Tag Archives: Chinese

Chinese 101 ~ I Love You!

10 May

I (我) Love (爱) You (你) = Wǒ ài nǐ = 我爱你

I Love You

Managerial #Economics ~ The Five #Market Structures

8 May

As always, this lesson is not intended to be professional advice. This is simply lesson material for ESL students in Business, Economics, and Finance classes. Posted here for their use or for helping other students.

DEFINITION

Image result for Street market

market (市场) is a situation where two or more groups of people come together to trade resources (资源) as part of business.  You can be trading money, goods, services – it doesn’t matter. Some examples would be:

  • The Mall (购物中心)
  • The Stock Exchange (股票交易)
  • Online Market (Taobao, JD.com)
  • Supermarket (Carrefour, Walmart) – 沃尔玛购物广场
  • Street Food Market (街头食品)

WHY DO WE HAVE MARKETS?

There are many reasons why we have markets!

First of all, think about the Buyer (买方).  For them, maybe it is easier to buy all their things in one place. For example, isn’t it better to buy all your food, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies at the same store? It is faster, saves you bus money, and is less trouble

Now think about the company. Why would an economist (经济学家) or finance officer or CEO think this is a really good idea? Remember, as a finance person, you should obey the wealth maximization rule (最大化利润) of business. This rule says you should do your very best to legally (法律上) and ethically (道德) make the most profit (收益) for the owners.  So they join a market because it helps them make more MONEY!.  

How? Just like the buyer, the seller wants to decrease costs (降低成本).  Things like time, labor, work — they all cost the company a lot of money.  If you can sell your product using less time or employees or effort, it saves you money!  In a market, a lot more buyers come to shop than at other places. Maybe they want to find you, or maybe they wanted something else. For example, they came to the store to buy water but then saw you and also buy your pencils! Amazing! You did not have to pay for advertising, but you still got a surprise customer!

Some markets just save you time and money from advertising (like malls).  You get a lot of customers without having to go find them.  Others, like Taobao, create a place where it is easier to shop and pay and work together, so customers like it more and buy more products. There are a lot of good things about markets. 

Industry Market

An industry (行业) is a special kind of market.  This is not a building or place.  It is used to name all the people buying and selling a specific product.  For example, there is the Phone Market (all the people buying and selling phones). This market includes Huawei, Samsung, Apple, Oppo, Xiaomi, Meizu, and more. It also includes all the people who want to buy a phone (young people, older people, Chinese people, American people, etc).

There is also the Car Market 汽车行业 (all the people buying and selling phones). The Job Market 人才市场 (all the people looking for a job and offering a job).  The Fashion 时尚  Industry (all the people buying and selling clothes and fashion). 

These markets can be big or small, with lots of companies or just one company, with lots of buyers or just one buyer.  They are international with buyers and sellers all over the world who meet each other and do business. 

The Five Ways an Industry Market can be Structured (市场结构)

Market Structure (市场结构) is how an industry market is organized or arranged.  There are actually FIVE different ways a market can be structured, so you must be careful about which one is for your product. 

Why are they different? Maybe the number of companies is different. For example, there area lot of companies who sell pencils, but only a few companies who sell electricity (电力) for your house.  Maybe there are many companies, but only ONE company is actually really big (Size).  For example, for a long time only Microsoft Windows was available for computers.  Some products are very special (独特) and there is no substitute (替代).  (Kind of Product). 

Here is the list of Market Structures:

1) Monopoly (垄断)

In a Monopoly, one company is the only real company and has lots of power.  Usually, in this situation there is only ONE company in the whole market.  Their product is VERY SPECIAL so there are no substitutes (替代) available. Maybe their product is really difficult to copy, or maybe the government made a law (法) that no one can sell a product like them. For some reason, there is no competition. 

These companies are called PRICE-SETTING (价格制定者 | 决定价格) companies because it is easy for them to change their price and still keep their customers. If they want to raise the price $100, great! There is no competition, so the customers still have to buy the product from them. Even if the cost is very expensive!

One example in the US is Gilead, a medicine (医学) company.  In 2016, the US government approved (合法) their new medicine for all people who have Hepatitis C (丙型肝炎) – a very dangerous disease. Gilead was the only company who had so much approval from the US government. It looked awesome!  So many people with the disease want to use this cure. But Gilead was the only company. . . MONOPOLY! So the price was $74,760 (¥51,6083)! That’s a lot of money! (Source)

A monopoly does not always mean there is only one company.  Sometimes there are a few other companies. But only one of them is big, famous, and sells the product. The rest cannot compete with that big company.  So the big company has a lot of power no one else has. 

