Biggest Job Goes to China

My New Shenzhen Friend Holding a Copy of The Biggest Job, Mandarin Edition

Smiles are universal. So are expressions of concern, amazement, and disapproval. One discovery I made in China: When the language barrier forces you to pay close attention to eyes and expressions, that close attention causes that barrier to diminish. That’s only one of the lessons I learned last month.

Laura and I joined colleagues Haze Liff, Fan Luo, and Lindsay Mischel on a 2-week, 4-city signing and speaking tour to support the new Mandarin translation of The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have.  Last spring when one of our Chinese parents expressed interest in translating the book, we initially thought she was just being nice. When we learned that she leads one of the largest publishers of educational and parenting books in China — Green Beans Books — we started paying attention. Little did we know that these discussions would lead to the succession of enthusiastic SRO crowds that we experienced in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Xiamen.

We also could never have predicted that this trip would turn out to be one of the most profound memories of our personal and professional lives. One reason for this: I have never encountered a stronger learning attitude or more genuine curiosity than we experienced during these two weeks (11/4-18). But the main reason boils down to those smiles, those expressions. We saw…

Exuberance,
Appreciation,
Concern,
Imagination,
Role Playing,
Grins,
Acting,
Sharing,
and Public Speaking.

And when we did not know what was being said or written…


Fan and Haze demystified things for us.

Fan translates for Laura.
Haze works the easel.

It was mostly Moms, but we also got to work with some awesome Dads.

And each and every venue was outstanding with optimal technology.

But most of all, the smiles were nice.

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld