It is really considered bad form for a teacher to laugh at a student’s mistake. In an English classroom we will often teach the polite way to ask for something and receive it. For example, “May I have a glass of water?” to which the response is “Here you are”. Then you hand the person a glass of water. In Chinese the question is like “Qing gei wo yi bei shui.” (“May I have a glass of water?”), to which the answer is “Gei Ni.” (literally “give you”, pronounced “gay knee”) as you hand him the glass of water.
So I recently heard of a teacher that lost it and cracked up when the student mixed up his Chinese and English — called Chiinglish. The student mixed up “Gei ni” and “Here you are”. It came out: “Gay you are.”
(Sorry, I guess you have to be an English teacher in China to appreciate this one.)
The MIghty Arduino
The Autonomous Vehicle (“AV” or Automated Vehicle) technology is the next big thing in technology. The Big Data Valley initiative of Guiyang can jump start the creation and nurturing of a technology Village (Guiyang Tech Village) in Guiyang. The Big Data initiative has already started this process, but there is still a need for focus of the resources being created by the the Big Data initiative. AV technology requires a combination of two of the “Big Three” technology initiatives in the world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics (Biotech is the third). China and the USA are similar in that about 2/3 of GDP is consumer driven. Housing is the #1 consumer purchase, and cars are #2. The market for auto enhancements, such as AV, is massive.
These concepts are developed elsewhere on this site, but the implementation of AI and Robotics in Guiyang can use the AV technology framework. Sensors, machine learning, actuators, and decision making are all required when a car, truck, or bus is driven by a human. The AV research, the testing, and application of that research provides a concrete focus for so many of these advanced research subjects. An AV initiative in Guiyang has the potential of attracting top talent to Guiyang companies and universities.
Technology people can usually choose where they want to live, but the technology village concept multiplies the productivity of individuals. Guiyang already has the quality of life that is attractive to the young techies. See: Guiyang Top City The AV provides a focus for those techies.
The implementation plan is specific. Develop and test AV technology using existing Guiyang buses and drivers:
- Automate bus maneuvering and parking in the North Guiyang Train Station (Beizhan Gaotia).
- Retrofit existing BRT buses with sensors, actuators, and computers with cloud communication.
- Connect the BRT buses to the Guiyang Big Data infrastructure and then begin building and learning.
- Retain existing bus drivers to monitor effectiveness of the developing technologies and provide tertiary manual override in event of technology failures of primary and secondary automation. Also, presence of drivers on the buses is important for customers to feel safe.
- Initially it is essential to get “cheaters” under control in the dedicated BRT lane of the #2 Ring Road. Connect the BRT cameras to software that can identify people who break the rules against using the dedicated BRT bus lane for cars. Progressively heavy fines should be used to keep private drivers clear of the bus lane. Fine revenue can also be used to help finance AV research.
- When the “bugs” are out of the BRT automated vehicle control system, wealthy drivers should be permitted to retrofit their vehicles with AV equipment. This will allow them to return to the dedicated bus lane for high speed travel around Guiyang, taking advantage of both the dedicated bus lane and the Big Data controlled transport system.
- While Guiyang is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with five million people stacked together on the plateau, wealthy drivers could take advantage of early AV technology to maneuver the city. After using AV on the BRT dedicated lane, they can gradually expand their range of operation to go to and from common destinations, like home and work, etc.
- As prices of AV equipment fall, more and more Guiyang people will be able to afford to enter the automated vehicle system as it gradually expands from the #2 Ring Road into the general streets and alleys of Guiyang.
- Companies that cooperate with Guiyang early in development of AV technology will be leaders in the AV industry as it expands.
- Guiyang will grow a world class technology community, the Guiyang Tech Village.
See the following links for background:
A recently published article on the importance of learning Chinese and the extraordinary efforts of Mark Zuckerberg created a flashback. For the last fifteen years my performance as a student of the Chinese language has been mediocre. Nevertheless, I still impress Chinese who expect foreigners to know nothing about their language. The article below captures some of the fun and flavor of this language learning endeavor:
There are so many funny things that happen when you are trying to communicate. I like kids, and to me it is really funny when I am jealous of a 3 year old that has a better language skill than I have. I can (often) understand them if they don’t talk too fast. A few years ago I was trying to use my Chinese to impress my high school English class. I said “Wo shi yige Meiguo Zhu(1)” and I got a tremendous laugh from the class. I used that several times and always got the same reaction. In China there are a variety of minorities and I thought I was telling people that I am an American minority person. What I was trying to say was: “Wo shi yige Meiguo Zu(2)”. The number behind the word signifies the tone of the syllable and a “1” represents a level tone, with a “2” representing a rising tone. Zhu and zu sound almost the same (zoo). In this case, Zu(2) means “minority people” while Zhu(1) means “pig”. My untrained ear couldn’t hear the difference.
