Twas The Night Before Christmas In Chinese Part 5
Saturday — December 20th, 2014

Twas The Night Before Christmas In Chinese Part 5

Part 1, part 2, part 3, Part 4

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From MandMX’s Instagram and Twitter: Our 2y/o’s 4 characteristics, recent reading, Christmas, Thanksgiving and “gloves!”

4 characteristics of our 2y/o in Chinese and English. http://instagram.com/p/wA1mrLPY67/

How do you say “star,” “Christmas tree” and “gift” in Chinese? Our 6y/o shows you. http://ift.tt/1vMdVec

 

Our 6y/o’s math turkey. Notice the color directions in Chinese. http://ift.tt/1vugBb9

Our 6y/o’s Thankful Turkey saying in Chinese what he’s thankful for. http://ift.tt/1waFaRl

 

We cheered when we got home from a long day at school to find 公公 had made fresh 混沌 wontons from scratch. http://ift.tt/1voI6mx

 

MandMX Instagram/Twitter: Textbook pages, Bilingual Article, Sucking Thumbs, Arnold in Chinglish, Doodles and an Easy Song Dynasty Poem

How do you say “DON’T SUCK YOUR THUMB” in Chinese? http://ift.tt/1tT4io1

 

Page from MX’s Chinese textbook. She is preparing to teach sports this week. Any favorites? http://ift.tt/1vgxgpc

 

Drawn January 23, 2007. “哎呀,衣服掉到楼下去了!Ah ya, my clothes fell to the next floor.” http://ift.tt/1xJE50i

 

Cool Song poem we’ll try to all learn and teach our 6y/o and 2y/o. Seems pretty easy and useful. http://ift.tt/1qCK33q

China Book Review: The Contest of the Century by Geoff Dyer of the Financial Times

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Since December I’ve been a reading maniac. I studied a bit how to speed read and this year I’ve already read 7 books. My goal was to read 12 books this year, one per month. Not amazing, not shocking but an attainable goal none the less. I have quite diverse interests so each book is more and more interesting and unique.

When returning library books one day in my local library I happened upon the “NEW BOOK” shelf and one book caught my eye. The title appealed to my American nationalism even though I was sure after I read who the author was (a British man) it wouldn’t be that clear of a winner in this contest. The author, Geoff Dyer was somewhat difficult to look up online since there are other accomplished writers with his name but put together with his employer (Financial Times, the creme colored website) one can easily find his writings.

Flipping through the table of contents I found the topics to be right up my alley since I recently finished a Master’s degree in East Asian studies from the University of Leeds. I thought, “This would be a great book to read next but it’s probably not up to date.” Glancing at the copyright page I found that yes, indeed it was up to date, at least as up to date as books can be nowadays. Thanking the library gods who granted me such a forward thinking local library to purchase this book and have it displayed, I quickly took it out and started reading it.

The first part of the book about China’s naval expansion was truly fascinating. Mr. Dyer went into depth on the history, which I love, and the different areas of Southeast Asia that China is getting involved with. The WWII story of Ramree Island off of Burma, which I didn’t know anything about, fascinated many a friend and relative of mine after I relayed the story a number of times. If you don’t know about it I won’t ruin it here but any Hollywood people out there need to adapt that story into a real life horror movie!

The second part about China’s nationalism was also really an excited part. He seamlessly intertwines history with current events along with exclusive conversations with important people in China about these issues. Many times reading through those pages I had remembered reading something about a story online somewhere since I try to keep up with what is going on with China and the news. But the best part about it is he was able to not only inform me what the end result of those stories were but also put them in a larger context which was important.
1 Sentence Book Review Comic
Finally the third part of his book really challenged my geeky economic side. Over the years I’ve been learning more and more about economics and how countries in east Asia work economically and his explanations about China taking on the dollar was really eye-opening. That information about how Beijing won’t make the RenMinBi a world currency like the dollar is not exactly the kind of information many Americans know or would agree with. But his expertise in this area is reliable.

If you are a person like me who reads news about China and tries to keep up with the discussions going on, then you will love this book as it touches on all the most important issues going on in our world and in that corner of the world. Those issues are: history, economics, politics and nationalism.

Here are other links to reviews of his book and you can purchase his book by clicking on the picture above!

The Contest of the Century – review | Books | The Guardian:

Can China Win the Contest of the Century?: War on the Rocks

Review: The Contest of the Century – WSJ:

‘The Contest of the Century’, by Geoff Dyer – FT.com:

Geoff Dyer: “The Contest Of The Century” | The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR:

Comic Explained: 5 Things Often Said During Chinese Immersion Summer Camp

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Left side: Magnus trying to talk about birthdays. Top Right: Magnus saying "WELCOME" in Chinese! Bottom Right: Attempting to tell a story only using Chinese and drawing.

