WATCH: Mark Zuckerberg Somehow Found the Time to Learn Mandarin
Marc Zuckerberg has a lot of things going on. Chief among them, of course: Facebook. The dude runs the largest social network site on the planet, which one would assume takes a lot of time.
But clearly, that doesn't stop him from pursuing other goals. On Wednesday, speaking at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Zuckerberg casually revealed that he has taught himself Mandarin. This wasn't just a rehearsed intro – he conducted the entire 30-minute question and answer period in the Chinese dialect, even cracking some jokes. While some bloggers critiqued his accent (one wrote he sounded like "an articulate seven-year-old with a mouth full of marbles,") others were more impressed, particularly by his grasp of vocabulary and grammar.
Zuckerberg is famous for setting one big personal goal per year; some of them have been a little silly (wearing a tie to work every day, 2009), others kind of bizarre (only eating animals he personally slaughtered, 2011). But his goal for 2010, to learn Mandarin, – "I have always been interested in Chinese culture and learning a language is a great way to learn about a culture," he wrote -- was both ambitious and practical.
At the moment, Facebook is still banned in China. While Zuckerberg's sudden proficiency in Mandarin won't automatically change that, of course, it will help him spread Facebook evangelism in the most populous country in the world.
Check out the Q&A session below, and watch the delighted reactions from the audience when Zuckerberg kicks things off.