Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

Videos that MX remembers from when she was young in China: “小蝌蚪找妈妈 Little Tadpole looking for mom”

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

We wanted to introduce this fun video because MX really loved it when she was growing up in Shanghai.  I think it’s great too because we can show our little 4 year old.  It also has a Chinese painting style which is cool.  We hope you enjoy!

小蝌蚪找妈妈

Xiǎo kēdǒu zhǎo māmā

“Little Tadpole Looking for Mom.”

YouTube:

Youku:

 

23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing

Saturday, January 14th, 2012
China0011 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing
We’ve had a few interviews on MandMx.com and some have been with Chinese cartoonists and we were so excited to be able to chat (on e-mail) with Liu Jing.  I found him a while back on Amazon and then found an article on Danwei with the cartoonist and tweeted about it.

He was very agreeable with us bothering his hard work for our 23 questions!  The coolest thing is his book that I found on Amazon.  Understanding China through Comics.   How perfect! You can even get the book from Apple.   Here are the questions we asked in bold and his answers.
 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing

1.  Is cartooning your full time job?

No, my full time job is running a design agency in Beijing, and I’ve been doing that for 14 years.

2.  Do you consider yourself a cartoonist?

No, I’m more of a mixer, who tried to express a complex issue (such as Chinese history) with my business background, cross-cultural experience, and drawing skills.

3.  What kind of materials do you use?  Pen?  Paper?  Table?  Do you have a studio?

I use Wacom tablet, and I did most drawings after work, at library or at home.

4.  Why Understanding China through comics?  Why not fine art?  Why not language?

Comics are entertaining, personal, and emotional, making a very complicated topic easy to understand.

5.  What is it like publishing in China?  What are the steps to getting published?

The book is published in North America, Europe and Australia through Amazon and Apple. Both platforms have detailed instructions on their website for book publishing.

6.  How did you get your book onto Amazon?  Why did you decide to release it on Amazon?

Amazon has clear terms and steps for publishing. It’s a time-consuming but manageable process. For comic books, it’s a bit more difficult, since it involves lots of drawings and specific layout.  Amazon and Apple are my only choice to reach a global audience instantly.

7.  The title of your book begs the question: Why do people need to “understand China?”

If we feel something or some place has nothing to do with us, a lot less people would take the time to understand it, especially for something as complex as the history of a foreign country.
However, China today has something to do with a lot more people: It is the world’s second largest economy. At its current growth rate, China will replace the US as the world’s leading economic power in about a decade, China is taking jobs away and creating jobs for the world at the same time, China is the biggest holder of US debt, Today’s news is talking about if China will save the euro… Many people are wondering what’s going to happen next.  Hopefully my book can empower readers to make informed judgments on China events now and in the future, by showing what China has been through all along.

8.  Have you had a lot of response to your book in China?  Is there a Chinese version?  or just English?

Currently the book is published outside China, only in English. The overseas response has been very encouraging so far.

9.  Speaking of English, I’ve seen some of your interviews, you are quite good at English!  Where did you learn?

Thanks! I learned English like everyone else in China, from school. I also use English at work, since all our clients are international organizations.

10.  I know that the black market in China is big, are you afraid that your book will appear on the streets from booksellers and you not getting any of that money?

Yes, that was part of the reason I didn’t publish the book in China.

11.  How are you able to protect your art, drawings andintellectual/creative property in this book?  Does China have good copyright laws?  If you saw somebody copying your book could you take legal action?

China has good copyright laws, but the enforcement is hard.

12.  Are you into webcomics at all?  Comics on the web only?  Are they popular in China?

Sorry I don’t know much about webcomics.

13.  What are your hobbies other than work and drawing?

I love to ski, and I’ve been to Whistler, Lake Tahoe, and some of the ski resorts north of Beijing.

14.  What is your favorite Chinese food?

Living in Beijing, I like Shanghai food, fresher and less greasy than northern food.

