Let’s face it, for most of us learning Chinese really is a Herculean task, but SexyMandarin.com, an unconventional online school, tries to make things easier by using lingerie-clad models as teachers.
China’s official language, Mandarin, or Putonghua, has around 900 million native speakers, and 1,4 billion speakers worldwide, and as China’s role in the global economy becomes more important, the number of people trying to learn the language is also on the rise. But Mandarin is known as one of the toughest languages in the world, and just looking at the intricate symbols you can tell mastering it won’t be easy. But one online language school has apparently found an ingenious way of making Mandarin more accessible – sexy lingerie-wearing teachers. I wonder why I didn’t think of that…
Ever since it launched, in December of 2011, Sexy Mandarin was a huge hit, with its provocative clips showing young pretty Chinese models talking in their native language. Oh, and there’s also Mr. Fung, a cartoon character who actually explains what the girls are saying, but who even cares about that when there are hot girls examining their bodies in the mirror, grappling each other on a bed, cleaning cars with foamy sponges or sucking suggestively on a lemon? Apparently, these sexy teachers are asked to submit a full-body photo and provide any relevant modelling or teaching experience, in order to improve their chances of scoring a job with Sexy Mandarin.
Kaoru Kikuchi, an architecture graduate from the University of Nottingham, England, is the founder of this unique language school. The Japanese-born model and designer says her goal was to make Mandarin more accessible. “If you go the textbook way with all these Chinese characters it just makes you intimidated,” Kikuchi says. “If you start with the colloquial way … or sexy clips it is a different story.” Mick Gleissner, a Hong Kong filmmaker who produces the videos, adds: “If you want to learn to play the piano and you try to play Chopin of course you are going to give up. But if you see a kid trying to play kid’s songs … you’ll say, ‘Hey that’s kind of easy and fun.'”
Most of the Sexy Mandarin videos posted on YouTube have tens of thousands of views, with the first lesson topping the channel with over 350,000 views, but not everyone seems to appreciate their educational purpose. Wu Yue, a teacher from Beijing’s Mandarin Connection school said “It is very entertaining, and might be good for marketing and promotion, but it is not good for serious language learning. Students would get easily distracted during a class featuring sexual content.”
What do you think, is Sexy Mandarin the future of online language schools? You have to admit it looks much more fun than the way many Chinese are learning English.