Listen to this American teenager in S’pore speak Mandarin better than most Chinese S’poreans
It'll make you do a double take for sure, but there's no dubbing here.
The Best of You Exhibition
19 September 2019 - 22 September 2019, 1000h-2100h
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This is Happy Rogers.
She’s 14 years old, an American, and attends Nanyang Girls High School.
She also went to Nanyang Primary School, and has lived in Singapore for the past 10 years.
And she also speaks better Mandarin than most of us who likely spent much longer learning it.
Here’s her at a bilingual speech competition in January this year:
And here she talks about her old house in New York, where her family returned over Christmas:
Rogers is the elder daughter of Jim Rogers, a prominent American investor who started Quantum Fund, a prominent hedge fund, with George Soros, another prominent investor. If you watch business news, you might’ve seen him in his trademark patterned bowties on TV before:
She first started putting up videos of herself speaking Chinese on YouTube in 2015, on a channel called “The Blonde Chinese”. This one, for instance, shows her immense fluency and bilingualism — note even the inflexions and modulation of tonality in her speech:
One of the first videos she put up, in fact, was her singing a Chinese song:
Her younger sister, Bee, is still in Nanyang Primary, where in a 2015 Wall Street Journal interview Jim Rogers said students are taught in English and Mandarin on alternate weeks. Naturally, therefore, her command of spoken Chinese is no less impeccable:
Guess it just shows you can be effectively bilingual — you just have to put your mind to it.
Meanwhile, please excuse us while we retreat to a corner to feel sorry for ourselves and our jiak kan tang state.
Here’s an article you should check out:
Top photo via Instagram user @theblondechinese