23 Oct Thanks Mark Zuckerberg! Now China knows we’re stupid
China, which has dozens of official languages, is now mocking Americans for being impressed by knowledge of just one.
“U.S. media wowed after Mark Zuckerberg conducts Tsinghua University Q&A in Chinese,” reads a South Morning China Post headline about the Facebook CEO’s Wednesday speaking engagement. “Judging by the reaction in the U.S. press, a reader would be forgiven for thinking this was the first time an American had spoken a foreign language,” James Griffiths goes on to write.
The story points to a handful of America’s hyperbolic headlines responding to the 30-minute Q&A video Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page:
• Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin, Blows Everyone’s Mind—Wired
• Of Course Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Fluent Mandarin—Mashable
• Mark Zuckerberg nails a Q&A in Chinese like it’s no big deal—Silicon Valley Business Journal
Mandarin, or Putonghua as it is known in China, is the official language of the mainland, and the one Zuckerberg spoke in his Q&A. What the China Post story isn’t so gauche as to point out is that there are 298 living languages in various states of use throughout China’s territories. Many citizens speak at least two, and more than a few also know English.