Pre-CNY Sweetness Thread

westerners in china.jpg
This is a photo of friends in Beijing having a civilized conversation over dinner. Let’s try to emulate them in this thread, with serious dialogue, deep thoughts and carefully reasoned opinions, expressed with eloquence and grace. One more shouting-match thread that’s more chaotic than Stalingrad in 1942 and I reconsider the entire open thread idea. Okay? Sweetness and light: those are your guiding principles.

P.S. The first to name the 2 Westerners above gets a free glass of baijiu next time I’m in China.

The Discussion: 121 Comments

Not off to a good start- Drudgreport has the latest on Google’s record-breaking attempt to bnd its arse as low as possible for the Chinese regime.

January 24, 2006 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

Money Quote that says it a: “Google is cooperating with China’s government at the same time it is battling the U.S. government over a subpoena seeking a breakdown of one week’s worth of search requests _ a list that would cover millions of terms. ”
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/24/D8FBC4C02.html

January 24, 2006 @ 5:46 pm | Comment

Richard,

you are welcome to a chinese forum:

http://www.wenxuecity.com

which is, i believe one of the most popular chinese forum for chinese overseas. Unfortunately, due to too many anti-china people there, it is blocked from mainland.

enjoy.
๐Ÿ™‚

January 24, 2006 @ 5:58 pm | Comment

Keir, I just blogged it. Thanks.

January 24, 2006 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

Free Baijiu? Ick! Hopefully the Chinese don’t add that crap to their list of exported goods.

I know the old man is Joseph Bosco, the rabid Da Shan defender.

No idea who is sitting behind him. I guess it was you.

January 24, 2006 @ 6:12 pm | Comment

Please don’t call Joseph “rabid.” He isn’t. Wrong about the second mystery guest.

January 24, 2006 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

Comrade Bosco and our amis Francais. Sorry I don’t remember your name, despite going for the post-dinner pint or three at the British pub down the road.

January 24, 2006 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

Okay, fair enough. His personality may not be rabit, but I’ve read some pretty rabid attacks that he’s made on those who have cracked on Da Shan.

Outside of that, I don’t know much about the guy.

January 24, 2006 @ 7:39 pm | Comment

Zhuan Jia, no baijiu for you. You have to name them both.

January 24, 2006 @ 7:58 pm | Comment

What is baijiu?

January 24, 2006 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

Even my Chinese friend could get Joseph, “Oh look, it’s the adjudicator from the CCTV English Cup”. Sorry, don’t know the French gentleman’s name. Nor do I like baijiu.

Just wanted to say richard that your little lecture at the beginning of the thread reminds me of a young and slightly-idealistic teacher, “This is your last warning. Everyone must behave or terrible things will happen.” I’m pleased to see that most commentators appear to be civilized, as we haven’t descended into chaos yet…but…in my own teaching experience you have got to be much stricter than that. Come on man, set your limits, make a few examples. You don’t have to ban people unless they are persistently offensive/aggressive, but you certainly could delete a lot more of the comments than you do. I do realise that having a full-time job does mean you can’t be a full-time moderator, but if you clamped down hard for a month or so I think everyone would get the message.

January 24, 2006 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

Dish I appreciate the advice. Seriously, I’m taking Chinese classes four days a week and don’t leave work until 8pm most nights, so I just don’t have the strength at the moment to be a full-time policeman. Maybe the CCP can loan me some of their 30,000-man “Internet security specialists.”

January 24, 2006 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

The 2006 Chinese Spring Festival Celebration will be broadcasted live from CCTV – 1, CCTV – 4, and CCTV – 9 on the eve. If you do not have satelitte subscription to CCTV, it will be streaming in live
http://www.cctv.com/spring/2006spring/

All Chinese overseas, all Chinese in Taiwan, all Chinese in Hongkong, all Chinese in other Asisan nations, please all join together with your family and watch the big celebration. It is the gift to the entire Chinese community in the world. Most Chinese students and scholars associations in overseas countries in universities will have their own organized Spring Festival Celebration, please pay attention to your local schools.

Our bodies may be spread everywhere on the globe, but our root is the same and our blood and our heart is the same!

January 24, 2006 @ 10:01 pm | Comment

Hong Xing, don’t miss New Tang TV’s New Year’s Special.

January 24, 2006 @ 10:34 pm | Comment

“Our bodies may be spread everywhere on the globe, but our root is the same and our blood and our heart is the same!”

Your blood and hearts are the same as humans of all creeds and colours. All our roots lie on the plains of Africa. Accept these basic truths and you’ll be well on the way to securing the harmony your government professes to strive for.

January 24, 2006 @ 11:01 pm | Comment

Richard, are you taking chinese class in taiwan?

why do you want learn that traditional crap?

all my taiwanese friends always check with me for pronounciation.

come back to beijing. we have a drink.

January 24, 2006 @ 11:11 pm | Comment

To any hypocritical China-bashers out there:

Whatever problems China has (and nobody is going to deny it ain’t perfect), US and the western world has them too.

A perfect political system only exists in fantasy or in the hypocritical mindset of China-bashers.

So look at the big wart on your own nose first before laughing at somebody else.

January 24, 2006 @ 11:17 pm | Comment

Zhonguo, you must not be reading at least half of Richard’s posts – they are very critical of many aspects of America. For whatever reason, those posts don’t tend to attract as many comments as his posts on China.

Why not contribute to some of those threads if you’d like to start a dialog on such issues?

January 24, 2006 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

Stuart wrote:
“Your blood and hearts are the same as humans of all creeds and colours. All our roots lie on the plains of Africa. Accept these basic truths and you’ll be well on the way to securing the harmony your government professes to strive for.”

I kinda recall an old saying which has been more than 3000 years.
“Under the sky, no land is NOT son of heaven’s, on his land, no one is NOT his servant.”

don’t you think this is bloody true, if son of heaven is Jesus? sounds like he is, isn’t he? And we are his servants.

lol

January 24, 2006 @ 11:23 pm | Comment

I agree with other lisa (happy new year, BTW)’s post. Blaming american society can only take the forum into another flying chair quarelling, not good. we should focus on china.

however, i don’t agree zhongguo’ comment on “A perfect political system only exists in fantasy “. Of course there was once a perfect one! Tibet! According to dalai.

What? you don’t believe it? too bad! you are brain washed! in free world everybody must believe it at least pretend to do it!

lol

January 24, 2006 @ 11:31 pm | Comment

But Xin, I have nothing against discussing problems in American society and politics – not as a way of excusing China’s problems, but based on the issues themselves. Believe me, I have plenty of concern about the direction my country is taking in many areas, and I don’t mind saying so. It would be absurd for me to excuse genuine wrongs that my country has committed on the grounds that, well, China does such things too.

We need to look at problems and issues based on their own particular circumstances and judge them accordingly. We should not engage in a bunch of silly, “well, what YOU did was worse” justifications as a way to excuse our own shortcomings.

And yes, Happy New Year, in advance, to everyone!

