So, I’m trying to learn Mandarin right now, in order to be able to communicate when I go visit my parents in China. I’m learning from a student here at UM, for a modest per hour wage. However apparently some people think that all those tones and characters will just jump into your brain if you throw enough money at them.
In Australia, the former Federal Government’s Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone’s obsession with learning Chinese Mandarin has been revealed to the public. The public that is footing the bill estimated to be worth AUD$70,000 (RMB430,000 or USD$55,000).
Yikes. But at least she mastered the language, right? Right? RIGHT?!!
However, she failed to impress a seasoned Mandarin-speaking businessman when she delivered a speech in Mandarin in Canberra last year. The man described her effort as excruciating.
Now, with China becoming more and more involved in global politics its certainly a worthwhile endeavor to learn how to speak Chinese. But isn’t it counter-productive to deliver speeches that native Mandarin speakers describe as “excruciating”….I mean if thats all $55,000-worth of lessons can buy she either had a terrible tutor or just wasn’t paying attention.
Hat tip charlie for the story.