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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thoughts on Living in a Suburban Chinatown

E-Mail I just received:

Do you ever feel a least bit awkward or intimidated being one of the
few 白人 around many 華人 in your area?

My Answer:

No, I never feel awkward or intimidated.

Frustrations are a different subject!

Top frustrations:
  • Running of red lights.
  • Rude people
  • Small Parking Spaces
  • Shopping Carts being left around in my neighborhood (this finally stopped, I called in 5 shopping carts to have them picked up).
  • People who believe they need a Golf Club to protect themselves from my Golden Retriever.
  • Being targeted for house burglary because of where we live.
  • TV's in restaurants
  • Chinese Bakeries!
  • Great Chinese Food!
  • Chinese Super Markets
  • Great School District
  • My in-laws are comfortable living here. We live with them. And if they are happy, my wife is happy, which makes me happy.
  • We have a nice house my family is happy with
  • Nice banks. I do business with a Chinese bank and they know me by name. It's a pleasant experience, instead of being treated like a number.
  • It's a great location for our business.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chinese search newbie Jike takes on Baidu and Google

I am surprised

Chinese search newbie Jike takes on Baidu and Google - The Register
It's government-owned but promises 'natural' search

The comments are worth a read :-)


Cyber Espionage Threat on an industrial scale

Not sure what the real point of the speech was. When Spooks speak, there is usually the surface reason, but hidden is the real focus.

'Astonishing' Cyber Espionage Threat from Foreign Governments: British Spy Chief - Yahoo News

The Register, an offbeat IT Newspaper did have a cute comment:

Now pay attention 007, this is a computer


LA Chinese Area Real Estate

This map from the LA Times based on data from Zillow shows areas with negative equity.

What stands out for me is areas that are heavily ethnic Chinese are keeping their prices compared to surrounding areas.

Temple City -9%
Arcadia - 6%
San Marino - 4%
San Gabriel - 11%
Rowalnd Heights - 16%
Walnut - 13%
Diamond Bar - 21% - half of Diamond Bar has a great school district, and the other half is Pomona.
Monterey Park - 14%
Hacienda Heights - 21%


Monday, June 25, 2012

Fakes and status in China

The article is OK, but not great.

What was more interesting was the comments!

Fakes and status in China - The Economist

A new term for me was wu-mao network. I know it as the 50 cent party, and yes, I believe it exists, unfortunately.

In the US some authors on Amazon do something similar, where on the first day of sale of their books they have a bunch of people give positive reviews, 5 star, but this is their first review. Another trick is complain about low reviews on Amazon.

SEC probes movie studios over dealings in China

I am not surprised. What was not mentioned in the article was how the Chinese partners are Princelings.

SEC probes movie studios over dealings in China - Reuters

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Economic Power of China in History

I love this graph. It's amazing how far China has come in the last 30 years.  The rise of the US over hte last 200 years is amazing. India the current percentage I find sad, compared to where they were 2000 years ago.

China's Economic History over time

Related Article:
The Economic History of the Last 2,000 Years in 1 Little Graph - The Atlantic
Read Part II and Part III


New wave of immigrants — a new target too?

Interesting read.

New wave of immigrants — a new target too? - LA Times
Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. This means envy and resentment may follow.

Has some of this already happened?

Some examples:
come to mind. The recent death of a Chinese American soldier in Afghanistan was possibly another example.

An article of mine:

Racism Against Chinese in the US - ChildBook.com


The charms of Qing TV

Nice article that discusses Qing TV.

The charms of Qing TV - The Economist

This is not a fair comparision, but it reminds me of the movie Marie Antoinette that used Valley Slang for the characters.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chinatown LA & WalMart

Good article discussing how much LA's Chinatown has changed through the years.

Los Angeles' Chinatown & Walmart: Is Change Inevitable In Historic Chinatown Or Will Walmart Force Change That Is Unwanted? - Huff Post


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Study: Asians are fastest-growing U.S. group

Interesting. The study did not discuss legal status, vs. not legal. When you see a number, it's a good idea to ask where did the number come from, and what methodology was used. How accurate is the number?

Study: Asians are fastest-growing U.S. group - LA Times


Summer College Classes - Severely Impacted

Community Colleges in CA are especially impacted.