2) Oligopoly (寡头垄断)

Image result for china eastern

In an Oligopoly, there are a small number of businesses. More than one, but still not a lot of companies.  Usually their products are very similar, so they must compete a lot. If one company has a higher price, maybe the customer will just go to someone else.   These companies are called PRICE-TAKERS 价格的接受者 (this means that if they change the price even a little from the average, maybe the customers will go to someone else. So it is very difficult to change the price.)

For example, airplane companies. In China, there is China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, Air China, Shanghai Airlines, etc.  Although there is more than one company, in the whole country there are actually not a lot of companies.  And if you want to fly from Wuhan to Shanghai, maybe their services are very similar.  So if you see that one company’s price is ¥1080 and another company is ¥1380 then you want to buy the ¥1080 ticket.  They can change their prices a little if their service is more special (for example, their time is faster). But usually their prices are very similar. 

3) Monopsony (买方垄断)

The Monopsony market is not very common. 

In this market, there are a many sellers, but only a few people who want to buy.  Today, we see this in the job market. Think about it. Right now, there are a lot of people who want to sell their labor — they want to work for a company and make a good salary.  But there are only a few company’s who want to buy your work.   So there are a lot of “work sellers” (employees), but only a few buyers (companies). 

Another example is people selling Old Televisions or Computers.  In this situation, maybe a lot of people want to sell, but only a few people want to buy.  So the buyer has the power and can decide what the price should be. 

In this situation, the companies have a lot of power and are PRICE-SETTING.  It is difficult for most employees to decide their salary, the company will choose your salary (the price for work). 

4) Monopolistic Competition (垄断性竞争)

Image result for ten miles of peach blossoms

There are many companies in this market, and their products are similarbut different.  Think about Movie or Music companies.  For example, the two TV shows “Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms” (三生三世十里桃花) and “The Journey of Flower” (花千骨).   These shows were a little similar. They are fantasy (幻想) shows with magic, romantic stories about cold men who fall in love with brave women, etc.  The shows are similar, but they are also different.  So maybe you like one show, but you did not want to see the other show. 

For Western readers, compare Vampire Diaries and True Blood.  Both TV Shows were directed towards young viewers and focused on Vampires. They had very similar audiences and competed for the viewers attention. But at the same time, they were very different so some people who liked True Blood maybe didn’t like Vampire Diaries and vice versa. Or maybe one was at a better time or something.  

In this situation, the companies are competitors, but not always substitutes.   So they are both PRICE-SETTING and PRICE-TAKING companies.  They are Price-Taking, because if they are too expensive compared to the rest, people who go to a different company even if the product is not as good.  But they are also Price-Setting because they can raise their price a little high without being too expensive.  For example, maybe a popular singer like Jay Chou or Taylor Swift can make their CDs more expensive than singers who are not popular. 

Let’s say most CDs are selling for $15.  Then you probably cannot sell your CD for $40.  People will be unhappy with your company and choose to leave. But you might be able to sell it for $22 if your music is better than normal. 

5) Perfect Competition (完全竞争)

The biggest markets are the Perfect Competition Markets.  These are markets where:

  1. There are MANY sellers.  
  2. The products are pretty similar or “non-differentiated.”
  3. Companies are Price-Takers

Image result for bottled water

Think about the water (水) market.  Here in China, there are many, many, many different companies selling bottled water. For example, Nongfu (农夫山泉)  and Evian (依云).  Although the companies are different, the water is pretty much the same. You don’t care if you drink water from one company or water from another company – they are all the same. So why do so many students at my university drink Nongfu instead of Evian? Because Nongfu water is only 2¥, but Evian is often 10¥ or more.  What if Nonfu changed their price to 4¥? Would you still buy their water? Maybe no! Because there are other companies (竞争者) who sell the same water for less money!  So maybe it is very difficult for Nongfu to change their prices.  They do not have a lot of “price power,” so we call them a ‘Price-Taking’ company. This kind of situation is called competitive market.

