As Chinese for kids continues to grow, I’ve noticed an interesting trend. A growing number of rich and powerful people are either studying Chinese themselves or having their kids learn it. While perhaps 10 years ago this would have seemed a bit odd, the growth and development of China has fueled speculation about its future importance in the world’s economy. So, here are four people who seem to place great importance on Chinese for kids or for themselves!
1. Jim Rogers
Legendary investor, author and treadmill walking interviewee, Jim Rogers got a late start to having a family. Although an American, he now resides in Singapore because he wants to give his girls the advantage of becoming fluent in Mandarin. As an investor who looks to forecast future trends, Mandarin learning is clearly something he’s willing to gamble on for his kids future.
2. President Obama’s Daughter
President Obama has been a big advocate for kids to learn Mandarin. His Million Strong campaign seeks to get 1M students learning Mandarin by 2020. While it is uncertain this program will be successful, President Obama’s children are also said to be learning Mandarin. It’s one thing to make a public policy but quite another for a politician to commit it to their household. It makes you wonder what he sees for his kids future.
3. Mark Zuckerberg
Yah, I’m sure you saw this one coming. Zuckerberg’s love for Chinese is no secret. His wife Priscilla Chan is a Chinese American and Zuckerberg has learned and made public speeches in Chinese, as well. While it’s no mystery why Facebook is trying to find a way into China, the personal passion and interest to learn Mandarin are commendable. I no doubt Mark and Priscilla will further encourage their child to learn, too.
4. President Donald Trump’s Granddaughter
This one threw me for a loop when I first saw the video. Donald Trump’s granddaughter is proficient in Mandarin. As a billionaire, global businessman and now president, it’s quite fascinating to see such an emphasis the Trumps has placed on learning Mandarin. They must see a substantial “investment opportunity” in their granddaughter to do this. Perhaps he think Chinese for kids is of ‘yuge’ importance?
So, what do you think? All coincidence? What do rich and powerful people know which is causing them or their family to learn? Leave your comments and thoughts below!