8 Stories

Those Fortune Cookie 'Lucky Numbers'? They're Not Unlucky

FiveThirtyEight's Walt Hickey analyzed 1,000-plus cookies and made some surprising finds

(Newser) - Imagine you're so obsessed with fortune cookies, and the destinies they claim to foretell, that you order more than 1,000 of them to "unlock their mysteries." That's exactly what data journalist Walt Hickey did for , picking through the prognostications (676 unique ones among... More »

Chinese Tourist Loses Wallet, Becomes Unwitting Refugee

He said Europe was not what he'd expected

(Newser) - A well-dressed tourist visiting Germany from China was robbed in Heidelberg, but he filled out the wrong set of paperwork in an attempt to report the crime. Known only as Mr. L and fluent only in Mandarin, he went to the town hall instead of the police station, signed an... More »

Man Wakes From Coma Speaking Fluent Mandarin

He lost his English-speaking skills but remembered Chinese from high school

(Newser) - When Ben McMahon went into a coma after a car crash, he spoke English; when he woke up, he spoke only fluent Mandarin. Although the Australian man had taken Mandarin in high school, he was never fluent, and doctors are still trying to figure out exactly why he completely lost... More »

Our Kids Don't Need to Learn Chinese

Spanish, however, would benefit them

(Newser) - Nick Kristof and his family speak Chinese, and “let’s be frank,” he writes in the New York Times , “if your child hasn’t started Mandarin classes by third grade, he or she will never amount to anything.” Oh, actually … “just kidding,” continues... More »

Mandarin Becomes Talk of Chinatown

Cantonese-speakers sidelined by new generation of immigrants

(Newser) - Goodbye "Leih Hou Ma," hello "Ni Hao Ma." The language most often heard in New York's Chinatown and in Chinese communities across America is quickly changing from Cantonese to Mandarin as new immigrants from mainland China outnumber those from Hong Kong. Even Cantonese-speaking parents are pushing... More »

New Beijing Luxury Hotel Burns

(Newser) - A new luxury hotel in Beijing went up in flames today as nearby crowds watched  a fireworks show for the end of the Lunar New Year, CNN reports. An explosion of flames erupted from the top of the newly built, unoccupied building as fire engulfed all 44 stories. The cause... More »

9,000 Plan Olympic Weddings

Opening day is lucky date

(Newser) - Thousands of Beijing couples plan to tie the knot on the opening day of the Olympic Games, reports USA Today. The all-eights date, 8/8/08, is considered lucky in China, which is why authorities chose that day for the start of the Olympiad. Now some 9,000 lovers hope to share... More »

Chinese Create Slang for New Technology

Cell phone, computer make way into written and spoken Mandarin

(Newser) - New technology has kids in China generating their own modern lingo, I.D. Magazine reports. The millennia-old Mandarin language lacks terms for things like cell phones (which go as shou ji, or "hand machine") and USB (which goes as yo pan, a word created partly phonetically), forcing users... More »

8 Stories