East Los Angeles College summer school turns away many students - LA Times
First day of school at the only L.A. Community College campus offering a full menu of summer courses left many students stranded as classes quickly filled up.


Using TV to Teach Your Child Chinese

While channel surfing the other day, I came across an old show on PBS called Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat. I said to myself, “This is interesting”, and started to watch a bit of it. It taught a lot about Chinese culture, family obligations and loyalty, a good medium to teach this to children. So I searched and found another Chinese Children's Show on Nick Jr. called “Ni Hao, Kai-lan”. This show helps teach kids basic Chinese words through songs and lovely animated characters, in a nut shell, Chinese made easy for your children to understand.

Bundle: Chinese Made Easy, Traditional, Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Bundle: Chinese Made Easy, Traditional, Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Text: Text & Workbooks, Teacher's Guide Level 1, 2, 3
Our Price: $300.35 
Sale Price: $270.00 
You save $30.35!  

  • Children remember Chinese easier with these task-based lessons.
  • Uses rhymes, pictures, stories.
  • Covers content for different Chinese exams.
Complete set, all books Levels 1-5 plus Teachers' Guide 1-3. 

To better utilize this learning medium, we just have to follow some simple tips.

1.     Watch with your child – it is important for one parent to sit and watch with their child. Our children might have questions and we should be there to answer them. This will help a lot with the learning experience.
2.     During commercial breaks, review what was taught – reviewing what your child has learned during commercial breaks help keep your child focused on learning. We all read the studies that commercial breaks sometimes develops attention problems, by continuing the learning process during commercial breaks will also help in reducing attention span disorders.

Bundle: Chinese Made Easy, Simplified, Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  Includes Textbooks & Workbooks & Teacher's Guide
Bundle: Chinese Made Easy, Simplified, Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Includes Textbooks & Workbooks & Teacher's Guide
Our Price: $326.75 
Sale Price: $299.00 
You save $27.75!  

  • Children remember Chinese easier with these task-based lessons.
  • Uses rhymes, pictures, stories.
  • Covers content for different Chinese exams.
Complete set, all books Levels 1-5 plus Teachers' Guide.

3.     If you have TIVO or any DVR service, use it to reduce the number of commercials. This will filter out the commercials for you.
4.     Get Chinese learning materials – buy 1 or 2 books to help you with the learning process. You can find many stores online or you can check out your local library.

Bundle: Chinese Made Easy for Kids, Simplified, Level 1, 2, 3, 4. Textbooks & Workbooks PLUS Flashcards 1 & 2
Bundle: Chinese Made Easy for Kids, Simplified, Level 1, 2, 3, 4. Textbooks & Workbooks PLUS Flashcards 1 & 2
Our Price: $251.60 
Sale Price: $208.88 
You save $42.72!  

  • Bundle: Chinese Made Easy for Kids, Simplified,  all textbooks & workbooks PLUS flashcards 1 & 2. 
  • Written to make Learning Chinese for kids fun! 
  • Uses rhymes, pictures and storytelling for kids to easily remember Chinese.

With these simple steps, we can utilize the power of the television to it's fullest! Let the learning begin!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Trip To China in four pictures

Creative Good is an amazing blog that is a great read that focuses on the customer experience. The founder, Mark Hurst, recently had a business trip to China and has some great observations.

A trip to China in four pictures - Creative Good


New iPhone Features Target China

Smart! Apple gets more than 26% of it's revenue from China.

It will be interesting to see how Siri works in Chinese. Chinese has a lot of different accents. Siri I understand has issues in the English with accents.
Apple Unveils Raft of New Features Aimed at China - WSJ

Internet Censorship in China

This makes sense, censorship is focused on posts that may lead to mass collective action. In other words the Chinese government is scared of mass collective action, since the origin of the communist party was in mass collective action (student demonstrations in Beijing against the Treaty of Versailles).

And Google has done something clever with China. Google searches in China now warn end users, their search term may result in being disconnected. A new tactic in China is ending the connection of a user when a prohibited search term is typed in. By adding this feature, google is doing an end run around the new tactic.