January 25, 2006 @ 12:09 am | Comment

“don’t you think this is bloody true, if son of heaven is Jesus? sounds like he is, isn’t he? And we are his servants.”

Please submit your answers on a postcard.

January 25, 2006 @ 12:15 am | Comment

Xin, Taipei is a great place to study Chinese. Really – inexpensive teachers, good pronunciation (especially compared to the Mandarin I heard in Singapore) and plenty of opportunity to practice.

January 25, 2006 @ 12:26 am | Comment

Yeah, but Richard, do you run into that accent a lot? The one that makes “zh” sound like “z” and so on? That just drives me nuts!

That said, I’m sure there are a lot of people with great standard pronunciations in Taiwan…

January 25, 2006 @ 12:31 am | Comment

“all my taiwanese friends always check with me for pronounciation.”
What are you talking about, Xin?
They should be checking with me, because I am Da Shan.
And any foreign friends (not including Taiwan of course, because it is an inseparable part of China) should check with me “abut” any pronunciation problems they may have. It’s important to pretend you are a pirate and add “r” at the end of every word. That is proper Chinese.
See ya at xiangsheng school, Xin. We’ll teach them rascally Taiwanese how to talk right, if it’s the last thing we do.
Love, Da Shan

January 25, 2006 @ 12:33 am | Comment

Taiwanese accents: What gets me is the “sh” becoming “s.” E.g., i say “Shi Da” and no one understands me. I take out the “h” and everyone understands. There also words they say with different tones than I heard in Beijing. Xiansheng is pronounced here with two prominent first tones. In Beijing, the “sheng” would drop to a lower pitch. Lots of examples of that, though I have no idea what the reason is for the differences. Lastly, the people here recoil whenever i use the “Beijing R” – as in “yidianr.” People never say “zher” here, it’s always “zherli” (in which case the “r” is unheard). Just my rambling, unscientific observations….

January 25, 2006 @ 12:46 am | Comment

Oh, yeah. The “sh” becoming “s” is one of my pet peeves!

I’m sorry, maybe it’s just my personal life experience, but I do like the Beijing accent the best. I just do.

I have a classmate who learned his Chinese in Beijing – he’s way better than I am, lived in Beijing 3 years I think – but we have the same accent, we swallow the “ing” endings on everything.

January 25, 2006 @ 12:49 am | Comment

Richard,

With all respect to you and some other friends here, I’m going to stay away for a while, and check back in the future to see whether these threads are still being hijacked as platforms for Communist blowhards.

I can see it happening on this thread already. They’re like flies. And the truth is that you simply cannot reason with Communists. It’s naive to think that you can. They’re trained to believe that the only valid argument is violence, and that nothing matters except their own power, and that they must either smash or shout down anyone who poses the slightest challenge to their power and their lies.

You can no more reason with them than with Osama Bin Laden and his band of fanatics. The Communist Party is a cult, and a very violent one.

So I think these threads will just continue to degenerate as long as the Communists can keep hijacking them.

January 25, 2006 @ 1:28 am | Comment

Sh becomes s in plenty of other places too – northern Jiangxi for one.

January 25, 2006 @ 1:30 am | Comment

Wow.. I’ve gotten myself in plenty of pointless never ending internet political fights, but I hope I’ve never gone as far as what was going on under the bell-tower. I hadn’t noticed that post until you mentioned people were going crazy and I went looking for it just now.

I’ll be the first to admit I need to be more careful, and I hope everyone else can too.

Ivan> Perhaps you want to start a similar blog to this on your own and rather then write your thoughts as comments somewhere else, you can write them on your own. That’s what I try to do when I feel very strongly that I’m right but no one will listen. I’m not saying your a bad guy and need to go away (I haven’t really even looked at the threat in question other then to see it’s way long and got ugly…), but it will help you to feel better if you can get what you have to say off your chest without it being analyzed sentence for sentence, sometimes half-sentance by sentence by people and then you get taken completely off task from what you wanted to say in the first place. It helped me anyways.

But even this thread is getting way off task. Yikes. You’re right Ivan, they swarm like flies… ๐Ÿ˜‰

January 25, 2006 @ 1:48 am | Comment

Well, the thing about open threads is that they’re…open. They can go in any direction, and readers can bring up any topic. However, they used to be way more civilized and often were fascinating. When it breaks down into pointless back-and-forth silliness, I get kind of depressed. Back in the summer we had a commenter who flooded the threads with inanities and I had to ban him, something I am very reluctant to do. But I am serious when I say I want to see more “sweetness and light” and less slinging of mud.

Ivan, if the “commies” have taken over the thread, they’re not doing a great job so far. If I find that to be the case, and if I thing they’re breaking things beyond repair, I’ll do whatever need to to fix it. Right now, commenters on both sides of the aisle need to tone down their rhetoric.

Dish, I didn’t know about the “s” in Jianxi. I certainly never heard it in Bejing, and was amazed when I first got to Taipei and no one could understand me when I said “10” (shi). I quickly learned to drop the “h” and to make the sign of the cross with both index fingers, code for “Shi.”

January 25, 2006 @ 2:44 am | Comment

Richard wrote:
“Taiwanese accents: What gets me is the “sh” becoming “s.” E.g., i say “Shi Da” and no one understands me. I take out the “h” and everyone understands. ”

Richard, seriously, if you will have to change sh to s, then you are not going to the right way. No politics here. Actually, south chinese lack sh in their dialect. So for a south chinese, to become a radio broadcaster, they must pass mandarin test until they can master those sh and s. If you are paying money yourself to learn, why spend time to confuse yourself? Confusing sh and s, or zh and z or ch and c, you will have a little trouble learning input chinese in computer later.

Another thing I want point out: better to learn simplfied chinese. Here are reasons:
1, It is easier.
2, By understanding simplifed, you will not have problem read traditional. We never learn traditional, but we can read it. I think taiwanese have more problems reading simplifed than i am reading traditional.
3, It looks more decent on web format.
4, Computer input is easier.

5, I heard from time to time people said traditional one is geniune, simplified is crap only to help iliterature. This is true but what is not true is simplified chinese is not a “coz” of “because”. Traditinal chinese was not designed to as an “everyone’s tool” for people, it is a tool only for those higher class who have time and money to learn. Before 1949, all governments were happy about those iliter rate. They can’t read so they can’t do anything. Complexity itself made high illiter rate in old china. As a english native speaker I think you were able to read newspaper at 7 years old, ask chinese when they start reading? For me, 14 years old, double of your age.

January 25, 2006 @ 4:26 am | Comment

Richard,
My high school teacher was a strong traditional chinese advocate. He said traditional chinese are logical, genuine, beautiful and more chinese. But he also said in china mainland, it is already almost impossible to find a person to write 100% traditional chinese. Even scholars will inevitiblely write simplifed ones which he believes it is traditional. It’s a shame, but no matter how beautiful traditional chinese it is, the base line is “it must be a tool, usable by everyone.” He also told us that, if in past 500 hundred years, if chinese didn’t use all the time to polish up those language, spend some time in technology, history could be different now.

๐Ÿ™‚

January 25, 2006 @ 4:40 am | Comment

“So for a south chinese, to become a radio broadcaster, they must pass mandarin test until they can master those sh and s.”

If only CCTV9 presenters were subject to the same rigorous selection process.

January 25, 2006 @ 4:45 am | Comment

what is cctv9 btw, what are they doing?

January 25, 2006 @ 4:48 am | Comment

“what is cctv9 btw, what are they doing?”

Propaganda

January 25, 2006 @ 4:54 am | Comment

Man, don’t tell me you are watching it! it is so uncool!

Watch something cool!

Here,
http://vod.5617.com/upfile/20060111_141011_15_871.wmv

January 25, 2006 @ 5:08 am | Comment

“Man, don’t tell me you are watching it! it is so uncool!”

Somebody has to. We can only make it an honest world if we can identify and eliminate the lies first. But you’re right, lying is very uncool.

January 25, 2006 @ 5:16 am | Comment

Well, the southern Chinese pronunciation certainly starts to become apparent as far north as the Yangtze.

January 25, 2006 @ 5:24 am | Comment

Yangtze should be YangZi, isn’t it?

Stuart,
When I was in secondary school, I was the last year using old politics book. Note, it is already after 1989, in that it said:
It said everything in american is negative. If a company pay money for employee’s gym membership, it is said “maintaining their health in order to be more useful.” or if an employee get 100 bucks paycheck, employer already got 200 from their labour. Simply, the book was critisizing everything american even it is a positive one. Well one day I met a chinese friend from usa, he said, this is crap, in american, government never critisize china at all.

After that year, that book was replaced by all about “developing china’s economics is the most important thing we must do.” China recognized western countries are wealthy and recognized that we must pick up. At that time, everybody felt no hope. My dad once told me, if china wants to catch up america, it needs 1000 years. I DID believe this at that time.

And now, 10 years since then, you are critisizing everything that china did sounds really a little bit like the textbook I was studying 10 years ago.

May I ask, if you don’t believe something in cnn, where can you find another source of information? If I don’t believe what cctv said, I go to cnn. I also can go to yahoo.com.tw, or yahoo.co.jp. or bbc.co.uk. Where will you go? You can go to a lot of foreign website, but the problem is you don’t believe everything, you think they are 100% lying but I think cnn is NOT 100% lying nor 100% true.

January 25, 2006 @ 6:09 am | Comment

Strange, I thought it was “Chang Jiang”.

January 25, 2006 @ 6:25 am | Comment

Richard,

You are one up on my scale of appreciation again. I think you are taking the right attitude, by keeping the threads open as they are and by gently rebuking not only the Chinese but also the “Western” side.
Those trolls, you can pick ’em out like that, so it should not be much of a problem for us to just neglect them (and if they cross the line, for you to ban them, like the infamous Sunglory).
But I suggest everybody turns back to those previous 2 threads and reads them again with a cool head and then let the side (just to make that superficial division of Chinese – Western) that is without fault throw the first stone. There will not be much stonethrowing done these days, if everybody is honest with himself, I assure you.
This forum is the perfect mirror of the plays that are daily performed on the worldstage: increasing intolerance, vilification, you name it … but leaving the stage is not the right solution. I am not much of a commenter on this forum myself, like I’m not a big talker in everyday life, but I start to believe in the power of the Internet to make a change. For all the stupidity being demonstrated here at times (and don’t get me wrong, I have been enjoying also high-level debate) at least we “talk”. And as long as the talking continues, it means there are no casualties.

January 25, 2006 @ 6:32 am | Comment

“what is cctv9 btw, what are they doing?”

Propaganda

Badly, I would add. Can’t they at least try to make it seem that it’s not propaganda? Do they have to be so ham-handed about it?

January 25, 2006 @ 6:36 am | Comment

To Xin’s earlier comment about how I should learn simplified Chinese: I wrote a long and much-commented-on post about this a few months ago, including my headaches with Taiwan’s multiple variations of pinyin. I much prefer simplified Chinese and Beijinghua.

January 25, 2006 @ 6:52 am | Comment

wow, richard, at least you believe something I said. Very hard for american. lol.

January 25, 2006 @ 7:26 am | Comment

ร—ยฃยดรณยผร’ยฃยบ
ยดยบยฝรšยฟรฌร€ร–ยฃยฌยนยงรยฒยทยขยฒร†

you might need to change encoding to simplified chinese to read it. ๐Ÿ™‚

January 25, 2006 @ 7:28 am | Comment

“If I don’t believe what cctv said, I go to cnn. I also can go to yahoo.com.tw, or yahoo.co.jp. or bbc.co.uk.”

“IF” you don’t believe. There’s your problem. The potential for debate is lost if you stop as soon as you hear something you like; we all need to dig a little deeper than that.

January 25, 2006 @ 7:33 am | Comment

“Badly, I would add. Can’t they at least try to make it seem that it’s not propaganda? Do they have to be so ham-handed about it?”

It’s laughable because they’ve been used to dealing with a pliable audience. I hope and believe that is changing, albeit slowly.

How about the drama series where the lazy, drunk foreigner abuses his Chinese wife and child? Not exactly subliminal. Guess what? She is saved by a handsome, caring hero; he’s Chinese, too.

January 25, 2006 @ 7:40 am | Comment

Dish, I didn’t know about the “s” in Jianxi. I certainly never heard it in Bejing, and was amazed when I first got to Taipei and no one could understand me when I said “10” (shi). I quickly learned to drop the “h” and to make the sign of the cross with both index fingers, code for “Shi.”
The Taiwanese accent just takes a little getting used to. You’ll be able to understand what number a native Taiwanese means when he says “si si, si si si” in no time.

January 25, 2006 @ 9:23 am | Comment

Hm. What specific Chinese dialect is Taiwanese, anyhow?

January 25, 2006 @ 9:46 am | Comment

To Keir,

Since Richard closed that thread, I have to post here instead.

“Finally arrived in Oz, after awesome incompetence and disorganisation from Air China. The story begins at the point where I am told my bike would cost, not the 800 RMB I had to pay the last time , but 3,000 RMB. Flight leaving in an hour, and I haven’t 3,000 in my bank even if I was prepared to pay this extortion….
Leave it there for now; there’s a 7 inch moth trying to break through the window…

Posted by Keir at January 24, 2006 05:36 AM ”

Air China just changed their rules in baggage charge, please see the following website.

http://www.airchina.com.cn/ad/tz_4.htm

This may explain the problem you encountered. I agree Air China has a pretty bad service system, but you can always ask for an explanation when you have a question….. It is not always bribery or something…..

January 25, 2006 @ 9:50 am | Comment

Hm. Seeing as how Google’s #1 source of profit is its click-generator, how about we just boycott it… for a month or two.

Any takers?

January 25, 2006 @ 9:59 am | Comment

Xiansheng is pronounced here with two prominent first tones. In Beijing, the “sheng” would drop to a lower pitch. Lots of examples of that, though I have no idea what the reason is for the differences.

In Chinese, there are 5 tones. The Flat, the rising, the turning, the falling, and the short (null tone).