15.  What are you reading right now?  books?  magazines?

As part of my book research, I’m reading several history books, such as “Records of the Grand Historian” by Sima Qian, the father of Chinese historiography; “History of China” by pre-liberation historian Wang Tongling and “The General History of China” by his contemporary Lü Simian; “The Analects” complied by Confucius’ students; and many ancient Chinese paintings in the historical record. I really like the books written by the military historian Antony Beevor: “D-Day: The Battle for Normandy 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing“, “Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing”, and “Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing”. Now I’m also reading “Outliers: The Story of Success 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing”, and “What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures 23 Questions for Beijing Cartoonist Liu Jing” by Malcolm Gladwell

16.  Can you tell us today’s top 5 Chinese cartoonists?

Feng Zikai (1898-1975), a well-known Chinese painter, writer, and cartoonist, Zhang Leping (1910-1992) The creator of Sanmao, an orphan who suffered the hardships of Japanese invasion during WWII, The creation team of the 60-volume “Romance of Three Kingdoms” comic series from Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, and Taiwanese artists such as Cai Zhizhong, a cartoonist best known for his comic books on Chinese philosophy; Jimmy Liao, a famous picture book writer; and Zhu Deyong.

17.  Can you tell us top 5 Chinese cartoonists from recent Chinese history?

If we take a broader concept of cartoon, which is a series of drawings to tell a story or deliver information, the following ancient Chinese graphic artists are noteworthy: Song Yingxing (1587-1666), a Chinese scientist and writer, best known for his encyclopedia “The Exploitation of the Works of Nature”, which covered over 130 technical issues, with 123 detailed illustrations, Zhang Zeduan (1085-1145), his famous work “Along the river during Qingming Festival”, 528cm-wide, captured people’s daily life at the imperial capital. It was made into an animation as one of the major exhibits in the China Pavilion during the World Expo 2010.  Gu Hongzhong (937-975), known for his narrative paintings to document the night life of a senior official.

18.  Do you ever read Western cartoonists?

I’ve read most Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

19.  Do you ever hang out with other cartoonists?

When I worked at an independent English newspaper in Beijing around 1996, my boss, Brian McClain, is a great cartoonist and he drew many comics for the newspaper, and we hung out a lot, which is very fortunate to me.

20.  Are you on Sina Weibo? or some other microblogging site?  Kaixinwang?

I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

21.  Give us one or two sentences that describe your book that would interest people and make them go and buy it!?

How do Chinese think?  This insightful comic book is your visual guide to understanding China.

22.  Tell us your favorite quotation?

That would be the opening line of the book: “After 17,434 natural disasters, 3,791 massive wars, 663 emperors and 95 dynasties, the 5,000-year Chinese civilization lives on.” I like it because it tells what China had been through in just one sentence, reflecting the theme of the whole book – a wild ride through China history, deep and fast.  I’ve spent three months working on this line alone because these figures can’t be found in just one book. I had to read three books that documented natural disasters, wars and dynasties and then do the math.

23.  Who are your heroes or people that you look up to?

Steven Spielberg

Other interviews we’ve done.

Another cartoonist we’ve done an interview with.

 

2 useful Chinese phrases from our Justin Beiber comic 贾斯汀·比伯

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

6771198413 9d041c5c02 2 useful Chinese phrases from our Justin Beiber comic 贾斯汀·比伯We did another flash card style comic the other day and chose Justin Beiber, not because we listen to his music, but because he’s so popular.  But I wanted to point out a couple things in the last frame that I think are useful for those who are learning Chinese.

1.  The Chinese teacher is making a comment on what she thinks of Justin Beiber.  She says 白马王子 báimǎ wángzǐ and for the English translation we wrote “Prince Charming.”  This is not an exact translation.  The Chinese is literally “white horse Prince” which I thought was a fun translation.  For guys you can ask Chinese girls if they’ve found their 白马王子 or “white horse prince” and for Chinese girls you can dash a guy’s hopes by saying that you are definitely NOT my 白马王子 “white horse Prince!”

2.  The second phrase was what the westerner who is studying Chinese said in response to the Prince Charming comment.  He says 乳臭未干 rǔ chòu wèi gàn and it’s translated in English as “wet behind the ears.”  The phrase finder website explains that “wet behind the ears” means naive and immature and it gives you the idea that the person is still wet from being born.  The phrase started as “dry behind the ears” meaning mature but the first known use of “wet behind the ears” was used in 1911.  Anyway, the English translation is actually not as vivid as the Chinese.  Literally translated the phrase 乳臭未干 in English is “breast smell not dry” or a better English translation is “to smell of mother’s milk.”  WHOA!  I don’t know about you but that’s kind of insulting.  So my apologies to the Beiber clan but it was pretty funny!

