Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Want to speak Mandarin? Easy — just study Hebrew

    Ariel Reingold: on his first visit to China
    Ariel Reingold: on his first visit to China

    AT only 17, Ariel Reingold has been named the best non-native Mandarin speaker in the country.

    And his secret? He gained the language knack by learning Hebrew for his barmitzvah.

    “It’s a very hard language to learn,” he said. “But my Hebrew lessons gave me a greater interest. It gave me a visual idea of how languages could be different.

    “The fact that I’ve already been to China also helped. I got to see the culture, the religions, and how people interact. You can’t beat being in the environment with native speakers as the best way to learn.”

    The Highgate School pupil from Finchley, north London, won himself another trip to Beijing as first prize in a Mandarin speaking contest run by the British Council and HSBC to promote the language here. But this one may be slightly more luxurious. His earlier visit, two years ago, saw him spend two months with his family back-packing.

    My Hebrew lessons gave me a visual idea of languages

    David Cameron spoke of his hope that other young people would learn the language during a recent visit to China. And Sir Martin Davidson, chief executive of the British Council said: “The UK’s future prosperity depends in no small part on our ability to communicate and build relationships with people from around the world.

    “China is a particularly important country for the UK.”

    Ariel saw off competition from students all over the UK who competed in regional heats to win their place in a grand final.

    He said: “I had to do a presentation in Mandarin for three minutes and then answer questions on it in Mandarin.

    The judges said my pronunciation was very good. I’m not fluent but I’m much better at speaking than writing.

    “By next year, I want to be fluent.”

    He chose to study the language as part of his GSCE options after doing a taster course in year eight.

    He is now in the first year of his A levels and plans to study medicine at university.

    He said: “I hope in the future I can uncover some links between British and Chinese medicine.”

Uk News

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson

Lee Harpin and Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson
World

Could Arabella Kushner, 5, save US-China relations?

Lianne Kolirin

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Could Arabella Kushner, 5, save US-China relations?
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Education news

Immanuel is top Jewish school in league tables

Simon Rocker

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Immanuel is top Jewish school in league tables
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity