Tuesday, July 01, 2008

David Emerson is a True Mandarin?

Gary Mason's column in Saturday's Globe and Mail entitled "Will Emerson re-enter the fray in a new riding?" (p.A11) says: "Mr. Emerson speaks fluent Chinese and is married to a Chinese-Canadian."

Seems that the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and I are more alike than I had previously been aware!

A fluent Mandarin speaking Minister of Foreign Affairs would certainly be a great boon for Canada.

Strange that this information about David Emerson's fluency in Chinese does not seem to have been reported in any of the Canadian-Chinese media reports about our new Foreign Minister that I have seen.

This claim in The Globe and Mail about Mr. Emerson reminds me that in years past the Chinese media reported that the Chinese Premier at the time, Zhou Enlai, was fluent in 8 languages. But despite his alleged amazing linguistic skills. he used interpreters in his meetings with non-Chinese as a way to gain strategic advantage in negotiations.

1 comment:

Pat Brousseau said...

Did the article specifically state he is a Mandarin speaker, or just "Chinese"?

Given that his wife's name is Theresa Yuek-Si Tang and Emerson's gotten into hot water before for using Cantonese insults towards Jack Layton (another Cantonese speaker), pending evidence to the contrary I don't think Emerson is a fluent speaker of Mandarin.