agree with the conclusion, but I have some disagrements with the underlying logic.

The conclusion which I find insightful:

Barring major changes in China’s education system or economy, Westerners are not going to find allies among the vast majority of Chinese on key issues like Tibet, Darfur and the environment for some time. If the debate over Tibet turns this summer’s contests in Beijing into the Human Rights Games, as seems inevitable, Western ticket-holders expecting to find Chinese angry at their government will instead find Chinese angry at them.

The differences in logic I will stay away from mostly, since I don't want to get involved in politics on this blog. One area the author did not mention was the Great Firewall of China (limiting outside points of view) and the huge army of people who monitor blogs and such within China to make sure they express the correct thoughts (further limiting other view points and serving as a feedback mechanism on what is safe to publish. There is a huge amount of blogs in China).


China and Jews

Interesting article that is a good read - it's a positive article. China good for the Jews

At the Piano Recital my daughter was at today (she got a superior + and is so thrilled by that), the participants seemed to be either Korean, Chinese, or Jewish. I am not sure what that means. So many of the Chinese students at my daughter's school play piano. Even a book that talks a bit about this (super cute book) Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear by Lensey Namioka.

A bit of trivia, I found out my Grandmother got a music scholarship for playing piano for college. During my recent visit to the Bay Area we visited my Grandmother and my daughter played piano for her. My Mother also plays piano and is pretty good. My wife plays a little (and wants to learn more). My daughter has been playing for 10 years and per her Piano teacher, if she decided, could major in Music because she is good enough.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

China's Troubing Past

Some historical issues where Chinese felt that China has been taken advantage of in the past:

With the above history being drilled into you, you might develop an inferiority complex.


Troubling Olympic Update

Friday, April 11, 2008

Update of Learning Chinese Video/DVD Page

DVD's - Learning Chinese & Culture web page/section updated. The reason was when I added two more sections, Animated Chinese Books (I need to add the word DVD to this, or something. Because it's not a book, but a series of DVD's based on a some great books) and Discovery Planet Mandarin/English DVD's. I may need to add a click here for more information based on a call I got today to each sub-page. The Discovery Planet Mandarin/English DVD's look great and there are 52 of them. They are in English and Chinese.

The previous page DVD's - Learning Chinese & Culture had the links at the top, where now I added a picture/thumbnail and a few bullet points on the sub-page. This newer set up better shows the huge selection of DVD' and VCD's (Video Compact Disks). The VCD's are a great deal since I want to just sell them and go to all DVD's, some of them are as low as $4.99.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

A+ Bilingual DVD's

I just got from a supplier the first two of a series of animated DVD's based on some excellent bilingual Chinese/English books. The books are A+ in quality and are among the best products I carry. The DVD's include subtitles in both Traditional, Simplified, and Pinyin! Not to mention English. The price is not cheap ($29.95, but that includes performance rights because it's targeted at schools. The book for Lady White Snake is just so well written with excellent pictures that words fail me. This is how a good book on a subject should be written, including a great reference section at the back! The Ballad of Mulan Animated DVD is a great retelling of the classic Mulan story.

Lady White Snake
Our Price: $29.95

What fate awaits a thousand-year old white snake that travels from its sacred mountain to the human world, only to fall in love with a mortal? Such is the unusual beginning of this tragic love story, one of the most popular in all of Chinese opera.
The Ballad of Mulan Animated DVD
Our Price: $29.95

A+ quality. The famous heroine animated DVD with excellent Mandarin Chinese and English with sub-titles. Based on the excellent book that is a best seller in schools and libraries.


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