Australian cities and states – the pronunciation of their names in Mandarin

In this video, let’s talk about the states and major cities in Australia 澳(ao)大(da)利(li)亚(ya)- their names in Chinese Mandarin:

  • Sydney – 悉(xi)尼(ni) – New South Wales – 新(xin)南(nan)威(wei)尔(er)士(shi)
  • Melbourne – 墨(mo)尔(er)本(ben) – Victoria – 维(wei)多(duo)利(li)亚(ya)
  • Brisbane – 布(bu)里(li)斯(si)班(ban) – Queensland – 昆(kun)士(shi)兰(lan)
  • Perth – 珀(po)斯(si) – Western Australia – 西(xi)澳(ao)
  • Adelaide – 阿(a)德(de)莱(lai)德(de) – South Australia – 南(nan)澳(ao)
  • Darwin – 达(da)尔(er)文(wen) – North Territory – 北(bei)领(ling)地(di)
  • Hobart – 霍(huo)巴(ba)特(te) – Tasmania – 塔(ta)斯(si)马(ma)尼(ni)亚(ya)
  • Canberra – 堪(kan)培(pei)拉(la) – ACT – 首(shou)都(du)特(te)区(qu)

Other cities mentioned in this video:

  • Newcastle – 纽(niu)卡(ka)斯(si)尔(er)
  • Wollongong – 卧(wo)龙(long)岗(gang)
  • Gold Coast – 黄(huang)金(jin)海(hai)岸(an)

Mr Turnbull: “Chinese people, stand up.” [The Chinese National Day]

Hi, Barry Li again. Happy long weekend time! 长(chang)假(jia)快(kuai)乐(le). Today we are not going to talk about the short “long weekend” in Sydney. (only 3 days) We are going to talk about the 7 days super long weekend in China, for the celebration of the National Day – 国(guo)庆(qing)节(jie).

The National Day of China is on the 1st of October every year, starting from 1949. This is the day that the new China (or the People’s Republic of China) was established. That’s the China that we commonly refer to as “Communist China”. There’s a famous sentence about the Chinese national day is what Chairman Mao said on the 1st of October 1949 in Beijing: 中(zhong)国(guo)人(ren)民(min)站(zhan)起(qi)来(lai)了(le). (China people has stood up). This is the sentence for this week.

How to say “Happy Moon Festival” in Chinese (Mandarin)

Happy Moon Festival! 中秋节快乐!The 2018 Chinese Moon Festival is on the 24th of September, which is tomorrow. The Moon Festival is a very important festival for the Chinese People. Its also an important part of the Chinese culture. In this video, Im going to teach you how to say “Happy Moon Festival!” in Chinese Mandarin. I’m also going to share with you some stories about the Chinese Moon Festival and the Moon culture. My name is Barry Li, welcome to the New Chinese Vlog – Episode 1 – The Pilot!

 I’m the author of this book – “The New Chinese”. I’m not going to talk my book today, because there’s absolutely no mentioning about the Moon Festival in my book. My book is about the new stuff happening in China, and the Moon Festival is something pretty old. According Wikipedia, the Chinese started celebrating the Moon Festival since the Shang ()Dynasty, which was 1600 BC. Personally, I wont take the actual date too seriously. But that date pretty much tells you how important it is as part of the Chinese tradition. I think this is the second most important traditional festival for the Chinese, right next to the Chinese New Year (春节 or 农历新年). We are going to talk about that in February next year. Back to the Moon Festival, do you know, the official name of the Moon Festival is called Mid-Autumn Festival? Therefore, it feels weird to call it the Mid-Autumn Festival in Australia, because this is the middle of Spring. That’s probably why we prefer to call it Moon Festival. But for Australian Chinese, we still call it 中秋节, which means Mid-Autumn Festival. Zhong (first tone) means Middle. Qiu (first tone) means Autumn. Jie (second tone) means Festival. 中秋节 means Mid-autumn Festival.