Learning Chinese requires you to swallow your pride. You will make mistakes, and if you learn to laugh at your mistakes, leaning Chinese can be a lot of fun. It is also necessary to learn to be a bit humble (not easy for some of us). I’ve found most Chinese to be very tolerant of us butchering their language.
Above is a photo from a CNN news clip showing Donald Trump’s granddaughter practicing her Chinese poems. It went viral in China. You need a VPN to visit the CNN web page if you are in China, but it has been making the rounds in China on Youku and social media..
My two-week visit to the USA has been very interesting, and a little frightening. Hillary supporters are in mourning, like when terrorists attacked us on 911. People seem to be determined to get you into an argument. There seems to be a lot of fear over what Trump will do, even from the Trump supporters. These stories about what Trump will do is colored by the campaign, which I wasn’t present for. So I can’t fully understand. I went to bed at midnight on election night and woke up in a different country. Now I understand what Einstein must of felt like when people were saying dumb things around him . . .
De Deng is not just an artist. He is a monk. He studies Budha, philosophy of all religions, aesthetics, Chinese Caligraphy, modern art, traditional Chinese painting, and “action art”. Before he became a monk he spent a year and a half helping clean the polluted environment in the Dian Lake, of Yunnan Province. He has tried to educate people about taking care of the earth. I was happy to visit his art exhibition at the 219 Gallery. His current art is abstract style and was displayed on October 18 to 22 at the 219 Gallery on Baoshan Beilu, in the He House Hotel (Heshe Jiudian).
There are too many paintings to show here, but photos of the event are below:
Deng Chuan Qi shown below attended the exhibition of his former student. When Deng was younger, he was a Guiyang art teacher. He inspired a lot of students to become artists, including De Deng. Many of the Guiyang artists of today were students of Deng in middle school. They met their old teacher at the exhibition. Also shown is Diana, our interpreter, one of students on the island who studies calligraphy, and a cat, who really seemed to appreciate the event.
After the event I was invited to the artist’s home and studio. He has two students living in his compound, which is on an island. Ironically, the island has no water around it right now because recent construction has resulted in the river being drained. De Deng is an environmentalist and his island retreat is no longer an island.
I have friends that are very into soccer. They play and even talk about coaching kids. The article below came as kind of a lightening bolt. How many out there think this is a good idea for Guizhou People? Perhaps there is funding to help coach the kids coming up. Please let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bloomberg, on China Soccer <VPN Required- see text below>
Bloomberg•October 16, 2016 [https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-10-17/a-fifa-boost-for-china-s-soccer-goal]
China’s Soccer Goal
Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s new president, has ambitious plans. They are, however, easy to execute and may help further the goals of some of the soccer body’s major sponsors.
Planned total of teams in World Cup: 48
For a start, Infantino is pledging to invest $4 billion to increase the number of football participants to 60 percent of the world’s population, from the current 45 percent. Guess what: He doesn’t have to spend the money. More Chinese kicking a ball around could get him to his target in one move.
Coincidentally, that would fit well with the strategy of Wang Jianlin, China’s second-richest man, whose Dalian Wanda Group in March became the first major sponsor of FIFA since a criminal corruption scandal overwhelmed
the organization and led to the ouster of longtime president Joseph “Sepp” Blatter. Jack Ma, the nation’s richest man, followed suit in courting the federation.
When he announced his cash injection into the soccer authority, Wang said that having multiple sponsors “will help China bid to host the World Cup.”
That remains to be seen, but another of the aims Infantino laid out on Friday may at least help the world’s most populous nation return to the World Cup, in which it participated just once, without winning any games. The new president plans to increase the number of teams in the event to 48 from the current 32.
Ranked 78 by FIFA, China still has to work on its national team to reach the World Cup, even with the greater number of participants. But from a statistical perspective, a 50 percent increase in the number of available seats increases the odds that the nation makes it.
That’s just what Xi Jinping needed. The avowed soccer fan has declared football a national priority and harbors an ambition to see the country host and win the World Cup. Naturally, it makes sense for people in the private sector to help him get there.
The China team’s recent losses to Syria (really) and Uzbekistan indicate that the only way is up. As FIFA continues to grapple with the fallout from the corruption scandal, it needs supporters with deep pockets such as those in China. This is the start of a long friendship.
It is Saturday afternoon on October 8, 2016 and I am at the Guizhou Provincial Library. We have English corner (Yingyujiao) here every Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30. It is located on the 4th floor of the Beijing Lu library, foreign language reading room. It is across the street from the Guizhou Park Hotel.
Other English corners that I visit are Monday Evening at the CShop on Mingsheng Lu (7:30pm) and at the Rooftop Cafe on Tuesday evening (7:30pm) see http://www.tourguizhou.com/archives/10713 .
Another English corner are on Tuesday night in Dayingpo at the Zhongda Shopping Mall. It is at Baker’s Pizza or Starbucks Coffee. The formal address is Zhonda Shopping Mall Building A2 on the fifth floor.
I want to add more locations for English Corners, so please write me at email@example.com if you know about others.