For the past six months or so I have been making a feeble attempt at learning Mandarin Chinese. As with any language learning, my studies have brought me to learn about Chinese history and culture and to interact with some wonderful Chinese people from all over the Giant of the Far East. Although my learning has been rather frustrating at times it has also been very encouraged and supported by generous, helpful and thoughtful Chinese friends.
Below is a video composed by the winner of a huge competition in China to present the world with the Beijing Olympic Games’ theme song. There were thousands of applicants. The song is not very profound nor will it start a new movement within music but it does not try to do either of these things. The song is inspirational, hopeful and makes me excited for the Olympic games to begin in China. The video features over a dozen popular Chinese singers, including the always entertaining Jackie Chan, who welcome all of us to Beijing in the spirit of competition and excellence. The first time I watched the video it was without subtitles and the only full sentence that I understood was the refrain, “Beijing welcomes you.” Thanks to Jenny Zhu from Chinesepod for bringing this video to my attention.
Videos like these make me happy to know several languages. The world is enormous and full of wondrous and beautiful variety and yet the global community is getting smaller everyday. By learning each other’s languages we bring ourselves closer, avoiding conflict and fostering understanding and mutual appreciation.
Filed under: Language Learning