Thursday, October 23, 2014

 

How do you say "wow" in Chinese? Ask to Mark Zuckerburg

Mark Zuckerburg, Fluent In Mandarin? Zuck Had A Trick Up His Sleeve For His Chinese Audience.

Why Mandarin Chinese Is So Difficult to Learn?





















He Talks About His Mandarin (In Mandarin)



Zuckerberg told the students that his wife, Priscilla, will sometimes offer critiques of his Mandarin. When the students asked if his Chinese was better than hers, he said that he had a “listening problem.”

    My listening is very weak. One day, I asked her why is my listening in Chinese so bad. She told me, “Your listening in English is also bad.”


His Words of Advice For Tsinghua’s Students (In Mandarin)
Zuckerberg started by complimenting the student body at Tsinghua University, which is known as the “MIT of China,” noting that some have become part of his team.


    I think the students at Tsinghua University are very good. Facebook has over 140 alumni from Tsinghua. Every year we come to China to hire from the best cities. Last month, we hired 20 Chinese students.

He also gave the students advice on starting their own tech companies, encouraging them to follow their dreams.

    The best companies are created not just because an innovator wanted to create a company. It’s because the innovator wanted to change the world…. Most innovators will give up, but the best innovators do not. So believe in your mission. Don’t give up. This is very important.

Mark Zuckerberg Shows Off His Mandarin Chinese Skills

Mark Zuckerberg is a man of many accomplishments. A computer programming whiz who famously co-founded "The Facebook" in his Harvard University dorm. An entrepreneur. A philanthropist. A person who warranted a wax sculpture. And now, he's a conversant Mandarin Chinese speaker.

As he explained in a Q & A conducted entirely in Mandarin, so many of his Chinese-American wife's family members speak in only Mandarin that he decided to learn. He's studied it since 2010 and this week felt confident enough in his skills to take questions in Mandarin Chinese at a forum at a Beijing university often called "the MIT of China," Tsinghua University.

The audience gasped and broke into applause when Zuckerberg took the microphone and greeted them in Mandarin, saying 大家好 "Da jia hao!" (Hello, everyone.)

If you haven't seen it, check it out:

Zuckerberg went on to explain — in Mandarin — that his wife's grandma loved it when he was able to ask in Chinese for her blessing to marry his wife, Priscilla Chan. And that he loves a challenge, and Mandarin is considered one of the most difficult languages for an English speaker to learn.

And we should mention that while Zuckerberg is impressive in his ability to answer questions and speak in full sentences, he is not a good Chinese speaker. That's because the language is tonal. For example, "ma" could mean horse, hemp, mom or scold, depending on which tone you use. Zuckerberg's tones are all off, but since he can speak in sentences, the context made him intelligible.

Zuckerberg, in fact, opened his Tsinghua talk with how his Mandarin is lousy. And he joked in Washington, D.C., last year that he told his wife he was a terrible listener in Chinese. She replied, "Your listening is bad in English, too."


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