Mid-autumn is the time of harvest. So, you can imagine how the Chinese celebrate this festival. That’s right, by eating a lot of food. That’s how the Chinese celebrate every festival, by eating a lot of food. And all the Chinese festivals have at least one type of special food comes with it. For the moon festival, it is the Mooncake! There are lots of different kinds of mooncakes in China. But the most popular ones, are the Cantonese style mooncakes (广式月饼) and the Suzhou Style mooncake (苏式月饼)The difference is that the Suzhou style mooncake has a crunchy flaky pastry skin. (酥皮), while the Cantonese style is more soft and sticky. And they both come with various types of fillings, from the traditional bean paste, lotus flour, egg York, to the modern ones like fruit and even chocolate ones. My personal favourite is the hot Suzhou style mooncake with pork. Yummy.

Now, how do you greet people at the Moon festival? We just learnt 中秋节 Zhong Qiu Jie which means Moon Festival. Now you just need to add 快乐 Kuai Le to the end, which means Happy. Kuai (fourth tone) Le (fourth tone) So, it is 中秋节快乐 Zhong Qiu Jie Kuai LeMoon Festival Happy. 中秋节快乐 is short for 祝您中秋节快乐 Wish you, Moon Festival Happy. Zhu (fourth tone) is “wish”. Nin (second tone) is you (honorific expression).

We have just talked about the greetings and the food of the Moon Festival, but why are we celebrating the Moon Festival? Firstly, it is mid-Autumn, the reason for harvest. So, it is also known as the harvest festival in some parts of China. A lot of countries in this world celebrates the harvest. In fact, having a party is a great way to celebrate a year of achievement and put on some weight. Besides the harvest, there is also a meaning of the Moon Festival. It’s about family. On the day of the Moon Festival, which is the 15th of August of the Chinese lunar calendar, the moon is a big round circle. Round in Chinese is Yuan (圆). The Chinese love Yuan(圆),Yuan means complete and perfect. It symbols that all family members are at home. No one is away. Everyone is well. Its called 团圆, which pretty much means united in a circle. Therefore, the moon festival is an important festival for the family to sit together and have a nice dinner, and enjoy the mooncake. One important activity on the Moon Festival is 赏月(Shang Yue) Moon Watching. Basically, you just stare at the big round Moon and think about how great your family is. Maybe you can also read a poem or something. Most Chinese dont do it anymore, but reading poetry under the Moon a common activity in ancient China. And by the way, yuan circle, also means the Chinese currency Chinese Yuan. Sometimes we use the simplified Chinese character , but they are the same meaning and pronunciation. Now you get how important the circle shape is in China.

I think we have talked a lot here already, about the Chinese Moon Festival. To make sure you are overloaded, I’m going to stop here and quickly talk about this video series I’m making. What I intend to do with the New Chinese Vlog, is to make it a weekly video for teaching Chinese Mandarin. Im just going to show you one sentence each week. For example for today, it is 祝您中秋节快乐 Wish you, Moon Festival Happy. If you can remember it, and use it, and we keep doing this for a year, you will speak at least 50 very useful Chinese sentences.  In addition to the language, I’m going to talk about the history, the culture and the food of China. If we can this for a couple of years, then you will not only speak Chinese but also now the culture well. Isn’t it a great idea? I really like it. If you want it too, can I please ask you to click to subscribe button under this video, so I know you like it and we can make another one next week. Thank you very much for watching,祝您中秋节快乐,再见!(Zai Jian!)


Barry Li’s Q&A session at the Australia-China E-commerce Forum

Event background

This forum, jointly run by Macquarie University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), aims to provide a platform for industry practitioners, and Australian and Chinese academic scholars, and to demonstrate thought leadership through the mutual exchange of innovative ideas and practical recommendations for the future of trade between China and Australia.

The forum will examine contemporary issues related to international trade and e-commerce in view of the impact of technology and global geopolitical developments. A series of topics will be covered, including: environment finance and professional services in free-trade areas, international business relations between Australia and China, blockchain technology, accounting and finance for cross-border e-commerce, international logistics and supply chain management, and other interdisciplinary themes.