Google Search in Mainland China Now Shows Censorship Warnings - Search Engine Watch

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Best Buy's Success in China

Ferrari Struggles with ‘Spin’ in China

The opportunities and challenges for Ferrari in China.

Ferrari Struggles with ‘Spin’ in China - WSJ


Shanghai based UK College Admissions Consultant

Great read!

The Old Etonian helping Chinese pupils into Britain's public schools and universities - The Telegraph
William Vanbergen believes plans to limit access to a British education will endanger our economy.


Webinar - Establishing a Web Presence in China

Interesting... For some reason I smell bubble, when I start getting these type E-mails.

How Luxury Brands Can Reach The Online Shopper in China - Forester Research
Thursday, June 21st, 12:00 EDT


Concordia Summer Camp

Nice article about Concordia Summer Camp that offers a full immersion environment for learning Chinese. I have heard very good things about the camp.

Jumping in with both feet --not much English heard at Chinese language village - DL-Online

My list of Chinese Summer Programs in the US.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

China sends its first female astronaut into space

China sends its first female astronaut into space - The Telegraph

Exciting news that China keep on pushing progress in space.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recommendations for Learning Chinese Textbooks for Kids

I just got a question this morning on which Learning Chinese Textbook's do I recommend. There are good points and bad points to each textbook series.  Some of my favorites.

I like the Better Chinese products a  lot. There is a huge amount of supplementary material available, including teacher guides, CD Roms, Flash Cards, Games, Singing for each product family.

They have four families:

My First Chinese Words Learning Chinese Curriculum by Better Chinese is for ages 2-7, and is a great introduction. It's made up of 36 books and a CD. What is nice about the series is its great for those with short attention spans.

.My First Chinese Reader Curriculum by Better Chinese for ages 7 to 11, grades 2 to 6. Available in both Simplified and Traditional Characters.

Discovering Chinese - Learn Chinese through Stories By Better Chinese. I like the focus on learning through stories, which all Better Chinese products have.

Magical Tour of China by Better Chinese is for midddle school and high school, and has 6 levels. The series builds upon Discovering Chinese or My First Chinese Reader.

Another series that is lower cost, is
Chinese Made Easy for Kids. No Teacher Guides unfortunately. Uses Pinyin with either traditional or Simplified Chinese Characters. The Textbook includes a CD.

And for learning Characters, sames authors, is Chinese Made Easy. A Teaching Guide is also available, but this is more of a list of answers.

Chinese Made Easy and Chinese Made Easy for Kids are very popular with schools. I have some teachers who use both in the same class, since the Chinese Made Easy for Kids has more activities in it. One teacher's only complaint about Chinese Made Easy for Kids was the use of kids in the title (she teaches middle school).

For a down to earth style of teaching, I like Practical Chinese. Created by a Taiwanese Mother, who is also a Chinese Teacher in the US, who was frustrated her two US born kids (ABC's) were having challenges learning Chinese.

I suggest look at the sample pages and find out which one is the best fit for your teaching style.


China Carbon Emissions Numbers Don't Add Up

Amazing how the size of the numbers.

 China Carbon Emissions Lost In The Mist - Via Media


China May Boost Hollywood Summer Sales

Amazing - Men in Black III got $22 Million opening weekend in China! And a Chinese company bought AMC Theaters.

China May Boost Hollywood Summer Sales - WSJ

Related Posts:
Censors cut MIB in China     
Disney making 'Iron Man 3' with Chinese partner     


Oldest Chinatown in the World

As a friend of mine and I were debating which was the oldest Chinatown in the US, I said San Francisco, she said New York. I did a little research to see who was right, and yes I was right, San Fransisco has the oldest Chinatown in the US, established in 1848 by Chinese Immigrants. But I was actually surprised that it wasn't the oldest Chinatown in the world. That honor goes to a place called Binondo, located in the heart of Manila, one of the busiest cities in the Philippines. This was established around 1594 by Spanish Colonizers to keep the Chinese Community in one area, and thus under their control.

Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture
Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture
Our Price: $22.95  

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. 

