Wednesday, December 4, 2013

This Baby Blues strip has been modified. The original (dated December 4th, 2013) used "French" instead of "Chinese."
I couldn't pass up the chance to pass this on to you.  I don't know where the artists of Baby Blues are from, but here Chinese is definitely the up-and-coming language.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Off the Great Wall

Off the Great Wall is a series of funny videos that explain Chinese culture from "how to eat" to "what to call your maternal grandmother."  (Parents should review each video prior to allowing their children to view it.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mini-Book 8- 小狗穿鞋 (Little Dog Wears Shoes)

小狗穿 (Xiǎo Gǒu Chuān X, Little Dog Wears Shoes)- Similar to Mini-Book 6, this book originates from Kendra from  She offers leveled text on her blog and writes a post about once a week.  With her permission, I have reformatted this post into a book and added pictures.

小狗穿- traditional characters with 注音符
小狗穿- simplified characters with 漢語拼音(Hànyǔ Pīnyīn)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mini-Book 7- 動物護照 (Animal Passport)

動物護 (Dòng Wù Hù Zhào, Animal Passport)- I'm branching out a bit and trying something new.  This is actually a project that I have wanted to do with my own kids (ages 5 and 7).  It is a "passport" listing some of the animals at the zoo.  The book is designed to reinforce some of the animal names they already know (but haven't learned to read yet) and to introduce some new words.  It is not a teaching book; any learning the kids do will be a result of hearing the words over and over again as they are used while at the zoo.

Inside the book are 14 animals names and the corresponding animal stickers.  As the kids travel through the zoo, the animal stickers can be placed next to the correct Chinese name.


Notes on Printing-
  • Printing a file makes 2 copies of a passport.
  • The passport is simply much more cooler if the cover (first page) is printed in color on white card stock.
  • When you print the animal stickers, print them on Avery Shipping Labels 48863.  They can be found in the office section of large retailers.
  • After printing the animal stickers, cut the stickers into sections of 2*2 pictures so that the sections fit the dimensions of the passport book and you can staple the stickers into the book.
Click here for a Video Tutorial.

動物護照- traditional characters with 注音符
動物護照- simplified characters with 漢語拼音 (Hànyǔ pīnyīn) 
Animal Stickers

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mini-Book 6- 象想要飛

象想要飛 (Xiàng Xiǎng Yào Fēi, Elephant Wants to Fly)- This may be a big leap in vocabulary and grammar structure from Mini-Book 5, but please forgive me.  I post these books as the children I know need them and it has been over a year since my last Mini-Book post.

This is the sixth book in the series.  To locate other Mini-Books, click on the "Mini-Book" label on the right hand side of the web page.

Unlike other books I've posted, this one was written by another person- Kendra from  She offers leveled text on her blog and writes a post about once a week.  With her permission, I have reformatted it into a book and added pictures.  I also enlisted the help of a native Chinese speaker (from Taiwan) to look over the text.  A few words have been adapted and this may reflect the Taiwanese way of saying things.

象想要飛- traditional characters with 注音符
象想要飛- simplified characters with 漢語拼音(Hànyǔ Pīnyīn)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Buying Books Online

This spring marked the completion of 3 years of official Chinese study for my kids.  They've come along way.  The first year was spent get comfortable with the sounds of the language and learning the phonetic alphabet.  Now they can recognize approximately 200 characters, are reading short stories in their textbook, and asking & answering simple questions.  I'm very proud of them, BUT most of this is happening inside the classroom.  I want to move their language practice into everyday life.

I don't speak fluently.  At this stage in the game, I have only completed the first year of Chinese language college classes and it's hard to use Chinese with the kids often when in the chaos of everyday life.  So, I started looking for books my kids could read or ones I could read to them.  Guess what?  It is really  difficult to find Chinese language books for kids.  There are a ton of books, videos, and games that promise to teach your family Chinese (usually the basics like numbers, colors, and fruits), but it is actually very time consuming (and not very productive) searching for Chinese language picture books in the United States.

So what's a parent to do?  Well, I've decided to order books straight from the source.  A friend has sent me the links to some bookstores in Asia and I'm going to pick out the books I want!  One problem, the websites are in Chinese!  So below is a quick (and incomplete) list of vocabulary you will run into if you want to buy books online through a Chinese website.

Publishing Information

·         (zuò zhě, author)

·         (huì zhě, illustrator)
·         ()譯者 (fān yì zhě, translator)
·         語言 (yǔ yán, language)
·         /英文 (yīng yǔ/yīng wén, English)
·         //中文 (hàn yǔ/huá yǔ/zhōng wén, Chinese)
·         簡化版 (jiǎn huà bǎn, simplified (character) version)
·         繁體 (fán tǐ bǎn, traditional (character) version)

Age Groups
·         教養 (jiào yǎng, parenting)
·         (tóng shū, children's books)
·         成長 (yīng'ér chéng zhǎng shū, toddler books)
·         幼兒成長書 (yòu'ér chéng zhǎng shū, early childhood development books)

·         (fēn lèi, category)
·         多媒體 (d méi , multimedia)
·         (圖畫)繪本 (tú huà huì běn, picture book)
·         題繪本 (zhǔ tí huì běn, theme picture books)
·         童話傳奇寓言 (tóng huà chuán qí yù yán; fairy tales, legends, and fabels)
o   童話 (tóng huà, fairy tales)
o   傳奇 (chuán qí, legend)
o   寓言 (yù yán, fable)
·         幻想 (huàn xiǎng mào xiǎn, fantasy and adventure)
o   幻想 (huàn xiǎng, fantasy)
o   (mào xiǎn, adventure)
·         小說 (xiǎo shuō, novel/fiction)
·         漫畫 (màn huà, comic books)
·         (kǎ tōng rén , cartoon characters)
·         百科() (bǎi kē quán shū, encyclopedia)
·         生活百科 (shēng huó bǎi , encyclopedia)
·         文學 (wén xué, literature)
·         歷史地理(lì shǐ dì lǐ, history and geography)
o   歷史 (lì shǐ, history)
o   地理 (dì lǐ, geography)
·         自然科 (zì rán kē xué, natural science)
·         傳記 (zhuàn jì, biographies)
o   名人 (míng rén, celebrity/famous person)
·         語文學習 (yǔ wén xué , language learning books)
·         學習評量 (x xí píng lián, curriculum books)
·         藝術美勞 (yì shù měi láo, arts and crafts)
o   藝術 (yì shù, arts)
o   美勞 (měi láo, crafts)
·         遊戲教具 (yóu xì jiào , games that teach)
·         遊戲練習 (yóu xì liàn , practice through games)

·         (zhé, the percent you pay (see example below))
·         9 means you would pay 90%.  The “0” in “90” is dropped.
·         定價 (dìng jià, original price)
·         特價 (tè jià, special offer/price)
·         優惠價 (yōu huì  jià, favorable/best price)
·         價會期限 (jià huì qí xiàn, price expiration/deadline/limit)