The “sheng” in “xiansheng” takes on the “short tone”, creating the brisk drop in pitch you hear. Saying “Xiansheng” in two flat tones is just Taiwanese’s way of sounding “cute” and “lovely”. This is a trend started with teenage girls, but is not picked up by 50-year-old men. Even a lot of Chinese girls today are trying to imitate them by saying it with two full flat tones. Xiansheng is just one example, there are many many such examples of “changing the pronounciation to sound cute and stylish”. Many linguists in both Mainland and Taiwan are mad about this, but I guess it’s just the progression of the ages.

January 25, 2006 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

“but is not picked up by 50-year-old men. ”

Should read “but is now picked up by 50-year-old men. ”

January 25, 2006 @ 12:04 pm | Comment

I miss Ivan. Ivan come back, COME BACK IVAN!

January 25, 2006 @ 12:54 pm | Comment

Dish, it’s both “Yangzi Jiang” and “Chang Jiang”.

Kevin – I mean, ahem…Da Shan – call me biased, but give me Beijinger pirate talk over the unbearable treacliness of Taiwanese “niang niang qiang” anyday.

January 25, 2006 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Great. Now I’ve got this image of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Johnny Depp (avec the tres gay eyeliner and all) poncying and swashbuckling around the masts speaking Beijing huaaaARRGHH. :/

January 25, 2006 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

I’m not fan of hard core Taiwanese Mandarin. But some of the Beijing mandarin I’ve heard sounds like singing, which is only slightly less irritating.

The instructors I’ve had at Taipei (National Taiwan Normal University’s training progrem) were excellent.

Yes, Ivan, come back!

January 25, 2006 @ 4:20 pm | Comment

Looking at this blog it seems to me that the pro-PRC people (like Math) are giving reasoned arguments while the rabid anti-China people (like Ivan) spew out xenophobic, hypocritical attacks that basically cast the Chinese as sub-human monsters.

Lot of hypocrits slithering on this site.

January 25, 2006 @ 5:00 pm | Comment

And “slithering” is SUCH an unbiased, un-xenophobic word choice. Not.

January 25, 2006 @ 5:31 pm | Comment

Right on Lisa.

Zhongguo’s comment also clearly shows he can’t tell the difference between someone who is interested in freedom of speech and less oppression in China as opposed to some that wants China destroyed.

Americans often criticize the problems facing the US – and they are hardly anti-US. If anything these voices help to move the country forward.

January 25, 2006 @ 6:39 pm | Comment

(Da Shan is now slithering back to his pirate ship to practice xiangsheng).

January 25, 2006 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

Linguistically, I think there’s more to it with the Taiwanese Mandarin pronounciation than just teenage attempts at ‘cuteness’. Standard Mandarin is multisyllabic, while Hokkien and most southern Chinese dialects are monosyllabic. Therefore, most Taiwanese Mandarin speakers still pronounce the xiang1 and sheng2 as individual syllables instead of a compounded xiang4sheng5.

The same can be said about dong1xi5, which according to Taiwanese Mandarin speakers come out as dong1 xi1. Monosyllabically, the Taiwanese pronounciation is correct, but misses the entire changed context of the compound word dong1xi5 (things), which has an entirely different meaning from the uncompounded dong1(east) and xi (west).

January 25, 2006 @ 7:26 pm | Comment

Correction:

Therefore, most Taiwanese Mandarin speakers still pronounce the xiang1 and sheng1 as individual syllables instead of a compounded xiang4sheng5.

January 25, 2006 @ 7:28 pm | Comment

“call me biased, but give me Beijinger pirate talk over the unbearable treacliness of Taiwanese “niang niang qiang” anyday.”
I don’t really “prefer” any accent over another (except taht I hate Shanghai-hua, which I think sounds cats dying). What “Da Shan” meant to do was just poke a little fun at Xin for his “why do you want learn that traditional crap? all my taiwanese friends always check with me for pronounciation.” I think his or her comment is actually pretty revealing. I see this type of rivalry all the time, “our way’s the best,” or “our stuff’s the best.” When I was in Harbin, they said they had the prettiest girls and the most standard accents. Oh, don’t forget the best colleges. Then I went to Nanjing. Turns out they also supposedly had the prettiest girls, pretty standard accents, and of course, the best colleges. Now I’m in Shanghai, which supposedly has the prettiest girls and best colleges. As for the accent, “well, we can speak very standard Mandarin, but we don’t. Yes, I know that as a foreigner you learned Mandarin, but I want to talk to you in Shanghai-hua.” (Anyway, that’s a whole other tangent that I won’t get started on).
Anyway, I think this trend of “being and having the best” goes a little overboard here in China. Xin has even extended it to speaking in this thread. I think that any mature person could accept that there are different accents in Mandarin, and that there might not be any one that is particularly “right” or “better” than the others. People in Beijing grow up speaking pirate Mandarin, and people in Taipei speak the “I couldn’t tell “sh” and “s” apart if my life depended on it” type of Mandarin. That’s just the way people speak. It’s not like they can just change it all of the sudden, and it’s not like they’re doing it on purpose. There’s no need to call the way other people speak Mandarin “crap”. And obviously when someone is in Taiwan, they would study Chinese there rather than taking a boat to China every day after work to study Chinese in Xiamen.
So, while maybe deep down inside I might have my preferences, I realize that how people talk is basically just… how they talk. I can accept any (just as long as you’re actually trying to communicate with me and not just speaking your fangyan to me even though you know Mandarin). And this type of arrogance and “we’re the best” attitude is certainly a turn-off for Taiwan. One example is a few months ago when Lee Ao came to Beijing university, he said “this is the real ‘beida’,” everyone thought that was so cool, but don’t taiwanese universities also have their strengths? (e.g. better selection in the library). So I think that generally low self-esteem in China may cause people to exaggerate how some things are better than others, and in the end, I think this tends to turn a lot of people (who are not included in this “greatness”) off.

January 25, 2006 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

Yeah! “Pirate Mandarin”! Love it!

January 25, 2006 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

Kevin,

I agreed with most of your points. But you are using the wrong examples again (as in another thread weeks ago). Why were you so easy to believe what people said good things about themselves? How other people look at them is more important. It is the first time I heard that Harbin or Nanjing have the prettiest girls and the most standard accents.

In China, it is generally accepted that Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect. So it is fairly safe to say that Beijing has the most standard accents (I made no comparison with the Chinese language spoken by people in Taiwan, most people there, or, even you, speak better Mandarin than many Chinese on the mainland).

January 26, 2006 @ 12:33 am | Comment

And, it has been well known in China since the ancient time that Hangzhou and Suzhou have the prettiest girls in China.

January 26, 2006 @ 12:40 am | Comment

Yeah, Xing, but all those “r” sounds at the end of words aren’t considered Standard Mandarin, are they?

Don’t get me wrong, I like them and use them, but that’s because my first exposure to the Chinese language was in Beijing.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:01 am | Comment

Lisa, I grew up in southern China, and I spoke only a little Mandarin until I went to college (altought I listened to the standard Mandarin on TV, radio and movies all the time). Even today, my 4-year old daughter (english-educated in the US) often tell me that my Chinese (and English) pronunciation is wrong.