Chinatown in Binondo, Manila has been the center of business for the Chinese community in the Philippines since from the Spanish times up until the present. I happen to have a friend from the Philippines who said, “You can find anything and everything in Binondo, from authentic Chinese cuisine to electronics to clothes, they've got it all!”. Maybe one of these days I can plan a trip to the Philippines and visit the “oldest Chinatown in the World”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chinese Made Easy for Kids Vs. Chinese Made Easy

I get the question all the time, "What is the difference between Chinese Made Easy and Chinese Made Easy for Kids?"

So I just created this simple chart for comparison - I hope it helps.
- Ray

Chinese Made Easy for Kids Textbook Series and Chinese Made Easy Chinese Textbook Series Comparison

Chinese Made Easy for Kids
Chinese Made Easy
Yes (workbook is B and W)
Yes (workbook is B and W)
More Verbal, and more games
Verbal and Written
Ms. Yamin Ma and Ms. Xinying Li
Ms. Yamin Ma and Ms. Xinying Li
Vocabulary Learned
Write 100 Simple Chinese Characters, and recognize 500 Chinese Characters
1,700 Characters
Number of Levels
Traditional and Simplified
Traditional and Simplified
Flash Cards
Yes (Simplified Only, 2 levels)
CD Included
Work Books
Teacher’s Guide
Blog Posts
Chinese Made Easy for Kids
Chinese Made Easy
Teacher’s Guide
Buying Guide
Chinese Made Easy
Chinese Made Easy for Kids
  • Chinese and Western festivals and customs
  • Law and order
  • Communication and the media
  • Education and employment
  • Entertainment
  • New technology
  • Celebrities
  • healthy life style
  • Young people
  • Children will learn about Chinese Greetings
  • Classroom Language
  • Personal Introduction
  • Numbers and Dates
  • Countries and Languages
  • Occupations, Transport
  • Colors and Clothing
  • Daily Routines
  • School subjects and facilities
  • Parts of the body and illness
  • Everyday articles, Stationery
  • Articles in the house
  • Animals
  • House and Rooms
Sample Pages
Chinese Made Easy for Kids Sample Pages

Sample of chinese made easy for kids contents chinese made easy for kids sample page chinese made easy for kids sample page chinese made easy for kids trial page

Chinese Made Easy Sample Pages

Chinese Made Easy Sample Page 1 Chinese Made Easy Sample Page 2 Chinese Made Easy Sample Page 3 Chinese Made Easy Sample Page 4

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chinatown Summer Nights Returns To LA Chinatown For Three Unforgettable Nights

Looks nice

Chinatown Summer Nights Returns To LA Chinatown For Three Unforgettable Nights

By KCRW. July 28 and August 11 & 25 from 5 p.m. to midnight. Each event is represented by a different element: Earth, Water, Air and Fire.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/04/4538364/chinatown-summer-nights-returns.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/04/4538364/chinatown-summer-nights-returns.html#storylink=cpy


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Daily Deal Chinese Bakery - Rowland Heights

Kee Wah Bakery – Multiple Locations  - Groupon.  Ends in 3 days.

Yes, I bought one :-)  Nice bakery.

$5 for $10 Worth of Chinese Baked Goods

Kee Wah Bakery stocks pastries that range from bags of homemade ginger cookies ($4.95), to bags of pineapple paste cakes ($7.85), and gift boxes of low-sugar moon cakes with white lotus seed ($31.80), which are seasonally available during the fall. The self-serve pastry case allows cake connoisseurs and bun buffs to peruse a variety of other sweet treats, such as egg tarts ($1.20). New items include a coffee bun ($1.10), cream stick ($1), and apple box ($1.50).

Kee Wah Bakery

The first Kee Wah Bakery appeared in Hong Kong in 1938, where its moon cakes, bridal cakes, and other pastries gradually generated a loyal clientele. In 1985, when much of that clientele had migrated to the United States, Kee Wah set down new roots in LA to offer its signature floury goods to Californians. Patrons pick from egg tarts, crispy squares, and pineapple crust buns using a self-serve bakery system, which is refilled with fresh breads baked three times a day. During the autumn, when the Chinese Lunar Festival is in full swing, the bakery churns out moon cakes filled with lotus seed and red-bean paste. The shop's three locations in the San Gabriel Valley—Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and Rowland Heights—help meet the demand for Chinese wedding cakes and almond cookies throughout the valley.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Teaching Your Children About the Dragon Boat Festival

For many Asian-Americans, June is the season of the Dragon Boat Festival. This tradition of  celebrating this festival was handed down to us by our parents and their parents. And now, as parents, have the responsibility to teach this tradition to our children. 

