Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Friday, Nov 24, 2017
Search
Archive
English>>

Trump’s granddaughter has a rival who speaks Mandarin like a Chinese news anchor

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    13:54, November 23, 2017

US President Trump's granddaughter, Arabella, sings a song in Mandarin (Screenshot)

As we all know by now, US President Donald Trump proudly showed off a video of his granddaughter Arabella singing in Mandarin and reciting classical Chinese poetry during his first official visit to China.

The “Hello, Grandpa Xi. Hello, Grandma Peng” video was Trump’s way of trying to build a more personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who gave Arabella an “A+” for her performance.

The video of his granddaughter singing and reciting poems in Mandarin also played a starring role at a state dinner in Beijing. “In a moment, we will view a video of my granddaughter, Arabella, reciting traditional Chinese songs and poetry about your country’s serene beauty and treasured customs,” Trump said on November 9 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Indeed, whether she’s singing Chinese songs or reciting Chinese poetry, Arabella’s language skills are quite impressive. After all, Arabella has been learning Mandarin for years. She started learning Mandarin when she was just 18 months old, studying both with a Chinese nanny and also at private language school. Now, all three of Ivanka’s children study Mandarin, according to media reports.

But recently, the daughter of another American businessman has been giving Trump’s talented granddaughter a run for her money. The Mandarin-speaking girl who has stolen the spotlight of late is a blond-haired girl nicknamed Happy, the daughter of world-renowned investor Jim Rogers.

This screenshot shows the daughters of Jim Rogers speaking Mandarin Chinese

Close your eyes and listen to her and you will think she is a native Chinese speaker. Happy sounds just like a professional Chinese news anchor. In fact, her Chinese is so good that many Chinese people have trouble believing their ears. “Roger’s daughter speaks better Mandarin than most Chinese people,” said one net user. “She makes me feel inferior. But won’t Trump lose face from this?” a net user joked.

For years, Rogers has been encouraging his daughters and other children to learn and practice Mandarin because, in his opinion, America is on the decline and the future belongs to China. “If the 19th century belonged to Britain, and the 20th century to the United States. Then the 21st century will surely belong to China,” he said. “Make sure your kids learn Chinese.”

Jim Rogers

As Rogers pointed out, there is good reason why the world’s elite, from the Trump family to royal families, are rushing to teach their kids Mandarin. In his opinion, Mandarin will become the next global language so learning it will give children an advantage in life in the 21st century. But rather than send his children to a private language school in Manhattan, Rogers moved his family from New York to Singapore so that his children could learn both Chinese and English in a Mandarin-speaking environment.

In his book “A Gift to My Children,” Rogers wrote about the importance of Chinese. “We moved to Asia so that both of you could attend Chinese schools and use Mandarin in everyday life while experiencing both Asian and Western cultures,” he wrote. “Probably the best advice I can give to anyone, anywhere in the world, is to have your children and grandchildren learn Mandarin.”

Judging from Happy’s performances, it appears that Roger’s decision to immerse his children in a Mandarin-speaking environment has paid off. Not only do both his daughters speak fluent Mandarin, but the family has a passion for the future of Asia. “If you want to engage with the Chinese, the more you know about China, the better,” he said.

In recent years, a growing number of Americans have realized that Mandarin learning is a must. The US Department of Education reported that Mandarin is the second most popular dual-language program implemented by individual states in 2013, with 14 states reporting Chinese programs.

According to a report by Quartz, the US, with some help from China, has been trying to level the playing field so that even students whose families don’t have a lot of resources have a chance to learn Mandarin.

In 2015, for example, the US government initiated the “1 Million Strong” initiative, which aims to encourage one million American students, from kindergarten to high school, to learn Mandarin in five years. “If our countries are going to do more together around the world, then speaking each other’s language, truly understanding each other, is a good place to start,” said former president Barack Obama when announcing the initiative with President Xi.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Read

Key Words