Chinese Input Support

Without switching to a Chinese locale (or having your menus and stuff switched to Chinese). These steps worked for me in Karmic.
  1. Go to System > Administration > Language Support > Install / Remove Languages
  2. Select Chinese (simplified) and check all the components available
  3. From Synaptic Package Manager, install scim and scim-pinyin
  4. Start Terminal and run im-switch -c and choose “scim-bridge”
  5. Reboot
  6. Use control-space to toggle the Chinese/pinyin IME 就可以写中文了!

Chinese IME in action

Help gleaned from here mainly.