See the comic here.

Are you ready for Chinese Camp? Interview with a American student at a Chinese summer camp

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

6812279459 4748e05cc4 Are you ready for Chinese Camp? Interview with a American student at a Chinese summer camp

Did you know there was a Chinese summer camp in Minnesota?  Well, there is and I got to chat with a great teenager named Dylan from Western Massachusetts about his experience this past summer at a Chinese summer camp.  There are so many smart and intelligent parents out there in America today (also in Britain and Australia) who are sending their kids to Mandarin camps so that their kids get a leg up on college studies or to supplement their high school Mandarin classes.  Whatever the decision, it will greatly improve their interpersonal skills and abilities and confidence in this amazing language.  The problem is… which camp should you choose!?  Well, we hope that this interview might help you make that decision.  This is just one camp, and I am sure there are many other camps out there.  If you have any further questions for us or for Dylan you can always e-mail us: magnus at mandmx dot com.

MandMx:  What is the name of the Chinese summer camp that you attended?

Dylan:  森林湖

MandMx:  Where is your camp located?

Dylan:  Maplelag 
30693 Maplelag Road 
Callaway, MN 56521-9643

MandMx:  How did you get there?

Dylan:  I flew to Minneapolis, then drove in a bus through camp to get to the camp

MandMx:  Was this your first time?

Dylan:  This was my second time

MandMx:  How long have you studied Chinese?

Dylan:  About 6 or 7 years

MandMx:  How is a camp day structured?

Dylan:  7:30 a.m.  起床  wake up

8:00 a.m.  早操  morning exercise

8:30 a.m.  早饭  breakfast

9:30 a.m.  小组活动  group activity

10:30 a.m.  打扫木屋  cabin clean-up

11:00 a.m.  小组课  Chinese class

12:00 a.m.  爱情故事  soap opera

12:30 a.m.  午饭  lunch

1:30 p.m.  午休  afternoon nap

2:30 p.m.  自由活动  free time

3:45 p.m.  小组课  Chinese class

4:30 p.m.  下午活动  afternoon activity

5:30 p.m.  晚饭  dinner

6:30 p.m.  看电影  movie

7:30 p.m.  晚上节目  evening program

8:45 p.m.  回木屋  return to cabin

9:15 p.m.  熄灯  lights out

MandMx:   How was the food?

Dylan:  The food was very good. Very traditional food such as Man Tou, and Xi Fan for breakfast.

MandMx:   How were the counselors?

Dylan:  The counselors were very nice and helpful, and helped with a villagers Chinese if they needed it

MandMx:   Was everything in Chinese?

Dylan:  Almost everything was in Chinese

MandMx:   Do you think your Chinese improved at all?

Dylan:  I think my Chinese improved greatly during these past two years

MandMx:   What was the worst thing at the camp?

Dylan:  The worst thing was doing zao cao (早操 morning exercises)

MandMx:   What was the best thing at the camp?

Dylan:  The best thing for me was getting to sing the song 《民生》, with a few of my counselors at the 篝火 Gōuhuǒ Bonfire.  On one night when we were at the evening activity at the camp fire, me, a female counselor, a male counselor, and two other female student sang the song 《民生》around the camp fire. And because the song is so long, each time we finished a verse they thought it was over. So each time we had to use our hands to say its not over. Then when the song was finally finished, there was a huge clapping from everyone and they were whooping and cheering when we finished.

MandMx:   Did you make some friends?

Dylan:  I made tons of friends

MandMx:   Are you in contact with them?

Dylan:  I am still in contact with all my friends

MandMx:   What is your motivation for going to this Chinese camp?

Dylan:  My motivation for going was to improve my Chinese, and make new friends

MandMx:   Did your parents force you to go?

Dylan:  My parents did not force me to go

MandMx:   Were there Chinese/American kids there?

Dylan:  There were all types of kids, including American, and Chinese

MandMx:   Would you recommend other people to go to that school?

