Asia Blog: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam

What the Chinese Want

Posted in China, General by Elliott Back on January 13th, 2007.

Foreign Policy Passport have unearthed the top search terms for Baidu’s question service–those “why do …” or “how to …” queries. This is interesting because it directly answers the questions “What do Chinese people want to do?” and “What are Chinese people interested in?”

Here are the results, by category into a few different classifications:


Just like everyone else, the Chinese are looking to solve scientific and technological problems, find love online, improve their business, or wallow in despair. The 27% of queries that challenge established Chinese tradition are also interesting–most focus around the long march, the Confucian tradition of the classics, or test-taking.

But, it’s the Love queries that are the most cute:

  • Why do we love?
  • Why get married?
  • How to get pregnant?
  • How to kiss?
  • What is love?
  • What is happiness?
  • Should I have a child?
  • Should I see an “internet friend” in person?
  • Should I get married?

Hopefully everyone will have the chance to find the answers to these questions!

Xiaxue Redesigns

Posted in General by Elliott Back on October 14th, 2005.

Xiaxue’s done a beautiful redesign of her header! Now it looks like so:

Angel Xiaxue Header

The one on the site is even better, tastefully layering some pretty white snowflakes. The button underneath still need major-work, but I really love the header…

?? – Weather in Chinese

Posted in General by Elliott Back on September 4th, 2005.

Some of the first things I’ve been learning in Chinese 101 are weather related. For example, we have learned to form statements of the form:

Yesterday, the weather was fine.

We’ve also been taught to form questions and dialog:

Today it’s very nice?

Words used to say things about weather can also be used in everyday conversation:

I’m quite cold, are you very cold?
I’m not cold.

Interestingly, and probably sensibly, the spoken vocabulary in Chinese 101 goes much faster than the written vocabulary. We learn about 20 traditional characters a week, but probably twice as many new words. The hardest part, though, is learning some phrase and learning to apply it and its component parts properly in new contexts.

International TAs

Posted in General by Sunny Dean on April 5th, 2005.

Here is an article that talks about the difficulties an international TA would face due to language barrier, cultural barrier etc. It also talks about a 0.2 drop in GPA for students taught by an international TA. So what to do. Cornell has a program called International TA Development Program. I work for it, and I think they do a great job of introducing international TAs to American culture, helping them with pronounciation and intonation. I also think ITADP is better than the “crash courses” other universities in the article implement because it runs all year long. TAs take classes, meet with language partners and are regularly evaluated during the year.

I think we(undergraduates) forget sometimes that graduate students who come to Cornell are very very smart. Their English is not an indication of their intelligence. If you read the article, you will see that trying to listen just a little bit harder to your TA who may be lost in this American culture might do some great things for your GPA, and you might even end up being friends with someone from another culture.

China-Taiwan affair compels US to assure no attack on North Korea

Posted in General by Elliott Back on March 27th, 2005.

In view of the new law enacted by China's Parliament to attack Taiwan, United States has softened its stand towards North Korea. …

Read more at International Reporter, India  …

Next Page »