BEIJING: After completing a three-week Mandarin course here, Datuk
Seri Najib Tun Razak’s son took everyone by surprise when he delivered a
speech in the language – and fluently.
The Prime Minister’s son not only pronounced the words correctly, but even used several phrases in his speech at a special course-completion ceremony here yesterday.
“He was hardworking during the course,” said Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) president Prof Chen Yulu.
Norashman who carries the Chinese name, Ji Ping, was awarded with a certificate and recognised as an alumni of the university.
“Although I was here for only three weeks, my command of Mandarin has improved a lot,” said Norashman in his speech. “I have also learned more about the Chinese culture and the Chinese community here.”
He said during his three-year study in the United States, he only had the chance to speak Mandarin in class and did not practise it after lessons were over.
“Mandarin is a language that needs constant practise because a different intonation of a word would carry a different meaning altogether,” he said.
“I have the perfect chance to practise the language at BFSU, as I have many local Chinese friends and Malaysian students studying Mandarin here,” he added.
Norashman felt that three weeks was too short a time and hoped to return to BFSU for an advanced Chinese course later on, a wish Rosmah said would be fulfilled.
“Najib has agreed to send Norashman for a one-month course at BFSU next year as well as to celebrate the university’s 70th anniversary as an alumni,” Rosmah said.
She said the Prime Minister wanted Norashman to master Mandarin so that it would be convenient for him to communicate with Malaysian Chinese in the language. — Bernama