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Mark Zuckerberg Is Learning Chinese. Here’s Why You Should, Too

INC – Glenn Leibowitz

“I’ve been following Mark Zuckerberg’s path to mastering Mandarin Chinese since his speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing in October 2014. At that event, Mark bravely managed to deliver his speech and answer questions from the audience – entirely in Chinese. Yes, as one expert noted at the time, he mangled his grammar and pronunciation. But he did what few (if any) CEOs of multi-billion-dollar companies have done during their business trips to China: He took the time to learn and speak the language. During the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in February last year, Mark and his wife Priscilla recorded a video with their adorable newborn daughter, Max. Again, Zuckerberg put his Mandarin chops on display for the entire world to hear.”(more)

Critical languages are vital for internationalisation

University World News – Lauren Kardos

The United States needs to encourage more students to take up critical languages. This could benefit individual students, but could also help the US develop a more culturally sensitive and globally minded populace. Study abroad in the United States is promoted to students as a way to obtain international experience, enhance career prospects and grow in the workplace. Especially during these short-term and long-term opportunities, learning a second language is encouraged as a way to become competitive in the global workforce.”(more)

5 languages that are hard to master, but will pay off forever

Business Insider – Amie Cain

“Just because learning languages can be a difficult process, doesn’t mean that you should just give up. Picking up another language can open so many doors in your personal and professional life. One 2015 Quora post titled “As a person with English as my first language, what would be the most useful foreign language that I could learn?” covered this topic quite extensively. Using Quora poster Sanda Golcea’s list of the most spoken languages in the world by native speakers and number of countries, here are five languages that might be a bit trickier for English speakers to master, but are definitely worth the effort:.”(more)

Beijing promotes low-paid college grads to startup CEOs


“That attitude finds an echo in high places; recent graduates who start their own businesses are being hailed in state media as a new creative class that will build China’s Silicon Valley.”Creatives show the vitality of entrepreneurship and innovation among the people, and such creativity will serve as a lasting engine of China’s economic growth,” Premier Li Keqiang said in January. “I will stoke the fire of innovation with more wood.””(more)

Can 1 Million American Students Learn Mandarin?

Foreign Policy – Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

“When U.S. President Barack Obama announced the 100,000 Strong Initiative in November 2009, setting the goal of sending 100,000 American students to study in China by 2014, it seemed like a lofty aspiration. In the 2008-2009 academic year, only 13,674 American students studied abroad in China. But that number rose steadily over the next five years, with help from private donations and Chinese government scholarships, and in July 2014 Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the goal had been met. Now the American president’s back with an even bigger goal and one closer to home. On Sept. 25, in a joint press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is wrapping up an official state visit, Obama announced the launch of “1 Million Strong,” an initiative that aims to bring the total number of stateside learners of Mandarin Chinese to 1 million by the year 2020. “If our countries are going to do more together around the world,” said Obama, ‘then speaking each other’s language, truly understanding each other, is a good place to start.’.”(more)

Language learning frenzy

Global Times – Xie Wenting

“With the massive uptake of English language learning in China over the past decades, more and more parents are starting to think that being bilingual is not enough. Seeking to give their kids that exclusive leg up, increasing numbers of parents are encouraging their children to learn a third and even fourth language.” (more)