Image result for nongfu

KEY WORDS

  • Market (市场)
  • Industry (行业)
  • Market Structure (市场结构)
  • Substitute (替代)
  • Monopoly (垄断)
  • PRICE-SETTING (价格制定者 or 决定价格)
  • PRICE-TAKERS 价格的接受者
  • Oligopoly (寡头垄断)
  • Monopsony (买方垄断)
  • Monopolistic Competition (垄断性竞争)
  • Perfect Competition (完全竞争)

May #Flowers

4 May

#Spring – April Showers bring May Flowers

#TeachingLols ~ That’s a lot of Kids!

6 Apr
😆
So I’m working with my international students (Mongolia, Indonesia, and India) and asked what they did this summer.
One girl goes off because she expected to have a vacation, but got stuck working. She starts listing all of her chores, complaining, and the other students are just nodding along commiserating.
She finally gets to the part where she had to babysit her siblings and cousins. The kids are like “yep, yep” right up until she goes “So, I just want to say that I’ve learned from this summer. I mean, I am totally not going to have more than 5 kids. That’s just more than enough.” Said completely sincerely with no inflection or emphasis at all.  You could see them start to nod again, stop, look at one another and turn in unison to stare at her. One girl goes “FIVE kids” with eyes real big. She goes “Yeah! I mean, I think stopping there is plenty.” They stare some more. I crack up secretly on the inside.
This in the country where 2 kids is only just now allowed universally and is still pretty rare in the cities. 
Image

Chinese Building #Art

30 Mar

DSC05696

Finding #Love on the Magpie Bridge

23 Mar

Xiān yún nòng qiăo, fēi xīng chuán hèn, yín hàn tiáo tiáo àn dù
Jīn fēng yù lù yì xiāng féng, biàn shèng què rén jiān wú shù
Róu qíng sì shuĭ,  jiā qī rú mèng, rĕn gù què qiáo guī lù
Liăng qíng ruò shì jiŭ cháng shí, yòu qĭ zài zhāo zhāo mù mù

As Clouds float like works of art; 
Stars shoot with grief at heart.
Across the Milky Way the Cowherd meets the Maid.

When autumn’s Golden Wind embraces Dew of Jade
All the love scenes on earth, however many, fade.

Their tender love flows like a stream; 
This happy date seems but a dream.
Can they bear a separate homeward way?

If love between both sides can last for aye,
Why need they stay together night and day?
(Translated by Xu Yuanchong)

divider

In a magical world in a century so long ago it has faded into dream and myth, there lived a tragic, poor, lonely man named Niu Lang. Most of his family had all died several years before, and those who remained had thrown him out on the street. So to stay alive, he found a small job taking care of some cows.  

Image result for handsome ancient Chinese boy painting Continue reading

#Teaching Success

16 Mar

Happy St. Patricj’s day from #china!  Starting off well! One if the #students was asking a friend to translate what I was teaching them about the holiday.  He calledme ‘Beauty Teacher’. 👸 MADE MY DAY! ❤  I obviously got some #goodluck somewhere today! 🍀

#Rose Tea – Chinese Herbal Tea

13 Mar


However despite my mistaken belief that they loved #EnglishTea , I have since learned that the actually prefer #herbal teas.  This box for sal at the local supermarket is full of #roses for #rosetea. They also like #lavender tea, #chamomile, #jasmine, and others.  Makes the #cafe very fragrant!

Ba Si

10 Jan

Ba Si is a delicious real Chinese dish made from fruits, baked potato, or sweet potato – battered and then covered in a sweet sugary- caramel like sauce that hardens into a candy-glaze.  My personal favorite!

Sino-Japanese Numbers

25 Oct

The following includes the Sino-Japanese Numbers used in Japanese for many number-related issues. In appearance, they are the same as those used in Mandarin Chinese, in fact that is where the characters were borrowed from (Sino – meaning “Chinese”). Thus, the numbers are in fact a part of the Kanji writing system.  

While Sino-Japanese numbers are more common according to my Japanese friends, the traditional Japanese numbers are still occasionally used and it is good to memorize the numbers 1-10 in traditional form as well. 

Also notice that the number 4 (shi) can sound like a bad word in Japanese (shi sounds like ‘death’), so it is replaced with the traditional number “yon”. And number 7 (nana) can also be replaced with the traditional number “shichi” depending on the usage.