I think you are right. Some Beijinger’s pronunciation sounds strange to many people. But again, Mandarin on the mainland China is based on the beijing dialect; it doesn’t take all.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:32 am | Comment

I think that the point both Kevin and is trying make is that there is no point in arguing whether one variety of Mandarin is a more โ€œstandardโ€ version than others. This kind of argument is fundamentally biased because very few people will admit that their mother language is inferior to other languages or dialects. And why should they? A language, after all, is an arbitrary system of symbols (verbal and written) developed by a society to facilitate communication. The beautiful part of any language systems is that it changes through time, space and regular use. The fact that there are different versions of Mandarin demonstrate how widely used the language is. This is something for celebration, not for criticism.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:36 am | Comment

I think my examples were ok to illustrate a trend I’ve noticed.
“Why were you so easy to believe what people said good things about themselves?”
I guess you missed my point, I don’t believe them, and never said I did.
“It is the first time I heard that Harbin or Nanjing have the prettiest girls and the most standard accents.”
Actually, the putonghua in Harbin is very standard, in that they have regular pronunciation like in Beijing, but without the pirate fetish mentioned above. Nobody believes me unless they’ve actually been there. And if you’ve been there, you usually don’t wanna go back. But that’s a whole other topic.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:37 am | Comment

Correction: I think that the point both Kevin and schtickyrice is trying to make is that ……

January 26, 2006 @ 1:38 am | Comment

Basically what I wanted to point out is that if I was from Washington D.C. and knew someone studying English in Maine, my response wouldn’t be “why are you studying that ‘lobstah’ crap? all my friends in Maine always ask me about proper pronunciation.” I feel like the type of hyperbole and opposition you see in some of the examples I mentioned, as well in xin’s initial comment above, are rooted in something deeper.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:40 am | Comment

This was a while ago, but I much prefer the gentler z (not zh) sounds of Taiwanese mandarin.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:44 am | Comment

Yes Kevin, that’s called ignorance.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:47 am | Comment

Remember a while back when I bitched about how there should be a BBS-forum?

THere still should be. A linear dialogue is absolutely impossible. It branches off and should be able to do so so people can discuss why Xin’s chauvinist nationalism is disturbing in one thread and why they love Ivan in another.

January 26, 2006 @ 1:47 am | Comment

Johnny K, I don’t think that those two are separate topics.

January 26, 2006 @ 2:03 am | Comment

Steve and Clive.

January 26, 2006 @ 2:47 am | Comment

Johnny,

How does your definition of chauvinist nationalism fit in here? Don’t be too rude to other people if you want them to be nice to you, white trash!

January 26, 2006 @ 2:55 am | Comment

Xing, I’m afraid you’ve just demonstrated what chauvinistic nationalism means.

January 26, 2006 @ 3:11 am | Comment

Remember a while back when I bitched about how there should be a BBS-forum?

THere still should be. A linear dialogue is absolutely impossible.

Anyone want to write the code?

Honestly, I have enough headaches maintaining the open threads, without running a BBS.

January 26, 2006 @ 3:15 am | Comment

Hey guys,
Mandarin does not exsit on any place of china. It only exist in audio recorder. The standard mandarin is what you heard in cctv news. Basically Beijing is the best place to make your accent close to mandarin that’s it. But beijing dialect is not mandarin. Taiwanese version of mandarin is surely not either.

There is a saying that mandarin are based on Harbin dialect. So if harbin people claim they speak the most standard mandarin, they have their reason.

Nanjing people claim they speak mandarin better than beijing, they have their reason too. Because, as born and grown in beijing, I have never got rid of my “r” to meet mandarin standard. I haven’t even tried and it is impossible for me to get rid of it. So theoretically, I will never speak standard mandarin.

My point about “you should live in beijing to learn language” is:
1, do you want learn from real environment or audio tapes? If environment, beijing is the best choice, you can go Harbin, just bloody cold.

2, you can learn the most standard one from other place of china, but how many times they will talk in mandarin then? I knew an american guy already forget mandarin and been living in SiChuan for years, purely SiChuan accent. He went back to america, his SiChuan accent is not considered as mandarin so he can’t get a teacher job. I am sure he did try harder to understand SiChuan people, but would those effort become an advantage? probably not.

3, another thing what I found is, taiwanese do realise their mandarin is not that perfect, due to a face problem I found they don’t really try to fix it, on the contrary, they think those accent are so non-chinese and make them feel good.

4, what is taiwanese purpose to speak mandarin in the first place? they used to think they are chinese. they wanted to catch up the standard. Taiwanese I met in australia are: If they are those seeing them as chinese, they shake my hand with a friendly and compliment like “wow, your GuoYu is so perfect.” If they are those wanting to be independent, they speak english to me.

January 26, 2006 @ 3:38 am | Comment

Kevin wrote:
“Basically what I wanted to point out is that if I was from Washington D.C. and knew someone studying English in Maine,”

English accent or dialect doesn’t have those much gap as chinese. I am in australia, they got australian accent too, more or less affected me. But you still can talk with me in english write? If you spend 5 years like me but in, say, inner mongolia, you will speak chinese in their way and when you go to hongkong, they WILL NOT understand you.

Dialectsdon’t understand each other is not an advantage or cool thing, it is a PROBLEM. Mandarin is kind of “fix”. If you went to china 1000 years ago, then the best place is XiAn because their accent was mandarin.

Cantonese, failed to be chinese standard by 3 votes. If cantonese won, there won’t be cantonese anymore because itself will be mandarin. And I would have to try hard to learn it.

January 26, 2006 @ 3:51 am | Comment

Xin, I do hope that you can stop making ignorant comments on topics that you have no expertise in and simply admit that you are prejudice. There is nothing wrong with accents or dialects – they won’t stop people from communicating. What stops people from communicating with each other are ignorance and prejudice. So Mandarin is not a “fix”. The willingness to accept diversity within a society is.

By the way, today is Australia Day. If Xin you are really in Australia as you claim, then you should go out there, have a drink with your Aussie mates, watch the skyshow and stop writing those rubbish.

I’ll logging out now. Friends are waiting.

January 26, 2006 @ 4:08 am | Comment

Fat Cat,

nice to hear you are in aus. I just went back from outside. And I got sleep earlier today coz I got work to do tomorrow.

Dialects became a gap since long time ago. Due to china’s big territory but low transportation technology. According to some study, in Qing dynasty a normal beijing resident would not go 70km away from his house. How can you expect two place that thousands km away will develop a same accent? if they would not even meet each other for hundreds of years?

Here are some other examples to prove what I said:
There was a story saying a traveler was lost in mountains, then he discovered a village, which he found weird because they still living in old ages. Villegers were surprised too. After some conversation the traveler found that those people were so isolated and they did know the past two dynasty names.

another example, in old days, if emperor wanted to send a officer to tibet, he assigned someone depart in beijing, after one year, if he still not heard from his arrival, the appointment would be invalid automatically and another appointment would be made. Why is that? because a robber could kill the first one and pretend to be the officer if he got all official documents or the first one could be lost in those mountains.

