If you’re taking Mandarin classes in Singapore, you’ve something in common with Mark Zuckerberg. Just like you, he too is learning Chinese. In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg surprised and won the hearts of the crowd at Tsinghua University in Beijing by speaking in Mandarin. Of course, his pronunciation wasn’t all that great, but not many paid much attention to it. The fact that such an important celebrity was making efforts to learn their culture and language left the audience impressed and spellbound.
Later, Mark revealed that he had started learning Chinese around 2011. First, he learned the language alone at the dinner table and later opted for a tutor—and that’s, of course, the best way go about it. Chinese is considered as one of the toughest languages to learn and Mark realized he needed the help of a pro to improve his Chinese. Take the hint from the man who’s done it and join language classes to learn Chinese in Singapore.
There are probably three main reasons why Mark learns Chinese:
The promise of better business opportunities
With China’s population above 1 billion and nearly 45 percent of them being internet users, the potential for business here is tremendous. So far, China has kept Facebook and other social media platforms out of the country. By giving his lecture in Chinese, Mark wanted to show his genuine interest in Chinese culture and language and improve his case for an entry into the Chinese market. Like others, he knows this is where the money is.
Another challenge, another conquest
However, the promise of greater opportunities on the business front was not the only reason for Mark to learn Chinese. When quipped why he’s learning Chinese, Mark Zuckerberg replied that he likes challenges. As you might know, learning Chinese is really taxing. Probably that’s why Mark picked Chinese.
Taking up new challenges is a hallmark of a growth mindset, of which Mark has demonstrated ample proof in his distinguished career so far. The noted development psychologist Carl Dweck believe that growth mindset—where you believe the effort to be the biggest driver of the progress instead of talent—is an important predictor of success in all walks of life, be it business, personal relationships, or academic.
His wife, Priscilla Chan, is ethnically Chinese
Learning Chinese helped Mark connect better with his wife’s family. Of course, the fact he had help available at home surely must have made things a little easier for him. When you’re learning a new language, speaking and practicing with a native is most beneficial. Constantly talking with and listening to someone who speaks Chinese helps you improve your vocabulary and diction fast.
Mark is said to have put in a lot of effort to be able to speak in Chinese to a full-packed audience at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He revealed that he studied and practice Chinese for 4 hours every day before his speech.
So take the cue from Mark Zuckerberg and practice Chinese daily, if not for 4 hours, at least for 20-30 minutes daily.