This may sound hard, but don't worry, we here at Childbooks has compiled for you a list of resources you can use to help you teach your children the true meaning of the Dragon Boat Festival. Just have a look at our Dragon Boat Festival Resources Page, here you will find:

  • Dragon Boat lesson plan to help with teaching your child about the Dragon Boat Festival
  • Dragon Boat Festival slide show in PDF and PPT format to also help you with teaching
  • Dragon Boat Worksheets that you can download, print and use at home
  • Dragon Boat Festival Coloring Pages, a great activity for kids
  • link to the different books we sell about the Dragon Boat Festival
  • link to Dragon Boat Background, Customs, and History
  • and much more
You may even want to take your child to see a Dragon Boat Race. We have compiled a Dragon Boat Racing Event Calendar to let you know when and where the next Dragon Boat Race will be.

With this resource just a click away, you child will learn so much about the Dragon Boat Festival.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Research on ABC parents with Chinese or Caucasian spouse

Sounds interesting, unfortunately my wife was in Taiwan so we don't qualify.

From a customer:

A few weeks ago we participated in a research conducted by Kris Noam of UC, Irvine. Kris studies the role of Chinese culture in lives and child rearing practices of ABC parents. She is
still looking for respondents. She is interested in ABC parents with
either a Chinese or a Caucasian spouse.

The open interviews last only about 1.5 hour, can take place at a time/
location convenient to you, and of course you will stay anonymous.

If you have questions you can contact Kris directly: k.noam@uci.edu or
visit her website: www.abcparents.webstarts.com.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Censors cut MIB in China

I am surprised with the entire time travel not allowed in films, the MIB was allowed in China.

Men In Black 3 offends Chinese government censors - The Telegraph
Censors cut Chinatown scenes in MIB - Toronto Sun

Chinese officials didn't like the portrayal of Asians is one guess. Another is the mass forgetfulness. 

A related blog post:
Movie Rules in China

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Online Education Revolution

Lots of exciting changes going on in higher education. The cost of college has gotten so high ($30K for a UC, $50K for a private), its a bubble.

Chubb and Moe: Higher Education's Online Revolution - WSJ
The substitution of technology (which is cheap) for labor (which is expensive) can vastly increase access to an elite-caliber education.

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Asian-Americans, Affirmative Action, and Fisher v. Texas

Good discussion. The college admission process I found extremely frustrating and a bit unfair.

Asian-Americans, Affirmative Action, and Fisher v. Texas - Volokh Conspiracy

This does give hope (a college education helps, but your attitude is key).

Why Quitters Win - Unraveling the last mystery of success.
Psychology Today

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Night Market in Pasadena

Nightmarket July 28th in Pasadena, sounds like they will have a lot more parking. The last one had some challenges I heard with parking and being to many people.

Announcing the return of the 626 Night Market! We’ve listened to all the feedback (there was a lot) and have revamped the entire event to make it bigger and better: More space, parking, food, traffic control, safety, security, staff, etc. We hope to see you on Saturday, July 28th, from 4PM – 11:30PM. In the meantime, stay tuned for some awesome free prizes from our vendors.


Why Chinese immigrants struggle with English fluency

Interesting article comparing Chinese immigrants to Slavic Language Immigrants in Montreal. The study found Slavic Immigrants made much more progress in their English, and Chinese immigrants.

My guess, which is not in the article, is in Montreal, the large Chinese community in Montreal (they have a Chinatown), reduces the need for English. I am sure there are Chinese banks, restaurants, and markets. I doubt there is the same type of businesses for Slavic Language Speakers.

A Math Teacher I had in College, from Japan, mentioned he went to school in Iowa and he got met at the airport by three Japanese students. They were super happy he was there, so they could play some game that required 4 people. His English did not improve much, since he spent all his time with other Japanese students in Iowa while he went to school there.

Why Chinese immigrants struggle with English fluency - The Star

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