Undelivered Letter

03 Aug 2004

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Children always have their beautiful dreams although the dream sometimes sounds riduculous to adults. We exchanged our naivete for growing up as time flows. Hope I will never be so realistic as to forget what I have dreamed of.

    John, your signature is beautiful.

  2. Anyone notice there is a footy tournament going on in China?

    GO CHINA!

    predicted score:

    China 6-0 Japan
    (Nakata o.g. 14′, Nakamura o.g. 21′, Tamada o.g. 32′, Ono o.g. 47′, Inamoto o.g. 56′, Sun JiHai 30 yard screamer 92′)

  3. Hi John, I like reading your blog. The little girl’s letter is so cute. How old is she?
    I’m a Chinese working in the US. Welcome to stop by my blog. There are some interesting discussions on the differences between China and the US, e.g. on food and culture.

  4. Shamu,

    I never met the author of the letter, but she wrote, “I’m four Tianjin China.” Since it’s doubtful that a Chinese four-year-old could have written this letter, maybe she meant to write “I’m from Tianjin, China.” If that’s the case, then I have no idea how old she is…

    I found this letter in an office in a private English school in Tianjin. Apparently it was going to be thrown away.

  5. Da Xiangchang Says: August 4, 2004 at 11:47 am

    Dear Santa

    I’m Da Xiangchang. Hi, I like melons, cherries, and I already have a banana. How about you?

    I want a sweater with a good girl inside (just make sure she’s over 18).

                                   Yours,
    
                                   Da Xiangchang
    
    
                                   I'm four LA USA
                                   Aug 3rd 2004
    
  6. Da Xiangchang Says: August 4, 2004 at 11:58 am

    But in all seriousness, you’d be surprised at how adept some Chinese kids are in English. I remember going over my retarded Chinese lessons in the Shanghai subway, and sitting next to this little girl who must’ve been six or something (she was with her mom). So I started showing her my flashcards, and she knew every single one of the Chinese words. Then I showed her the English side of the flashcards, and she knew them too! She’ll say the Chinese word for each of those English words! I’ve never felt stupider than at that moment. So don’t underestimate little Chinese kids’ English skills.

  7. Da Xiangchang,

    I have experience with Chinese four-year-olds and their English levels. And do you know how much English an American four-year-old can write?

    I think it’s pretty safe to say the author of the letter was not 4 years old.

  8. Come to think of it, that handwriting is pretty much what Chinese college students’ handwriting looks like.

  9. John: The handwriting is like that because she is/we are taught that way. I’m sure you’ve seen the practice exercises. Once I realize how different that looked from what Americans write, I immediately changed. It wasn’t that hard at all. Now you couldn’t tell my handwriting from an 16-year-old American girl. Haha…

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