Yeah, the thought gave me a smile when I saw that he speaks fluent "Chinese," by which I assumed Mandarin. I think Michelle has spoken Cantonese at home, especially with her grandparent(s) (and she may be fluent in it conversationally, but that won't help her in most of China). Because of her international aspirations, she's been studying Mandarin for some years now, though. I don't know how fluent she's become, and almost certainly he's out ahead of her on this! Fortunately, written Chinese is the same in both Cantonese and Mandarin, because the writing system is ideograms, not letters, so the words aren't spelled out syllabically. So she didn't have to start from scratch there.
Golly, this announcement is making me happy.
Last edited by Olympia; 09-12-2012 at 09:49 AM.
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 09-12-2012 at 09:52 PM. Reason: spelling
Congratulations, Michelle and Clay!
Thanks to this guy's grandfather, I was able to afford a UC education.
congrats to Kwan, wishing the best to her
hope to see many future figure skater children ?
Blue Dog, your statement is probably being repeated with minimal variations throughout skating fandom this morning. I can only hope that this young man does a fraction of the good his grandfather did (and helped us all to do, because it's taxpayer money that funds the program). What a team he and Michelle could make in the future.
In any case, Olympia is not wrong in saying that written Chinese is the same in Mandarin and Cantonese, especially since simplified and traditional are essentially the same thing, and there are many words which were not simplified and are the same in both forms. There are certainly people who speak Cantonese and write in simplified, just as there are people who speak Mandarin and write in traditional, even though it might be more common the other way around. The difference between traditional and simplified is certainly more easily understandable/transferable than between some Chinese dialects (and there are hundreds of them), and Cantonese and Mandarin are especially different. (As a fluent Mandarin speaker who grew up hearing my parents speak dialects from Shanghai, Sichuan, as well as Cantonese, I can understand a lot of the first two, but still can't understand most of Cantonese.) I'd be curious to know how fluent Pell is in Chinese though, especially written. Most of the American-born Chinese I know who can speak fluently are not necessarily very literate, simply because it takes years of memorization and usage to become literate at an adult level.
Anyway, sorry to go off on a bit of a tangent. All this is to say that I'm happy that Michelle has become engaged to someone who seems to be very accomplished in his own right. It would certainly be interesting if one or both of them decided to run for office one day! I do hope we'll get to see pictures of the happy couple after they walk down the aisle. Congratulations to them both!
Congrats to Michelle and Clay! I only hope she doesn't change her name to "Michelle Pell." She will always be Michelle Kwan!