Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg caused a sensation on Twitter and probably Facebook when he spoke to a Chinese audience in (seemingly) fluent Mandarin. Zuck has been learning the language since 2010, and he is married to a Chinese woman (who was born in the States). We asked one of our Chinese language tutors what she thought of his language skills and she rated them 6/10 (she is a tough teacher). His pronunciation is a little off, but she gave him credit for persevering in a difficult language.
Zuckerberg is a very driven individual and he sets goals for himself constantly. Famously, in one year he insisted on only eating meat that he had killed. He is also one of the richest people on the planet, which indicates that he does work pretty hard already.
Our tutors are always encouraging our students to set both realistic short-term goals and more sophisticated longer term goals. It makes sense to add direction and structure to your courses rather than just saying "I want to learn German."
Speak Fluent Mandarin
He has picked one of the most difficult foreign languages to learn, but he has reasons for it - both personally and in business. He manages to make a joke or two in the language, which is very impressive, but Mandarin is a language where tone is important, and his American accent does seem to be obvious.
Find the Time
Zuckerberg had a one-to-one Mandarin language tutor who came to his house several mornings a week to teach him. As somebody with hardly any free time, he made the effort. We have another student who is the head of an insurance company in London who has our French teacher teach him in his car between the office and home. You just have to find the time if you want to speak the language.
If you would like to learn Mandarin or any other foreign language with dedicated private language teachers, please call 020 3566 0145, e-mail us or fill in the form on this page.