I do NOT bullshit here. Everytime i spent lines of lines word just only want to let you guys know more about my country.

You might ask, if I am true, how could china be still a one country with low transportation techs in old days, or how one goverment can control the whole land if emperor nearly was unable to go to some place like tibet, XiJiang. The answers are here:
1, highly standarised writen language. I am talking about WenYan (old format language) you might have seen but could not understand I assume. They were same and unchanged along years despite oral language diversed a lot.

2, Highly unique social ideaology, people were trained to think the same way. Any different thought were considered harmful to society and repressed. The most considered harmful one was “attempting to achieve self-governing” Sounds like I am trying defend CCP on taiwan issue right? Partly right. Taiwan is just another province who is trying to self-governing. Along history, if any province or area claimed independence, other provinces generally would not share the same idea and actually held an abosolutely different one. That’s why now in china mainland, nearly 100% people are blaming taiwan.

Sorry for bring the topic from dialect to taiwan. I just felt that people didn’t really western and china are different in many elements of civilization. While diversity, self-governing sounds good to american people, they sounds not that appealing for chinese. What mandarin’s purpose if government has no attempt to save local dialects? unifying the language. To make a chinese speak same thing as another one thousand km far from him/her.

January 26, 2006 @ 5:08 am | Comment

Xing,
“Don’t be too rude to other people if you want them to be nice to you, white trash!”

Hi Xing, that’s not nice. We are here to improve mutual understanding. If our conversation end up with “white trash”, it only means conversation is not successful, isn’t it?

Been in australia for 5 years, I actually never saw a white who is “trash”.

We all Chinese should accept that america and australia are more healthy soceity than china today. All people in these countries, even a foreigner like me in australia, people’s rights are well protected by law. China should improve this too. I know CCP is trying. (I don’t mean the Rights to be independent though)

๐Ÿ™‚

January 26, 2006 @ 7:06 am | Comment

hi Other Lisa,

what is “Pirate Mandarin”?

๐Ÿ˜ฎ

January 26, 2006 @ 7:09 am | Comment

“why do you want learn that traditional crap?
all my taiwanese friends always check with me for pronounciation.”

“they don’t really try to fix it, on the contrary, they think those accent are so non-chinese and make them feel good.”

Something just set off my “contradiction radar.”

January 26, 2006 @ 8:29 am | Comment

Kevin, when I went from Washington State to Boston. An American friend warned me about their โ€˜very badโ€™ accent. Clinton was also laughed sometimes for his southern accent. The rivalry among some people in Chinese cities you mentioned is probably similar to that among some people in NY, LA and Chicago. If you have visited some other Chinese cities, say, Zhengzhou in Henan province, people there do not claim to have the best colleges or prettiest girls, because they know they have none. My point is, when people make a claim, there is usually a certain degree of truth underneath it. The percentage if it is, of course, debatable.

January 26, 2006 @ 10:12 am | Comment

Xin, that’s what Kevin called the Beijing accent – I’m assuming because of all the “R” sounds. It’s sort of a joke because if you want to imitate a pirate in English, you say stuff like, “Errrr!!! Haarrrr!”

Um, it doesn’t translate very well…

I still proclaim my preference for the Beijing accent!

January 26, 2006 @ 10:27 am | Comment

Kevin, in response to your long paragraph (sorry I can’t quote it, the copy+paste function on this computer is disabled), two comments:

1) Yeah, yeah, regional rivalry in all things trivial and sundry. So what? Humans are petty and competitive creatures. I’ve never gotten why people would fiercely side with certain sports teams or vow loyalty to their alma maters (“up, House!”) neither, but I guess it’s human nature to base at least a part of one’s identity on group identity, whether it’s on a micro or macro level.

2) Not all accents are made equal. My hometown fangyan, Wuhan hua, for example, is truly an emblem of tonal ugliness, and I do think Beijing hua is better, despite (or perhaps because of?) its idiosyncracies. I think we should be able to express our preferences without being bludgeoned with the political-correctness hammer or accused of rampant nationalism/regionalism/low self-esteem. (Not that that’s what you’re doing, but I’m just sayin’.)

Anyway, it’s pretty much all in fun. Everybody’s being facetious when it comes to these things.

January 26, 2006 @ 11:57 am | Comment

The accent variations in the US exist, but you rarely see an American northeast person tell a southerner that his accent is inferior.

I’ve met people from mainland China in conferences and other places. On several occasions I get “yeah your mandarin certainly has a Taiwanese flavor” or “why do you people say ma0 ma1 with two different tones.”

Either they have nothing better topics to socially discuss, or they just love to be confrontational, have an inferiority complex and need to show they are superior.

I’ve never heard a HK or Taiwanese person say “why you beijing people sing when you talk?”

Let’s just all get over it and be happy we at least speak the same language, unlike switzerland, whose language biases lead to a whole bunch of other problems.

January 26, 2006 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

Xing,

I’m guessing the irony of imploring users to be polite and then calling me ‘white trash’ in the same breath is lost on you…

January 26, 2006 @ 2:35 pm | Comment

Just for the record, I am not a communist.

January 26, 2006 @ 3:31 pm | Comment

****I’ve never heard a HK or Taiwanese person say “why you beijing people sing when you talk?”
***

They say it, but not to your face. Lots of times I’ve heard Taiwanese complain privately about how ugly the Beijing accent is. Remember that in Taiwan, especially in southern Taiwan, that hideous and unnecessary “er” sound at the end of a word signals the accent of the colonialist ROC.

Michael

January 26, 2006 @ 4:00 pm | Comment

Read yesterday in the Queensland Courier something I can appreciate: Migrant workers in China are forced to wear nappies on packed trains heading home for the New Year holiday because they have no access to a toilet. I always thought it was madness to have one toilet for a full carriage.
“During the peak travel period last year, some passengers even became deranged on their journeys because of the conditions and jumped out of the carriages.”
Australia and America may have some problems, but they haven’t reached THAT stage! When life reaches the point that you have to wear diapers just to travel in your country, I’d take whatever problems Oz has any day, so I would advise my Chinese friends not to start throwing stones in their own cracked glass house. If you say that “Sure, life in China for 120 milion Chinese is unbearable, but there’s so much graffiti in New York”, then you’re telling your regime that there’s no need to deal with such issues.

January 26, 2006 @ 4:16 pm | Comment

Here are four kinds of food. In beijing accent, only one of them got “err”, please pick:

A: You Bing (fried pie)
B: Kao Ya (peking duck)
C: You Tiao (fried, same as fried pie but different shape)
D: Mi Fan (rice)

Here are four tranportations, che, which one in beijing accent got “err”

A: Jiao Che (sedan car)
B: Huo Che (train)
C: Dian Che (tram)
D: Zi Xing Che

January 26, 2006 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

Michael wrote: They say it, but not to your face.
That’s exactly the point. So when I read or hear someone like Xin openly publicly criticising the way Mandarin is spoken in Taiwan, it would be quite justifiable for me or Kevin or Johnny to interpret this as either an act of chauvinism and ignorance, or a deliberate attempt to undermine and vilify the Taiwanese people, language and culture.
I have to join others to say that I miss Ivan, the fighter who dare to call a spade a spade, without too much apologies. Ivan, come back. You are needed here.