Dylan:  If they want to learn or improve their Chinese, I would greatly recommend to go there

MandMx:   What were the counselors like?

Dylan:  The counselors were very nice and friendly, and always helped out the students

MandMx:   Could everyone at the camp speak Chinese?

Dylan:  Not everyone could speak, the skill level varied between each person

More information:

Here’s the website

Village page: http://senlinhu.villagepages.org/
Website: http://www.concordialanguagevillages.org/newsite/

Jessica Beinecke: A Petite, Blond hair, Blue eyes, Midwestern girl who can speak Fluent Mandarin Chinese, OMG!

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Just when you think that you’ve seen it all on the internet there comes an article that shocks you back into the realization that the internet really is the “final frontier!”  That’s what happened when I came across an article in the Atlantic (linking to an earlier Washington Post piece) which was an interview with Jessica Beinecke who is the host for Voice of America (VOA) and the star of her own VOA produced web video show called “OMG 美语” which means “Oh My Goodness, American Language!”  The Atlantic article by Damian Ma talks about her viral videos on the Chinese version of YouTube called Youku and her interaction in Mandarin with her millions of fans in Mainland China, Taiwan and beyond.  Now she’s on YouTube and getting more and more popular.  Kind of like the younger, more beautiful Mark Roswell (a.k.a. Da Shan 大山

After watching the episode you might ask yourself, How did she get so good at Chinese?  The Atlantic article asked that too.  Her response:

I have the equivalent of about the fourth year Chinese language level. I reached fluency in 1.5 years, thanks to Middlebury College’s Chinese language programs.

Wow, that must be a natural ability right there because I was no where near fluency by 1 and a half years.  WOW!

Or you might ask the question that they had in the Washington Post article which was this:  How can…

“a petite blond Midwesterner, who is not Chinese and only began studying the language five years ago, become an iconic translator of American slang for pop-culture-hungry Chinese fans?”

Good question.  But then again, that’s what the internet is all about, isn’t it?

Other posts about Westerners speaking Chinese.

Chinese with Mike – A Chicagoan who teaches Chinese on YouTube from his parent’s basement!  Plus our comic about Mike!

Foreigners Speaking Chinese – This is an old comic we did based on a true story of my Chinese mistakes!

Billions Speak Chinese – a comic about how frustrating dialects can be in Chinese.

How to Scare a Foreigner - Speak Chinese to them? No give them this!

3 Questions for Foreigners after a trip to China – just plain silly!

3 Things I’ve Learned About Speaking Mandarin From My 4 Year Old Boy

Friday, February 24th, 2012

It’s not everyone that has a 4 year old son who is learning Mandarin.  Many times my wife (MX) and I joke that sooner than later the boy will surpass my Mandarin level.  My Mandarin is so bad that perhaps that might happen by next week, but whatever the case, I try to be a teachable student.  So without further delay, here are 3 things that I’ve learned about speaking Mandarin from my 4 year old!
6928369187 e82dcf93c2 3 Things Ive Learned About Speaking Mandarin From My 4 Year Old Boy

1.  Repeat everything you hear.

Perhaps you’ve been there done that.  You might have someone in you life who corrects you constantly.  I know I do.  But something deep inside of me wants to dismiss the constructive criticism and just ignore the correction and move on.  My son does not.  I should not.  But I’m an adult.  I said it differently ok, I said it in a creative way, ok I can say it my own way.  It was wrong, sure but I just want to be understood!  I don’t have to speak so eloquently!  Wrong.  I need to learn from what my 4 year old does.  If he says something wrong, MX will correct him and sure enough each time, without our prompting, he will repeat the correct way of saying it and then move on with the conversation.  It’s really amazing and I have noticed it.  He does the same in English too when I correct him.  ”Did Mommy sleep this afternoon?”  He responds, “Yes, Daddy, Mommy sleept.”  I correct him.  ”Mommy, slept this afternoon?”  He notices I said it differently and then corrects himself.  ”Mommy slept this afternoon.”  Nice.