SEPARATE WORDS YOU MUST MEMORIZE

Number Name Kanji
1 ichi
2 ni
3 san
4 shi/yon*
5 go
6 roku
7 shichi/nana*
8 hachi
9 kyū
10
100 hyaku*/ichi hyaku
1000 sen/issen*
10,000 man / ichiman
100,000,000 oku
1,000,000,000,000 chō

COUNTING THROUGH ONE TRILLION

Although my examples below use spacing to help you see the numbers laid out more easily, the Japanese will often just combine the numbers into one long string. For example, my Japanese friends would write 2109  as nisenhyakukyū if they wrote it out in Romaji. 

**Please notice that the numbers 300 (sanbyaku), 600 (roppyaku), and 800 (happyaku) are different from the usual formula of Number + Hyaku. Not sure why, my Japanese teacher didn’t explain 🙂 I just know that this is true.

Number Name Kanji
1 ichi
2 ni
3 san
4 shi/yon*
5 go
6 roku
7 shichi/nana*
8 hachi
9 kyū
10
11 jūichi 十一
12 jūni 十二
13 jūsan 十三
20 nijū 二十
30 sanjū 三十
40 yonjū 四十
50 gojū 五十
60 rokujū 六十
70 nanajū 七十
80 hachijū 八十
90 kyūjū 九十
100 hyaku*/ichi hyaku
200 nihyaku 二百
300 sanByaku *note the change 三百
600 roPPyaku *note the change 六百
800 haPPyaku *note the change 八百
1000 sen/issen*
10,000 man / ichiman
100,000 jūman 十万
1,000,000 hyakuman 百万
10,000,000 senman 千万
100,000,000 oku
1,000,000,000 jūoku 十億
10,000,000,000 hyaku oku 百億
100,000,000,000 senoku 千億
1,000,000,000,000 chō

***Please notice that while in English, we count in 1,000s — the Japanese (and Chinese) count in 10,000s.  So in English, we learn one thousand (1,000), ten thousand (10,000), one hundred thousand (100,000), one million (1,000,000), and ten million (10,000,000). But in Japanese, they learn sen (1,000), man (10,000), jūman (100,000), and hyakuman (1,000,000), senman (10,000,000).  Notice that jū(man), hyaku(man), and sen(man)  are all  multiples of 10,000 (Japanese) instead of 1,000 (English).   

Number English Japanese
10 ten jū (ten)
100 one hundred hyaku (hundred)
1000 one thousand sen (thousand)
1,0000 ten-thousand man (ten-thousand)
10,0000 one-hundred thousand jūman (ten man or ten ten-thousands)
100,0000 one million hyakuman (one-hundred man)
1000,0000 ten million senman (one-thousand man)
1,0000,0000 one-hundred million oku (one oku)
10,0000,0000 one billion jūoku (ten oku)

Because of this, you can often see them mark numbers as 1,0000 with the comma after the ten-thousands.  For example 1,0000 instead of 10,000.

PRACTICE

Here are examples of every number through ten million (follow same pattern if going farther)

Number Name Kanji
21 nijū ichi 二十一
32 sanjū ni 三十二
43 yonjū san 四十三
54 gojū yon 五十四
65 rokujū go 六十五
76 nanajū roku 七十六
87 hachijū nana 八十七
98 kyūjū hachi 九十八
109 hyaku kyū 百九
219 nihyaku jūkyū 二百十九
329 sanByaku nijū kyū *note the change 三百二十九
439 yonhyaku sanjū kyū 四百三十九
549 gohyaku yonjū kyū 五百四十九
659 roPPyaku gojū kyū *note the change 六百五十九
769 nanahyaku rokujū kyū 七百六十九
879 haPPyaku nanajū kyū *note the change 八百七十九
989 kyūhyaku hachijū kyū 九百八十九
2001 nisen ichi 二千一
3010 sansen jū 三千十
4100 yonsen hyaku 四千百
5210 gosen nihyaku jū 五千二百十
6222 rokusen nihyaku nijū ni 六千二百二十二
20,003 niman san 二万三
30,033 sanman sanjū san 三万三十三
40,333 yonman sanbyaku sanjū san 四万三百三十三
53,333 goman sansen sanbyaku sanjū san 五万三千三百三十三
140,000 jūyonman 十四万
400,000 yonjūman 四十万
654,321 rokujūgo man yonsen sanbyaku nijū ichi 六十五万四千三百二十一
7,654,321 nanahyaku rokujūgo man yonsen sanbyaku nijū ichi 七百六十五万四千三百二十一
87,654,321 hachisen nanahyaku rokujūgo man yonsen sanbyaku nijū ichi 八千七百六十五万四千三百二十一
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