January 26, 2006 @ 4:37 pm | Comment

Keir,

glad to hear another one in aus.

May I correct you that China got 1.3 billion people?

What you read is actually right. Here are some “what I knew:”

1,I was studying in a university under railway department. As you know, adding a train or make it longer will not that simple as you have to make sure the railway signal system can support it. A professor told us chinese railway signal system is one of the most efficienct one in the world, but i wouldn’t see it is a pride. The reason under it is: too many people in china and the whole system has already run at full capacity. The signal system cannot support more. Not like america, railway system is big just hasn’t ever needed to run that many trains.

2, Again, a tradition. New year they must go home. Everytime before new year coming, transportation is always stressful. Even now in australia, flight ticket is much more expensive than if you want go to china in , say, April.

My school mates in my university, they all experienced that. Some of them told me they ‘d rather stay in toilet. Because if you got a seat, they will have to in a position that he couldn’t straight up his back. half looking down all his trip.

For me, I am simply playing smart: when other chinese do something, I won’t do it.
They are ringing home on weekend, I ring on Monday ; they are flying home before new year, I stay in australia; they are rushing into a bus, I looked behind see if there was another one coming; they are queuing up for McDonald, I go eat something else. They worked! I remember there was once, government did a project let all students in china check their english test on the web. Checking result on Internet is not a bid deal in australia and usa, isn’t it? But in china, the database crashed the first second it started, too many mouse click in that second. The good thing is, one-baby-plan is controling population growth. However the reduction will happen when i am old.

January 26, 2006 @ 5:00 pm | Comment

Oh come on, why is everyone picking on Xin? Surely he was just being facetious. I hardly think he was delibrately insulting people on their accents and I detect nothing but good humor in that. It’s like a British guy says to an American, “You guys talk so funny”. The American then says “You talk even funnier! Ha! I can’t stand the BBC!”. Do you think they are insulting each other?

Of course I suspect you know that, but is just trying to provoke things. Come on, I seriously seeing some anti-China people trying very hard to start things out of nothing. It’s almost unpredictable. Sometimes I post something that does not insult anyone, and people like Ivan jumps out and calls me pigs and ignorant…. I just can’t take it.

January 26, 2006 @ 5:05 pm | Comment

Fat Cat, lol

I do not say this to their face. I post it on internet. They post a lot and I already read many. And they sometimes call the “err” as barbarian accent. True though, lol, hey I didn’t say machurian are barbarian, they did.

Yeah Ivan come back! More people “Re Nao” lol

January 26, 2006 @ 5:09 pm | Comment

Michael,

The fact that you categorize Taiwanese accents as “hideous” clearly demonstrates your bigotry.

The point isn’t what people say in private. It’s what comes across when people interact – good interactions change perceptions, which later drive actual impressions and private conversations. Let’s be civil, is all I am saying.

I met a mainlander at a wedding after Taiwan’s last presidential elections. (and the following is common) Immediately after we meet he asks in a joking tone “so those elections certainly are a sham, eh?” I replied that new democracies will have growing pains. The rest is beyond scope of this post.

On the other hand, I’ve never met non-mainlander start off conversations (when encountering a mainlander) with “wow you guys got a fucked up government eh?” or “hey, how you guys like being oppressed?” or “hey, you commies are finally catching up to the real world, eh?” Certainly there will be those that won’t want to interact much because they think of them as FOBs or are uncool, but that’s entirely different from being completely impolite and being condescending and trying to humiliate someone.

Once serious political discussions begin, of couse people might tend to lose it. What I’m pointing out here is the civility that should exist, given we have our insecurities under control.

January 26, 2006 @ 5:17 pm | Comment

Hm,

China_Hand said:

“…and people like Ivan pops out and calls me pigs and ignorant…I just can’t take it.”

Well, I’m glad to hear you say, that, China-Hand. You can’t take it. So just go away, now that you can’t take it, alright? If you can’t take it, then just go away and masturbate in front of a picture of Chairman Mao while you dance around like an idiot like your CCP parents did in the Cultural Revolution whenever they weren’t too busy torturing their teachers and burning books.

And your grammar sucks too, China-Hand – your English is ridiculous – so, that’s one more reason why you should just go away and shoot yourself. Or at least stop polluting this blog with all of your bullshit. If you “can’t take it”, then why don’t you just fuck off and dance around in front of a mirror with your Little Red Book?

“MAO! MAO! Chairman Mao is like the SUN! MAO! MAO!” That’s right, China-Hand, that’s YOUR heritage, THAT is what you stand for. And all of the honest people here are telling it to your face. So if you can’t take it, then just go away and do your idiotic Red Guard dance for Mao, in front of a mirror – while the rest of the world laughs at you and at everyone like you.

FatCat and other true friends: Thanks for your kind words, and I’ll be “back” here soon in other ways which will be too much for the trolls to take….wait for it…

January 26, 2006 @ 5:28 pm | Comment

Ed,
I was not asked by “hey, how you guys like being oppressed?” But I was asked by “do you have enough food today?” even more offensive.

When you said “I have never met…”, my question is “how many non-mainlander you have ever talked..”

New taiwanese democracy do have pain, I think the pain is making taiwan like a bitch playing “3 some” with America and Japan. (This is by a taiwanese reunification advocate)

January 26, 2006 @ 5:32 pm | Comment

Well, I’m glad to hear you say, that, China-Hand. You can’t take it. So just go away, now that you can’t take it, alright? If you can’t take it, then just go away and masturbate in front of a picture of Chairman Mao while you dance around like an idiot like your CCP parents did in the Cultural Revolution whenever they weren’t too busy torturing their teachers and burning books.

And your grammar sucks too, China-Hand – your English is ridiculous – so, that’s one more reason why you should just go away and shoot yourself. Or at least stop polluting this blog with all of your bullshit. If you “can’t take it”, then why don’t you just fuck off and dance around in front of a mirror with your Little Red Book?

“MAO! MAO! Chairman Mao is like the SUN! MAO! MAO!” That’s right, China-Hand, that’s YOUR heritage, THAT is what you stand for. And all of the honest people here are telling it to your face. So if you can’t take it, then just go away and do your idiotic Red Guard dance for Mao, in front of a mirror – while the rest of the world laughs at you and at everyone like you.

Should I respond to this or not? Richard, what do you think?

January 26, 2006 @ 5:38 pm | Comment

Very well said Ed. And a suggestion for Xin: why do you use the internet to provoke a fight with people from Taiwan? Why don’t you use this very versitile and powerful tools for making friends with your Taiwanese neighbours?

January 26, 2006 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

Ivan,

Great post. Then you are the first trash I have ever seen. Though I won’t say “white trash” as it is not good to take it racial.

