Mark Zuckerberg stunned an audience in Beijing by conducting a 30-minute question and answer session in Mandarin.
That is really impressive stuff and goes to show the value of learning a foreign language, especially a language that is eastward looking.
Mandarin is a seriously tough language to handle but Zuckerberg does a great job..RESPECT!
The Facebook chief executive was known to have been studying the language for years but that was all anyone really knew up until yesterday.
In the Q&A at Tsinghua University Zuckerberg began by apologising. He told the audience of students and faculty members, in Mandarin, that his Chinese was “pretty terrible”. It soon became clear he was being a little modest. Before long he was telling jokes in Mandarin.
After the event Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page:
“I did my first ever public Q&A in Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing! We discussed connecting the world, Internet.org, innovation and the early days of Facebook. Tsinghua is an amazing centre of learning and research and it has been inspiring to be with so many talented future Chinese leaders.”
Why Mandarin Chinese? Zuck explained, again in Mandarin, that there were three reasons…
The first was that his wife Priscilla Chan, who he married in 2012, is from a Chinese family. He asked his mother-in-law for her hand in marriage in Mandarin.
The other reasons were that he liked Chinese culture, and he liked a challenge.
Facebook has been banned in China since 2009 and Mr Zuckerberg’s efforts may soon reverse the ban, opening up a huge market, and proving once again that the world is, without any doubt, pivoting towards Eurasia.
We say to all men out there…learn a language!