6782249300 203e21f02e 3 Things Ive Learned About Speaking Mandarin From My 4 Year Old Boy

2.  Ask lots of questions

One of things that he is constantly doing at 4 years old is asking questions.  I think I’m up to 1,269 questions and counting.  Kidding.  But he has so many and sometimes I can predict a question, sometimes I cannot.  Sometimes he surprises me with a poignant question about life or God and sometimes I prompt him to ask me a question.  Nevertheless, the boy asks constantly.  But he has learned in his short 4 years that by asking a question he’s going to get a response.  By getting a response he will gain understanding.  By gaining understanding he will learn how to describe something, talk about something and also learn about the social taboos surrounding the thing he asked about.  He asks us lots of questions in Mandarin also and we say “因为” or “because” a lot.  Asking questions as an adult learning Mandarin though is sometimes daunting or also could seem immature.  Who cares.  You are learning a language not showing off your maturity.
One interesting aspect of being a child and learning a language as opposed to being an adult: There are questions that our boy asks, that as an adult I know through social cues, to not ask.  For example: I made some comment about something one night at dinner and MX started to cry.  Our boy seeing his mother cry asked the logical question, “妈妈,为什么你哭了?“ or “Mommy, why are you crying?”  The answer of course produced so many social and cultural issues that the boy learned so much in just that answer, what makes mommy cry, what daddy shouldn’t have said, which gender cries more often, etc etc.  Now, as an adult, that question and thus all that learning would never have taken place since socially and culturally an adult knows to mind their own business when it doesn’t involve them.  The point being: Start learning languages when you are young so that you can ask rude questions!  It’s fun!

6928369099 7809410ff0 3 Things Ive Learned About Speaking Mandarin From My 4 Year Old Boy

3.  Speak about stuff that interests you.

It’s interesting that our son has learned math addition words in Chinese first 一加一等于二 1+1=2 thanks to MX.  (Math in Chinese to me is my worst nightmare.)  And he has learned all his “playing with cars” words in English thanks to me.  For example: CRASH!  BOOM!  WATCH OUT!! etc.  From time to time there is something that our boy really wants to tell us and if we are both with him he will sometimes slip from Chinese into English or vice versa.  But the point is, he’s using his language, he wants to speak about something that matters to him and he has two languages to help him express himself as effectively as he can.  He doesn’t get excited when talking to Mx’s parents on SKYPE about what he learned at school, but he is excited and wants to talk about his friend at school and also his favorite subject in school: Snack time!

6782249396 2ff4caabe9 3 Things Ive Learned About Speaking Mandarin From My 4 Year Old Boy

You can keep up with our son’s use of Chinese on our Twitter account.  I hear him say funny stuff and I put it up there!
There are many Learning Mandarin Comics and posts on our site! Check them out!

A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

 A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An American Family’s Journey in China A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

When all-American Aminta Arrington moves from suburban Georgia to a small town in China, she doesn’t go alone. Her army husband and three young children, including an adopted Chinese daughter, uproot themselves too. Aminta hopes to understand the country with its long civilization, ancient philosophy, and complex language. She is also determined that her daughter Grace, born in China, regain some of the culture she lost when the Arringtons brought her to America as a baby.

In the university town of Tai’an, a small city where pigs’ hooves are available at the local supermarket, donkeys share the road with cars, and the warm-hearted locals welcome this strange looking foreign family, the Arringtons settle in . . . but not at first…read more. A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

About the author: Aminta Arrington has an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of advanced International Studies and studied at Waseda University in Tokyo. She has written about China for The Seattle Times, and she edited the anthology Saving Grandmother’s Face: and Other Tales from Christian Teachers in China. Arrington continues to live and work in China with her family.

Available in August 2012 but you can pre-order now!

 A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

Hong Konged: One Modern American Family’s (Mis)adventures in the Gateway to China A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

In this alternately hilarious and heartrending memoir, acclaimed writer and editor Paul Hanstedt recounts the true story of his family’s recent sojourn to Hong Kong. Hanstedt and his wife and three children–aged 9, 6, and 3–lived in Hong Kong for a year, a year beset by culture clash, vicious bullies, hospital visits, M&Ms, and the worst traffic jam you’ve ever seen.

