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PM's Son Delivers Speech In Mandarin At Beijing Foreign Studies University | 02/07/2010
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BEIJING, July 2 2010 (Bernama) -- A three-week course to enhance proficiency in Mandarin proved fruitful for the Malaysian prime minister's son, Norashman Razak, when he delivered a speech in the language, winning applause from his teachers and fellow students at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU).

Norashman not only pronounced the words correctly, but also used many phrases in his speech and was hardworking during the course, said BFSU president Prof Chen Yulu at a special course-completion ceremony for Norashman, here Friday.

Norashman who carries the Chinese name, Ji Ping, was awarded with a certificate and recognised as an alumni of the university. Also present at the ceremony were the prime minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and officials from the Malaysian embassy here.

"Although I am here for only three weeks, my command of Mandarin has improved a lot. I have also learned more about Chinese culture and the Chinese community here," said Norashman in his speech.

He said that during his three-year study in the United States, he only had the chance to speak Mandarin in class and had little opportunity to practise it outside class.

"Mandarin is a language that needs constant practice because incorrect intonation of a word carries a different meaning altogether for the word.

"I have the perfect chance to practise the language at BFSU, as I have many local Chinese friends and Malaysian students studying Mandarin here.

"Some of the Malaysian students here have only been learning Mandarin for a year but they are good," he said.

Norashman felt that three weeks here was rather short for him, and he wished to come back to BFSU for an advance Chinese course later on.

His wish to return to BFSU would be fulfilled, according to Rosmah, as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had agreed to send Norashman for a one-month course at BFSU next year as well as to celebrate BFSU's 70th anniversary as an alumni.

She said the prime minister wanted Norashman to master Mandarin so that it would be more convenient for him to communicate with the Malaysian Chinese in the language.

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