I started learning English when I went to middle school at age 12. At that time my goal was to be able to read books in English…to be able to watch television or movies in its native language. One of my favorite books was Jane Eyre. I wanted to read more books like that but they were not available in Chinese translations.
The motivation is…I am curious, I want to learn more, I want to be able to do it by myself. I do not have to rely on the school system or my parents or a translator to show me where the good stuff is.
I joined TED in October 2011 because I was really inspired by the mission of this organization. We already have a lot of platforms to service news, gossip, celebrities. This is the first time we have a platform devoted to servicing ideas.
My idea in the talk is, reading can have a transformative effect on a person’s life.
“So if you know a foreign language, it is also fun to read your favorite books in two languages. Instead of lost in translation, I found there was much to gain.
The relationship between learning a language and an idea is, the language is to serve the expression and communication of this idea. The question that audience cares about most is does this guest have any interesting things to say? Not about his accent, not about his broadcast voice.
Your goal is to master this language so that it becomes your superpower. Your key to a whole new world, to a whole new experience. Don't let that fear of making mistakes prevent you from using a second language.
You are going to look good if you have something interesting to say.