Through the eyes of the earnest if sometimes clueless Hanstedt family…read more. A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

About the author: Paul Hanstedt has been a professor of English and creative writing for fifteen years and is the editor of the national literary journal The Roanoke Review. His work has appeared in Puerto Del SolConfrontationWriting on the Edge, the Beloit Fiction Journal, MLA’s The ProfessionThe Chronicle of Higher Education, and Brain, Child, for which he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He’s the author of General Education Essentials: A Guide for College Faculty and is also a staple on the Virginia Public Radio station WVTF, with a listening audience of 160,000. He currently lives in Virginia.

Available in July 2012 but you can pre-order now!

 A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

Pretty Woman Spitting: An American’s Travels in China A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

Leanna Adams moved to China in 2006. What she found were squat pots, plates of pig’s feet, wildly curious Chinese people and life-altering experiences.

Pretty Woman Spitting is a kind of love letter to China. Adams chose the title after hearing a particularly guttural noise (spitting is commonly heard all over China) and turned to find a beautiful woman in a delicate yellow frock hocking up a big one. Pretty Woman Spitting is the book Adams wanted to read before she moved there, filled with loads useful information like where to go to the bathroom and how you shouldn’t hug Chinese men after they fix your toilet.

While living in the countryside teaching English and American Culture, even the most basic issues of hygiene presented…read more. A Journey, A Misadventure and Pretty Women Spitting: 3 China Adventure Books written by Americans

About the author: Leanna Adams is just too cool to even write about here.

Available now on Amazon Kindle for only $.99!!!

Chinese Female Cartoonist has Cancer and draws “Go to Hell, Mr. Cancer” becoming a viral hit

Friday, March 9th, 2012

She has cancer and she’s dealing with it by drawing.

Zhejiang Province native Xiong Dun (not her real name) was born in 1982.  By August 21, 2011 she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Mediastinal Lymphoma which is cancer of the Lymphocytes or immune system.  Xiong Dun has posted her comics on a Chinese bulletin board system and the whole collection garnered some 2 million hits and thousands of heartfelt comments and well wishes.  Some expressed sympathy and some confessed to laughing.  ”Cancer comics” are unique and they span from humorous to touching.  There is actually a database that tracks all mentions of cancer in all comics.  They range from Hugo Chavez’s bout with cancer to an old couple making jokes about the spot on their forehead only being orange marmalade and not cancer.  There are also online cancer comics that people have done.
Below is an example of one of the pages in her Cancer memoir.

Our rough translation: 

First her friend didn’t want to accompany her getting a shot, both friends peeked in on her.
Second, she gets the painful shot: “ah ya ah ya ah ya”
Third, after the blood test and a heart beat test and xray and many boring procedures, the emergency room asked Dr. Liang about the xray.  She says that the Doctor is very handsome!
Fourth, she fell in love with Dr. Liang joking. the doctor checking xray she whispers, “even he wears a medical mask it doesn’t cover his handsomeness.”  Her friend thinks that under the mask he has buck teeth…

6828090786 83ed2a9e32 Chinese Female Cartoonist has Cancer and draws Go to Hell, Mr. Cancer becoming a viral hit


Cartooning in China seems to be a small industry even though art is very important in Chinese schools.  Xiong Dan’s cancer comic collection also has a very catchy name: “Go to Hell Mr. Cancer” 《滚蛋吧肿瘤君》or literally translated as “Get Out! Tumor.”  There is also an article in Chinese over on this site.  Publishers are very interested in publishing her comics and let me personally tell Xiong Dun that if you want your memoir translated into English, MX (my wife) and I would love to help make that happen and capture an international audience!
Other Interviews some with Chinese cartoonists.

9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

We loved these shots that we found on Flickr from a Mr. Craig Allen.  Here’s from his Profile on Flickr:

I spent the 1985-86 school year working as a Foreign Expert teaching English in China. I was 25 years old, and had just graduated from university.   I was teaching at what was then called Jiangsu Institute of Technology (or Zhenjiang Institute of Agricultural Mechanics?), now Jiangsu University (江苏大学).

Sit back and enjoy the shots.  Notice what’s different, notice what’s the same.  The colors are great and each one could tell a story!

