It’s not often one gets to write the words “Poor, poor Mark Zuckerberg.” But that’s the reaction this morning after video of Zuckerberg speaking in Mandarin for 30 minutes surfaced. The Facebook founder conducted a Chinese -anguage interview at Beijing’s Tsinghua University…and Internet commenters immediately began savaging him for having a heavy American accent when he speaks Chinese.
Zuckerberg, who says he learned Mandarin so he could speak to wife Priscilla Chan’s grandmother (though the hundreds of millions of potential Chinese Facebook users also, it’s safe to assume, sweeten the pot a little), did something completely admirable: dedicate hundreds of hours to learning a language that’s about from far from English as imaginable, while also running a global megacorporation.
Nonetheless, says The Daily Dot, Zuckerberg still caught flack for his accent. While millions of Americans still struggle with their high school Spanish, Zuckerberg is learning something fellow plutocrat and foreign language student Michael Bloomberg found out a long time ago: People can really be a bunch of haters sometimes.