So lets face it, like it or not, mandarin is the most spoken language in the world. Yes this is mainly due to the fact that 1.35 billion people live there (estimated 1.4 billion speakers worldwide); but nonetheless, it’s the language that will allow you to speak to the most people.
Now, going from the modern Latin alphabet (the one I’m typing in now) to mandarin glyphs is in no way an easy task; so Kaoru Kickuchi, of Nottingham University, started a, let’s say unconventional, way of encouraging foreigners to learn.
‘Sexy Mandarin‘ is an online language school where mandarin is taught by semi-naked Mandarin teachers. The founder, Kickuchi, a qualified architect and model who has appeared in FHM, said:
“If you go the textbook way with all these Chinese characters it just makes you intimidated. If you start with the colloquial way … or sexy clips it is a different story.”
Though there has been a lot of approval of the website from both China and the west, ‘Sexy Mandarin’ has received quite a lot disapproval from Chinese feminists. Annie Chan, chairwoman of Hong Kong’s Association for the Advancement of Feminism, said that the teaching website ‘exoticised’ Chinese women. The group say they are,
“vehemently opposed to gender stereotyping, especially anything that objectifies women as sex objects”
Though I agree with the fact we shouldn’t objectify women in general, I do believe that a woman should be able to make her own choice about it.
But I digress. The site’s first video “What time is it” has received over 800,000 hits and the website is becoming a very popular way to learn basic phrases for native English speakers.
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