Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kevin Rudd, Can You Really Speak Mandarin?

Kevin Rudd, the leader of federal Australian Labor Party, was recently caught by Julian Morrow at a press conference for faking his Chinese ability.


I personally was impressed by Julian Morrow's accurate mandarin pronunciation as well as the usage of slang term "smart ass".

Wired magazine, you have so much to learn!


  1. Just a question, Did julian say "Ass I am dog whore" at any point, or was the "proper translation" just a joke?

  2. The two sentences spoken by Julian Morrow were correct Mandarin Chinese.

    The caption shown after "proper translation" was just a joke by Chasers.

  3. What do you think of Kevin Rudd's Mandarin?


  4. So... I'll admit my Mandarin isn't the best, but I'm having trouble parsing "Ni yiwei ni henle bu qi la" to get anything involving "you're being a smartass." What's the idiom there?

  5. It is a joke.

    Basically what Julian was trying to illustrate that Kevin Rudd is just throwing Chinese phrases out without fully understand the language.

  6. Ok, I thought the initial two phrases by Julian were correctly translated. It's a funny clip, though! You'd think someone running for public office would be bright enough to figure out that they couldn't get away forever with that before someone realized they didn't really speak the language... oh, wait, nevermind.

  7. You see this, Tian? I don't know Chinese but it sounds real to me.

  8. To steve:

    I cant say since I'm not Chinese or learning the language - but I've heard Rudd did study Chinese Extensively through Uni and has been there a few times ...

    I'd highly doubt he'd lie about speaking the language, particularly on TV, particularly in a country which is highly multicultural - and thus has a rather extensive Chinese community ...

    Just saying though.

  9. Tian, watch this interview. Do you think he memorised this entire thing? He can speak the language.

  10. Proper translation was a joke. He actually said those things properly.

    Also Kevin Rudd definitely speaks mandarin. His pronunciation is way too good to be just throwing a few phrases around. Most white people trying to speak mandarin without actually knowing it are very heavily accented.

  11. Julian Morrow's Mandarin pronounciation was way below the standard of the the PM's. From what I heard from PM's privious Mandarin speeches I trust that he has truly mastered the language.
    JM's question in chinese sounded like a publicity stun and his later comments on the PM's linguistic ability in chinese would only fool non-chinese speaking audience. (I want to be fair to all) PM should not have joked about possible arrest by some authority for JM's misbehaviour. PM was making a political statement just short of the best taste. (all were happening too fast and jokes could get out of hand...Jokes are jokes, which should not taken too seriously. (LOL)