tarvos wrote:By the way, there are good examples here of people that have done so and derived benefit from it: a Dutch journalist, photographer annex doctor made a tv documentary on the inner workings and cultural particularities of China in a six-parter where he travelled along the Yangtze river. Now, this man had lived in China before and had learned Mandarin well - so well that he conducted all his interviews with Chinese people IN MANDARIN. This led to many situations where people, surprised at the foreigner not only speaking Mandarin but mastering it well, leading them to open up massively and give unique insights into the culture - ones that no anglophone journalist would ever have received without the cultural and linguistic knowledge of this journalist. It really boosted the quality of the production - and something as simple as having worked on your Mandarin effectively caused that result. Of course, he is a clever young man, being a qualified physician as well as a journalist and photographer and speaking fluent Mandarin - but the fact he put in that effort, learned it well, and eventually got more out of his stay in China than most people that live there speaking English in Sanlitun do for years, reveals what the use of knowing Mandarin well is - and how much the Dutch culture should continue to ingrain this mentality into the youngsters. Because he's not the only one to have done this - there are more examples of such journalism in the Netherlands.
Thank you! A very inspirative story. Something to counter all those "why don't you put the time into medicine instead of useless languages, as you can already speak English?" types of comments. This guy is much better than I am likely to become, with broader and deeper education, which I don't doubt he acquired in spite of the system (there are so many people, unfortunately across Europe and perhaps the world, who think "oh, he studied medicine, so he has to spend his whole life serving us and not to waste time on any other dreams of his"). He found a wonderful way to use his talents and all the years of hard work he must have invested in developping them.
Thanks, I love success stories like this. They give me hope.