What you said are all true in China’s history and not true for today.

no matter what you said, you are still welcome to china as this is CCP’s policy though not mine.

And if you truely believe what you said is how china is. I actually appreciate. You’d better let all american know it. And Bush will say, china is not treat. Chinese can’t do anything. Then we will be able to do what we want without those politics crap raping my ears. That’s good.

January 26, 2006 @ 5:44 pm | Comment

Fat Cat,

got work to do now, tell you later.

are u in melb?

cheers,

January 26, 2006 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

P.S. Xin: friendship has to be built on certain grounds. Bringing in your “threesome” theory is definitely not a very good start.

January 26, 2006 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Ivan, I’m going to ask you to please hold back the personal attacks. And maybe an apology would be in order. I can’t allow my comments to descend to this level. A lot of people who comment here speak English as their second language, and pointing out bad grammar or spelling is inappropriate and unnecessary and petty. I’ve never deleted a comment of yours, but this one pushes the envelope. Please, read the post that we’re all commenting on now, where I say I expect a greater degree of civility. I just “edited” two comments from another commenter who flung personal insults at me, and I would be hypocritical if I didn’t give you a warning about it. You’re too smart to leave yourself so open to charges of prejudice and immaturity. I want more commenters, not less, so please don’t chase people away. Okay?

January 26, 2006 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

“New taiwanese democracy do have pain, I think the pain is making taiwan like a bitch playing “3 some” with America and Japan. (This is by a taiwanese reunification advocate)”
Xin, I like your parenthetical (this is by a taiwanese reunification advocate).”Really? I would have never guessed as your post was so subtle! Better to be a free “bitch” as you say, to two nations that will not interfere (too much) with Taiwan’s domestic affairs than to be slave of the CCP.

January 26, 2006 @ 6:04 pm | Comment

“I hardly think he was delibrately insulting people on their accents and I detect nothing but good humor in that.”
Yes, if there’s one thing I can say about the Mainland Chinese, it’s that there good at laughing at jokes and not overly sensitive. I just love to joke around with the guys here. Wouldn’t it be funny if a guy from Taiwan came here and said out loud “why do you guys talk crappy mandarin like that?” Yeah, that would really go over well, and everyone would have a great laugh, after skinning him alive.
True, in the rest of the world, I find it easy to make jokes like that, but laughing at oneself is not something that is particularly common here in China. Except in xiangsheng skits. I guess it kind of goes back to the low self-esteem which Xin’s original comment illustrated crystal clear.

Another point about Xin:
Not only is he an arrogant nationalist who takes it upon himself to tell the people of Taiwan how to speak, he is also a liar. I pointed out his contradictory statements above, but here’s another sample:
“come back to beijing. we have a drink. ”
“I am in australia.”
I would recommend that Xin determine where he is in the world before he begins preaching to others about Mandarin.

January 26, 2006 @ 6:58 pm | Comment

hi Liu,
I know you are taiwanese. Nice to meet you first. My “3 some” comment are truely from taiwanese “Wai Sheng Ren”. And I believe you are “Ben Sheng Ren”. As I mentioned before, some “Wai Sheng Ren” do want to PLA come across the sea and I did hear those comments.

When you say “Better be a free bitch…”, I was wondering what if Liu Bang, one of the greatest emperor who built Han Dynasty would think. You are carrying his surname. How come some of your Han-Chinese think this way?

And talking about slave, we were japanese slaves, maybe not only slaves, we were whores conforting them, we were white rats in their labs, we were toys waiting them to shoot for fun, which thanks to your government. Please don’t say I am brain-washed. The more you talk to me, the more you think you are too. Seriously, taiwanese educatioin is no way neutral.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:15 pm | Comment

Kevin
Come on Kevin, won’t I go back to beijing from time to time?

And my taiwanese friends do joke me with my pirate mandarin. They said everytime I am saying sounds like there is a hot potato in my mouth. Hey, I am not upset. All south chinese say the same thing to me. A hot potato in the mouth.

I am living in Melbourne, now, brunswick suburb. My home in beijing is at HePingLi.

English world don’t have “mandarin english”. If british claim their english is standard, have australian and american education system made effort to catch up this “standard”? I don’t think so. Chinese language’s situation is, if singapore, malaysia chinese, taiwanese and all other local area in china, if they don’t catch up a “man-made”, authoritative standard, dialects might become different language one day. If I find people I am talking to can only speak cantonese, I switch to english. I really don’t chinese government make any effort to keep those dialect diversity otherwise Shanghai city government would do something when they found a lot of shanghai kids do not speak local dialect. And I don’t think american schools ask kids speak british english either.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

Xin, hate to tell you this, but you are brainwashed. My people were slaves once, too. We got over it.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

It is brainwash but at least I am free from being brainwashed by any Religon and my mind is open to learn all western things.

It is also NOT a brainwash because I am chinese and I am supposed to defend my country. How can I say “hey, taiwan is free, tibet is free, mongolia is free, lets split china piece by piece. ??What? you are mongolian? you think you are chinese?p**s off, it is against ameican domocracy!”

Don’t get me wrong, I mention those japanese thing doesn’t mean I want a revenge. If I am really like that, i won’t go to japanese language school here in australia and talk to japanese people and pass my japanese test. People who smashed japanese cars don’t study japanese, do they? But I truely try my best avoiding japanese product. And under a survey, american do that too. It is said by your own people.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

hi richard,

what do you mean by “my people were slave too.”???

January 26, 2006 @ 7:56 pm | Comment

But I truely try my best avoiding japanese product. And under a survey,
american do that too. It is said by your own people.

Have you been to an American consumer electronics store lately? I’d say it’s 80-percent Japanese brands (mostly manufactured in China, so don’t bite the hand that feeds you). Japanese cars are now doing better in the US than American cars. What survey are you referring to?

January 26, 2006 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

Time for a new thread.

January 26, 2006 @ 7:58 pm | Comment

Xin, it is absurd for you to blame China’s problem with the US and Japan on Taiwan. I thought the Chinese government’s foreign affair policy itself is a sufficient reason for causing conflicts. It is as absurb as blaming the U’ghars in Xinjiang for the soical unrest that’s been boiling in many cities and rural areas in China.

You are right in pointing out that US schools won’t ask their students to speak British English. For the same reason you shouldn’t be expecting dialect speakers of Chinese to speak Beijing style Mandarin or speak Mandarin at all. Vilifying dialect speakers in order to promote the CCP’s One China Polcy will only create more division, not unification.

Since you know now that Liu Yixi is from Taiwan, you should perhaps make an effort to make friend with him/her – that is if you are so keen to see a “peaceful unification”. You are not my friend, not until you’ve shown some courtesy and friendship to Liu and other people from Taiwan. Since you are not my friend, you don’t need to know where I am.

P.S. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not related to Taiwan, Japan or the US in any way. Have never visited any of those countries in my life – just to let you know – save you from barking up the wrong tree, so to speak.

January 26, 2006 @ 8:00 pm | Comment

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