I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Buying a Chinese book

As the translators didn't reply (see my previous article), I decided to seek help elsewhere. I sent a message to one of the Yahoo groups I belong to: the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (also see the CSFG website csfg.wordpress.com/).

The CSFG Yahoo group consists of more than 200 people interested in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and/or Horror. It is a bunch of enthusiastic and active people and, although the group is based in Canberra, Australia, it attracts members from everywhere.

I thought: the book I'm trying to buy in Chinese has nothing to do with Speculative Fiction, but some of the CSFGers might be able to help. They are always very available.

And it worked! Robin Shortt sent me all the information I needed. Robin, if you are reading this, thanks again.

And here is how you can buy a book in Chinese without understanding a word of it:

  1. Use the web browser Chrome, which you can download from google.com/chrome. The reason for this is that it can automatically translate web pages from Chinese (simplified Han) to English. It doesn't translate the text inside buttons, but sometimes you can see the corresponding URL by placing the cursor over them.
  2. Go to amazon.cn. It offered my book cheaper than the other five online bookshops I could find. This was also a tip from Robin.
  3. Create a user ID. You will not be able to use your "Western" user ID that is valid with amazon UK, US, DE, FR, etc.
  4. When you order a book, to be able to enter your address outside China, you will have to click on the link that is above the form to enter a Chinese address. It looks like this: 海外地址
  5. Pay with a credit card.

I paid 41.30 for the book and 110.00 for shipping.  More or less AUD 23.30.

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