Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore this language and I love every waking moment I can dedicate to it.
However – former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd one of my greatest Australian heroes – sums up – so perfectly – how I (often) feel about learning Chinese. Recently a video was leaked onto YouTube that shows him preparing a speech in Mandarin while he was still in government. (The video shows his reactions as he listens to several recording attempts of his speech). Excuse the profanities please. He’s clearly very frustrated with himself – no need to analyse this one too intensely. It’s kind of obvious.
As one could expect, Kevin Rudd was heavily criticized by the media but in my opinion what I see is a pretty mild (and very normal) frustrated reaction – that of a person actually required to use the language for diplomatic impact and influence. A bit of swearing yes… fair enough – but he’s just human after all and gets frustrated just like the rest of us. No one is perfect. Have a look and share your thoughts if you wish.
(PS: This is old news by now but in the last month there’s been ongoing tit-for-tat in the Australian labour party particularly involving the video below, so for more information to see how this video clip relates, read this article ‘Australia Power Struggle Erupts Onto YouTube‘. As I mentioned a pretty mild reaction in my mind but the media somehow always has a way of making things appear worse than they are.)
As you were perhaps not able to get a taste of Kevin Rudd’s humor nor Mandarin skills from the video above, I suggest you have a look at this second video if you’re interested: