Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had a half-an-hour talk in Tsinghua University in Beijing on Wednesday (Oct 22). He surprised and amazed the audience by having the talk in Mandarin Chinese! His tones were not perfect, but good enough to be understood. It is quite impressing.
OK, why does Mark Zuckerberg learn Chinese? He mentioned 3 reasons:
1. His wife, Priscilla Chan, is a Chinese. Her family speak Chinese. Mark obviously impressed her grandmother when he spoke Chinese to her!
2. From business standpoint of view, he wants to study Chinese so to better understand the culture. He has plans for Facebook to enter China and a good grasp of the culture would definitely help.
3. As Mark Zuckerberg put, “I like challenges”. This explains why he has achieved so much — not only his success in her career, but also picking up Chinese which is one of the hardest language to learn, esp. at adulthood.
When you look at Mark in this video, you will notice how relaxed he was, even he was speaking a newly learned language and in front of a group of highly educated people (Tsinghua University is one of the very top universities in China). He was very confident, apparently enjoying speaking Mandarin, quite opposite to most adults who feel self-conscious when they speak a new language. But that is how all language skills can be practiced and improved along the way. Eventually the language will be mastered.
Bravo, Mark Zuckerberg!