The Power of Languages


In one of the presentation in class, we learned about the CEOs of many famous brands, their reputations, charismas, contributions and more. One of the world-renown CEOs today that I stumbled upon on Facebook is ironically, the CEO and the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. I am sure that not many of you are aware of his secret gimmick that makes him welcomed worldwide.

Mark Zuckerberg can speak Mandarin quite fluently. As most of us know, he has a Chinese Wife and I think this is one of the main reasons he acquires the Mandarin speaking skills.

In the video, he greets the crowd and says that he is happy to be here and he loves this city. He says,”My Mandarin is bad but I am willing to learn. Maybe I need more practice.” There are 3 reasons he learns Chinese. First, his wife is a Chinese and her family only speaks Mandarin and he would like to communicate with them. Second, he wants to learn about Chinese culture and he thinks that by learning languages it can help him understand cultures better. Third, he likes challenges.

Languages are powerful channels of communication. In the present world, English is the universal language, and Chinese is the most spoken language. With this newly acquired language, Zuckerberg not only can communicate with his in-laws, he can also gain some fame from the Chinese speaking countries such as China, Taiwan, and maybe Singapore and Malaysia. By speaking a common language, it reduces the distance between people of different cultures and this is why he receives great welcome in the Chinese community and greatly impressed them just by uttering a few simple Mandarin sentences.

Language is a vital tool in advertising and martketing because it relates directly to a certain culture and it speaks to a particular community. That is why we have the same ads in different languages across the world. In this case, Zuckerberg represents his brand- Facebook and he is seen as a brand, when you see Mark Zuckerberg you think of Facebook and nothing else. So, he utilizes his skill in Mandarin to venture in to a new market in China where Facebook is banned. We can see its effectiveness in the expressions of the audience and the reactions they gave when Zuckerberg shows his skill; they were astonished.

No doubt that it is important to understand the culture of a different country to better understand the perceptions of the community, it will be a plus if we acquire some skills in the language that can communicate to the specific crowd so that it will enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the message we try to get across.


Mark Zuckerberg speaking chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing! (2014, October 22). Retrieved October 23, 2014.


3 thoughts on “The Power of Languages

  1. What is Zuckerberg’s purpose for reaching out to the Chinese audience, if China has banned Facebook? I wonder if he has some new venture in the works…


  2. I couldn’t agree more with you. Knowing more than one language is a huge help in accessing an unfamiliar culture. For advertising and pr, you can’t always have the same campaigns work overseas. The Chinese market is different from the South American market, and so on and so forth. In all things, understand other cultures is important because it can help you communicate what you’re trying to say without being misunderstood or offending someone.


  3. It is quite interesting that Mark Zuckerbeg is speaking to the people of China when Facebook is banned there. Regardless, I have a lot of respect for him and his ability to speak Mandarin. This comes to show how he is appreciative of other cultures and can connect with them in that way.


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