Questions for panel 2 (Micro) for Jonathan Wang (Alibaba) and Barry Li (Author)
1. In analysing the use of e-commerce platforms for cross-border purchase, 84% of consumers used domestic e-commerce platform. Judging from the massive amount of tourists, and also the development of in-house platforms, how do you see the trend of C2C, or Daigou, in cross-border e-commerce? Will it affect the more traditional B2C purchases? (both)

Barry Li: first, I found it is fascinating that we are discussing “e-commerce” here today. When I first heard this concept, it was in 2000 when I started university. Back then, e-commerce was a brand new concept. Back then, it meant that you should email people about your commerce, not sending fax or writing letters. It has evolved incredibly over the past 18 years. So I believe today, we should stop using the concept “e-commerce”, just because everyone is using email and much more. It’s just commerce. Commerce can’t exist today without technology. New technologies around commerce, e.g. mobile payment are now available even in remote villages in China, thanks to innovative business – like Alibaba. Now, back to the question – would C2C affect B2C? Of course, it will. It already did. These are ancient terms as well, big ten years ago. Today we mostly talk about P2P (peer-to-peer) and O2O (online-to-offline). A translation for this question would be: why are business increasingly impacted/interrupted by individuals? (like Daigou) The answer is, innovative companies like Alibaba has changed the game. They have provided individuals (including Daigous) amazing infrastructures and tools to enable/empower then to interrupt traditional business. These infrastructures include communication technologies (e.g. WEChat), transaction platforms (e.g. Taobao), payment systems (e.g. Alipay) and easy global logistics and fulfilment systems. Traditional B2Cs have two options. They can either ignore these new infrastructures and lose the competition, or they can get embrace this change and utilise these new infrastructure built by innovators, and continue their success.

2. We understand that the highest proportion of Products that online shoppers buy through Haitao are: Fashion (22%), beauty and cosmetics (20%), grocery (19%), sports and leisure products (18%). Why do you think this is the case and do you think Australia has a comparative advantage over these products? (Barry Li)

Barry Li: Sadly, I know nothing about fashion, nor beauty and cosmetics. I don’t have any figure, but I heard Japanese beauty and cosmetics products are more popular in China. I’m not familiar with sport and leisure products either, as this is my audit busy season I have pretty much no time for sports and leisure. I do believe Australia has excellent comparative advantage over some mineral resources and some agriculture products, but I don’t think the comparative advantage is a pre-requisite for transactions of goods. Sometimes, it is about choices and diversity. As China’s mid-class population grow, they want to try things from other countries, and they don’t even have to be better. They need to be exotic. Chinese people always prefer Chinese food, even for those who have lived overseas for decades. However, no one mind having burgers from time to time, because that it’s good to have a different flavour now and then.

3. Barry, in your book you impress us that Chinese consumers are changing Australia’s culture, not only in e-commerce. How is it so and would you like to comment on the behaviours of Chinese consumers that tend to be different from Australian or western consumers for e-commerce? What might be the next big thing for e-commerce?

Barry: That sounds like a false impression you got there “Chinese consumers are changing Australia’s culture”. I have never implied that in my book. It is tough to discuss Chinese consumer’s behaviour within a few minutes. It’s not one Chinese consumer, but 1.5 billion Chinese consumers and everyone behave differently according to their income/wealth/age/profession/location and a million other factors. You are asking what the next big thing for e-commerce is? This is the answer – big data. Before we had big data, we had to category consumers into a few very inaccurate categories to analyse their behaviour. But with today’s technology, especially the big data like Alibaba has collected, we can almost have a tailored experience for every consumer. Example, my login to Taobao shop would look completely different from my wife’s login. The first screen we see, and the recommended products would be based on our private data, which hopefully are secure, and not shared with other people for other purposes. However, it is not really the next big thing, it is happening today in China. In Australia, we have strict laws on how data are collected and used. So it will be the next big thing in Australia.

Does leadership have a nationality?

This is a speech delivered by Barry Li on the 20th of June 2018 at the China and Australia Culture Exchange Centre opening lunch.

Hello everyone. I’m invited by my colleague/friend Selena today to this lunch event, to talk about leadership and nationality. Today is also the opening day for Selena’s China and Australia Culture Exchange Centre. She also invited me to serve as the president of the club. I’m a very busy person, so I initially said no to both the president tile and the speech, but then she mentioned that she would buy me this lunch. I certainly wouldn’t say no to a free meal. So I’m here. And then she asked me for ideas for promotion of this event. To repay this free lunch, I offered to donate ten copies of my book to the China and Australia Culture Exchange Centre. That is about $300 market price. So overall I made a significant loss. That further proves the old saying – “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Therefore, I highly encourage everyone to pay for their lunch today; even Selena offers otherwise.

Jokes aside, food is getting cold so let’s go straight into the topic. Does leadership have a nationality? My answer is simple. YES. That concludes my speech, thank you, everyone. Now let’s dig in.

OK, that’s another joke. I’m going to talk about the difference in leadership by nationality. I don’t think I have the qualification to speak about leadership and nationalities all around the world, but I’m happy to present my view on the difference between Australian leadership and Chinese leadership. I’m going to talk based on both my book and some of my observations that I decided not to include in my book. Because I don’t want my book to become a banned book in China. I still need to go back there from time to time for the real Chinese food.

The way I see the difference between Australian leadership and Chinese leadership is the number of choices the leader offers. Let me give you one example. This is the menu of this restaurant. There are quite a lot of options for $15 dish including drink. Good value for money. But more important than the good value for money is the diversity of dishes you can choose. You can select the butter chicken, which is relatively small portion by the way. You may not be happy with your choice when you see the actual dish, but you won’t blame anyone, because you chose it yourself. You were given the options to choose whatever you like. This has been the case in Australia for probably most of the past 100 years. But during some part of that same period in China, the only choice most people had, was either to take whatever food there is or not eat.

Now let’s move on to leadership in business because I never talk about politics. Some old-style Chinese business leaders they are used to offer one item on the menu for their followers – “Do this”. “Get this done asap”. This is the way they got used to, and they expect the young generation to follow. This is like offering only one dish on this menu and ask everyone to choose the same dish. This is unfortunately not going to work well in the 21st century, even in China.

So would an excellent Australian leader do today? Like my boss, they would go: “Barry we need to solve this problem. We used to do this, but can you think of some better options?” I was suddenly empowered with the ability to explore options! Then, of course, I would actively search and find a better way to do the same task. But the trick is, in most cases, there is still just this one only way the problem can be solved. But I was not directed to do it; instead, I explored options then “decide” to do it. In order words, I spend more time doing the same thing. Then I go to my boss and say “I think we should do this”. Then my boss can say: “Cool. Let’s do this then. I know you are busy, but the deadline is next Monday. Don’t stay late, feel free to do it anytime that suits you”. This is called flexible hours. I was given the option to work whenever suits me. Great isn’t it? The trick is, I’m not working any less, but I’m happy with the flexibility because I was given a choice to do it when the kids are asleep, or on the weekend. If I work in a petrol shop, I will get penalty rates. I’m not, but I’m still happy because I have the menu. Working on the weekend is MY choice.

Now I think you can all see the difference between the two types of leadership styles I mentioned. I’m not going to say which one is better. In many cases, not having too many choices is a good thing. When I go into a busy Westfield car park, I prefer to have this only perfect spot available just for me. When there are too many parking spots, I end up with thinking that I didn’t park at the best one. Stupid isn’t it? That was a reason that my 20s were a big failure. I spent too much time explore the options and end up not focusing enough. And that is why today, after five years, I’m still doing Audit.

In conclusion, one of the big difference between Australian and Chinese leadership style is the options the leader give to people. We all like the power to choose. But I can’t say a choice is better than no choice. Since we have all chose our dish today, let’s dish in with no complaint. And remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.



80后作家Barry Li出生于文化大革命结束后不久。在中国生活了二十二年,与许许多多的中国留学生一样,他在大学本科毕业后来到了澳大利亚留学。在澳洲毕业并工作了几年以后,他带着妻子回到了中国寻找发展机会。出乎他们意料的是,就在他们离开中国的几年中,这个国家发生了翻天覆地的变化。一年之后,他们带着尚未出生的孩子离开了中国,正式移民澳大利亚。Barry本科毕业于对外经济贸易大学,在澳留学期间获得了麦考瑞大学商学硕士学位,现就职于新南威尔士州审计署,是一名审计师。《新中国人:我们如何改变澳洲》是他的处女作。






Brave young Chinese ‘briber’ should be commended

By Barry Li

Two weeks ago, a Chinese international student running for election on the University of Sydney Union board was disqualified for bribery and graffiti painting on campus walls. My initial reaction was of pity. No one taught this poor girl how to run a proper election campaign. How could she know any better? Chinese politics are not based on elections. It was great she tried; it was not a surprise she failed. I thought that was the end of the story.. [Read more]