Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ching! Chang! Pok!

Last week, I posted a link to a 3rd grade lesson asking "What is an Illegal Alien?"  Now Angry Asian Man posts to another 3rd grade lesson, this time one claiming that Rock Paper Scissors in Chinese is Ching!  Chang! Pok! He says:
1. Seriously -- "ching chang pok"? That can't be right.

2. Does anyone find it strange that someone has actually written out detailed instructions to explain rock-paper-scissors to school children?

3. I would really like to see the corresponding reading comprehension questions that followed this passage. "What sign beats rock?"

4. I can just imagine kids taking this test, then hearing the scattered sound of little white kids chanting "Ching! Chang! Pok!" all over the playground during recess.
Zoe learned the Chinese version of Rock Paper Scissors when attending kindergarten in China in 2007.  She
tells me it's most assuredly not Ching! Chang!  Pok!, it's "Jian Dao Shi To Bu!"  In fairness, she said maybe that's what it is in Cantonese, since she only knows Mandarin.  But since the passage is allegedly set in Beijing, we'd expect kids there to be speaking Mandarin.

So my list goes:

1.  Someone thinks all of Chinese is ching-chong speech.

2.  Maybe Rush Limbaugh wrote this passage.

3.  What about the kid taking the test who actually knows Chinese?

10 comments:

Mei Ling said...

"Jian Dao" means scissors in Mandarin.

If Zoe is not completely right, she is more right than what is "allegedly" that ching chang crap.

Also, "ching" doesn't exist in Mandarin romanization. It's "qing."

Deborah said...

The defining experience for me was when I took an Japanese girl to speak to my daughter's class some years ago. One of the more challenging students - started calling out "ching chong" - my Japanese friend went very pale and was obviously distressed. All she would tell me was the words meant male genitalia. I am not sure that this is totally accurate translation but it has made me very wary of this phase.

Lucille said...


Also, "ching" doesn't exist in Mandarin romanization. It's "qing."


There are other systems of Romanization besides Pinyin. The Taiwanese still use Wade-Giles.

Lesley said...

Jian Dao Shi To Bu! is how my kids learned it in Kindergarten in their Mandarin Immersion school.

Mei Ling said...

I thought the Taiwanese government officially designed Tongyong pinyin as their form of romanization versus Hanyu pinyin used in the mainland?

Not that I remember Tongyong. :/

(Not saying Wade-Giles isn't applicable... just saying I haven't heard of it being used as a common form. And I'm not sure if "ching" exists in Wade-Giles.)

Anonymous said...

According to the Canadian Children's Museum this is legit.

Jane said...

I thought the Taiwanese government officially designed Tongyong pinyin as their form of romanization versus Hanyu pinyin used in the mainland?


You're right about that. My mistake.

And I'm not sure if "ching" exists in Wade-Giles.

It does.

Mahmee said...

Our daughter has yet to experience the ching-chong speech crap (at least in my presence). But, I'm sure it's looming out there waiting. One of many experiences she will get to treasure living in a society with deeply ingrained Asian stereotypes. Joy.
Yep, it always circles back to Rush Limbaugh (a.k.a. *%%&^@@#$%!!!).
M.

Anonymous said...

did you see the you tube clip about the girl's rant about asian's in the library?

Anonymous said...

Jian Dao Shi To Bu is what my kids learned while living in China .. it's Mandarin.
Bernice