Jessica Beinecke: A Petite, Blond hair, Blue eyes, Midwestern girl who can speak Fluent Mandarin Chinese, OMG!
Just when you think that you’ve seen it all on the internet there comes an article that shocks you back into the realization that the internet really is the “final frontier!” That’s what happened when I came across an article in the Atlantic (linking to an earlier Washington Post piece) which was an interview with Jessica Beinecke who is the host for Voice of America (VOA) and the star of her own VOA produced web video show called “OMG 美语” which means “Oh My Goodness, American Language!” The Atlantic article by Damian Ma talks about her viral videos on the Chinese version of YouTube called Youku and her interaction in Mandarin with her millions of fans in Mainland China, Taiwan and beyond. Now she’s on YouTube and getting more and more popular. Kind of like the younger, more beautiful Mark Roswell (a.k.a. Da Shan 大山）
After watching the episode you might ask yourself, How did she get so good at Chinese? The Atlantic article asked that too. Her response:
I have the equivalent of about the fourth year Chinese language level. I reached fluency in 1.5 years, thanks to Middlebury College’s Chinese language programs.
Wow, that must be a natural ability right there because I was no where near fluency by 1 and a half years. WOW!
Or you might ask the question that they had in the Washington Post article which was this: How can…
“a petite blond Midwesterner, who is not Chinese and only began studying the language five years ago, become an iconic translator of American slang for pop-culture-hungry Chinese fans?”
Good question. But then again, that’s what the internet is all about, isn’t it?
Other posts about Westerners speaking Chinese.
Foreigners Speaking Chinese – This is an old comic we did based on a true story of my Chinese mistakes!
Billions Speak Chinese – a comic about how frustrating dialects can be in Chinese.
How to Scare a Foreigner - Speak Chinese to them? No give them this!
3 Questions for Foreigners after a trip to China – just plain silly!