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Surprise! Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Fluent (Broken) Chinese!

Were they laughing with him, or at him?

Michael Cruickshank
Surprise! Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Fluent (Broken) Chinese!© 2018 Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most hugely influential people in the tech world right now. As the founder and CEO of the Facebook social network, his decisions affect the way over a billion people across the world will communicate. With all this however, Zuckerberg seems to be having a few communication problems of his own.

For several years now it has been known that Mark has been learning Chinese, something of a personal pet project of his, possibly prompted by his recently married Chinese wife, Priscilla Chan. Now he has for the first time been recorded at length speaking in the language, prompting many to claim he is “fluent” in the language.

Mark’s pronunciation of Chinese was appallingly bad

The young billionaire recently hosted a Q&A session in Chinese at the prestigious Tsinghua University (清华大学) in Beijing. Throughout the 30 minutes session, he managed to answer audiences questions in Chinese with little help, and even managed to make a few jokes. This being said, he shouldn’t be considered fluent by anything but the broadest definitions of the word. Mark’s pronunciation of Chinese was appallingly bad, and while speaking he effectively ignored the notoriously difficult tonal nature of Mandarin.  

Watch Zuckerberg struggle to speak ‘fluent’ Mandarin, and at one point embarrassingly state that Facebook has “11(十一) users” rather than “1 billion (十亿)” in the video below:  



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