Photos used by permission from Mr. Craig Allen. Please click on each photo and head to flickr to see tons more!  He’s converting his old slides into digital shots.  He’s very accessible and would love to chat if you’ve been to these places in China!
6898496909 6e2671e165 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Shot in Zhenjiang, China in 1986. This is the small daily “free market” on the university campus where I taught English. Such non-state markets were still fairly new at this time, an example of some of the early market reforms in China in the 1980s.
6894218693 40f862f67f 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Shot in Zhenjiang, China in 1986. This was in the early days of China’s loosening up state control of commerce. This was taken at a small daily “free market”, as it was called, near the entrance of the university.
6894092327 ae085d8044 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Shot in Zhenjiang, China in 1986.
6879031797 1662dc0830 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Students on their way to back to their dormatories in the evening. This was shot in 1986 in Zhenjiang, China.
6879031329 93093b0630 z 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Students coming and going from the student canteen. This was shot in 1896 in Zhenjiang, China.
6873316301 69125f248b z 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Two girls reading comic books at Sports Day. This was shot in Zhenjiang, China in the spring of 1986.
6907139965 d18caa19c3 z 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  The Bund in Shanghai, 1986
6907215837 b78a576268 z 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Nanjing Road on a hot day in 1986
6778467128 e9542b7b62 z 9 Photos from Eastern China in 1986: American in China teaching English
(c) Craig Allen.  Pagoda in need of repair in Suzhou. This was shot in 1986. I don’t know if this pagoda was eventually renovated or if it was pulled down, but those are the only two possibilities.

I visited Zhenjiang years ago also and you can read about my experiences there, here.

China News Aggregators: Keep up with the news with these 11 sites

Friday, March 30th, 2012

News aggregator:  In general internet terms, a news aggregation website is a website where headlines are collected, usually manually.

We put together a list of 11 China News Aggregators to help all of you out there get your news.  Mx and I often go to these sites to see what’s going on in the world and in the world of China.  We hope you enjoy the list and use it everyday!

1.  China Digital Times Imagine any story about China from the media and China Digital Times will have it.  They keep up to date with the commentary around the world that all talks about China and how it affects China.  With a sleek design and Chinese version China Digital Times is your one stop shop.


2.  Hao Hao Report This unique site run by Ryan at Lost Laowai is really an interesting new concept.  It’s ultimately run by anyone who signs up and they can post whatever story they want which then links to that story on the web.  The limit is 4 per day (I know, I tried 5 one day!) and since everyone runs it, the unique stories are endless.  Each story is tweeted out and you can also grade each story by voting it up or down.


3.  China New Today on Twitter Twitter has a couple good news aggregators.  This one is particularly good.


4.  China Business Watch on Twitter Another Twitter based one, ChinaBizWatch connects you to all things Business and more having to do with China.


5.  Latest China is similar to China Digital Times and contains many interesting news stories.  They post from many sources and really get you up to date with all that’s going on in China.


6.  China Stories This unique site features stories, links and many videos from around the internet all about China.  From “How to use Chopsticks” to the entire “Last Hero in China” Jet Li Kung Fu movie posted.  They feature new China books everyday and also a fun Jackie Chan A-Z post every Sunday morning (EST) along with Chinese videos and lectures.


7.  Jing Daily For all the well off in our world, this site is for you.  They deal with all of China’s luxury news.  They highlight what the rich are wasting spending their money on.  It’s fun to take a peek from time to time.


8.  Baidu Beat The Baidu Team puts together what is popular searches on Baidu “everyday.”  They are having intern issues at publication time but they try to post up the happening searches so all of us can see what Chinese are searching for!

9.  Twitchy Not exactly a China news aggregator, but the site is a unique use of Twitter.  They curate (I think is the correct word) and sift through all the tweets out there forming stories so that you don’t have to.  No topic is too politically incorrect so be careful if you go there, you’ll be shocked to hear stories that you haven’t heard before that are freely talked about on Twitter.  They have a “World News” tab and that is always informative.  What they do need though is a Chinese language tab so that people know what the Chinese on Twitter are saying!

10.  Drudge Report Everybody knows Drudge.  That site is the place to go for all news but also China news too.  They are on Twitter and for those China watchers, the news is very up to date there too!


11.  WenXueCity Mx goes to this sites all the time.  This fits the definition of news aggregator above.  It’s just a mass of links and Chinese characters.  She finds some interesting stories on it and passes them along to me sometimes.