 

In July 2013 I had the privilege of working for the US Department of Defense in their Strategic Languages section and assisted others in teaching the future of America the Chinese language.  In other words, I worked at a Chinese Immersion Summer Camp for kids called StarTalk.  It was a blast and we did a comic recently about the experience that I thought might need some explanation.  So without further ado here is COMIC EXPLAINED: 5 Things Often Said During Chinese Immersion Summer Camp

1.  Can you speak English?

5 Things Often Said During Chinese Immersion Summer CampA

I heard this at the Chinese Immersion Summer Camp because I took the requirement seriously: Speak Chinese all the time.  On the second day of doing this, I had a couple kids ask me this question.  Deep in my mind I was really happy!  From time to time when meeting parents before or after classes I had to speak in English and the students were shocked to hear it.  The only drawback to this is that I didn’t really get to know the kids very well.  Lunch, a time to really connect, was just fun and games and nothing serious.  I could ask them all kinds of questions but only in Chinese and they wouldn’t understand.

2.  Where’s Confucius?  孔子在哪里?  Kǒngzǐ zài nǎlǐ?

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This was an idea that came from experience teaching Chinese in Middle School.  I used to do a “Where’s the Teacher” vignette in class every Tuesday where I would show my students a picture of me when I travelled around China and the map of China.  Finally after a couple weeks of doing the “Where’s the Teacher” activity, I found that without teaching “WHERE” in Chinese, the fun activity actually taught the students the new word.
At the summer camp there was a wooden figure of Confucius in our classroom and I started hiding it around the room for the students to find.  When they realized that Confucius was missing they alerted me and I would say over and over again “Where’s Confucius?!” until we found him.  Just another simple way to teach basic words!  (You can actually see the Confucius statue behind the clipboard in the picture!)

3.  My stomach is hungry.  肚子饿了. Dùzi èle.

5 Things Often Said During Chinese Immersion Summer CampC

During summer camp we had snack time and lunch.  This was the perfect opportunity to teach them this phrase.  The English doesn’t quite work, it should be “I’m hungry.” But that is the translation from Chinese.  Before we broke into the Chee-zits or popcorn I would hit my tummy and say this phrase a ton of times.  After a few days of this, the students would initiate this phrase meaning that they had gotten it!  (Yes, that is almost 50 lbs of popcorn!  JOKE!)

4.  Butterfly class line up!  蝴蝶班排队! Húdié bān páiduì!

5 Things Often Said During Chinese Immersion Summer CampD

At summer camp there has to be a way to control and categorize the students.  Much like cabins at a traditional sleep over summer camp, we had classes which had names.  I had the Butterfly class which initially did not inspire me since butterflies are just nice looking bugs.  But I quickly enjoyed the name since the characters are very complex and fun to write.  Also, the Chinese name of butterfly is fun to say and when you add “LINE UP” in Chinese, it ended up being one of the most common phrases I said during the 2 weeks of camp.

5.  Go pee. Wash hands. Girls here. Boys here.  小便. 洗手. 男的. 女的. Xiǎobiàn. xǐshǒu. nán de. nǚ de.

5 Things Often Said During Chinese Immersion Summer CampE

Bathrooms are vital for any summer camp.  At a Chinese Summer camp it is no exception.  We had to talk about this the first day.  The motions are simple, especially to “WASH HANDS” but I used a simple way to have the students ask me to go to the bathroom.  I used this when I taught in Middle school too.  I have the students put their hands up in the shape of a W and a C which means WATER CLOSET which is often used in China to mean bathroom.
For those who have taught in STARTALK and those interested here are a couple of links.
Video introducing the multi-language program from 2010
Article and video of a NYC high school partnering with StarTalk for a 6 week intensive immersion Chinese class!
OMG!美语 did a video on her recent visit to a NYC Startalk this summer!
Yes, even in Bangor, Maine they have Startalk Chinese!

We’ve just published our 2nd Kindle Book! Our Bilingual Boy’s Tweets: Chinese and English

We’re pretty excited!  We’ve published our 2nd Kindle book, another collection of our boy’s bilingual tweets!  You can follow us on Twitter @MandMx and follow his tweets now but we’ve made it easier for you!  We’ve collected his second year.  You see our boy speaks both English and Chinese and some of the stuff he says is funny or interesting or touching.  We tweet it out and it’s fun for many out there who are interested in Chinese/English study and also bilingual studies in a bi-cultural family.  Here’s from the Amazon page:

“A year’s worth of our son’s bilingual tweets on Twitter. Follow us on @MandMx He speaks both English and Chinese and his bilingual communication is funny and interesting in both Chinese and English. Magnus is an American Cartoonist and Teacher and Ming Xing is a Shanghainese world traveler and Businesswoman.”

We’re pretty excited.  Won’t you spread the word and help support this website and the work we do?!  Head over and buy the book!  It’s at a super cheap price and it’s fun reading.  While you’re at it you can also buy our 1st book! Bilingual Chinese/English Tweets 1: An MandMx.com Collection

Here’s an example from almost from the book:
From our 2nd book!

Here’s our post announcing the first book!

18 Christmas Songs, Movies or Lyrics we’d like to see with a Chinese Twist! #ChineseChristmasClassics

The other day I brainstormed ideas for Christmas songs and movies with a Chinese twist. Twitter makes it easy to post simple ideas so I shared them with the twittersphere. If you can think of anymore, that would be great. Use the HASHTAG #ChineseChristmasClassics
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