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You don't have to logoff your English environment and then login to your Chinese environment, all you have to do while in your English environment is open a terminal window (e.g. Konsole in KDE does the trick) and just log into your Chinese user in that console.
Then you can run scim and whatever application you want to type Chinese in. E.g. :
$ su chinese_user
$ scim & oowriter
This will run scim and open Open Office Writer at the same time...
So you can be logged in to two (or more) different user environments at the same time and swap between them with ease...simple and cool, huh!