Suggestions to Chinese Students
Ding: Can you give some suggestions to Chinese students on how to learn English well as a second language?
Bourne: Anyone can learn English. It is not one of the most difficult languages and there are many courses available for foreign learners of English. However, I would of course recommend that students look for really good courses in English; that they should decide early on whether it is British English or American English that they wish to learn because there are different courses available for each of those forms of English; that they should not rely exclusively on printed material, but should make good use of radio, television, movies and video material to help them to understand how we pronounce English. Pronunciation is perhaps one of the most difficult problems for Mandarin speakers, particularly in the Beijing area, where the “r” sounds and the “sh” sounds are so different to any of the sounds that we make in English. So it is very important to listen to native speakers of English and to practice trying to speak in the same way as they do.
Ding: As a global CEO, Mr. Bourne, what do you think, from your own experience, makes one successful? What advice can you give to young people and students?
Bourne: If you are to be a successful player in the international market place, I think it is really important that you should have a genuine interest in foreign cultures, rather than just an academic interest in overseas market opportunities. To do that, and to feel comfortable working with those foreign cultures, I strongly recommend that you take every opportunity to go and live abroad in two or three countries, for at least two years in each place, learning both their languages and their cultures.
Ding: For many college students in China who are facing the pressure of employment, there is one question they must be very interested in: As a world-famous international publishing house, do you have any special or specific expectations of the college graduates who want to apply for a job in CUP? And what qualities do you think are most important that employees in CUP should have?
Bourne: Cambridge University Press is very fortunate to have been built up in a country whose native language is English, and which has now become the standard global language of business, academic, diplomacy and the internet. We recognize that our greatest asset3) is the English language and we therefore specialize in English language publications. So a high standard of English is very important to us with all our recruits4). I also look for people who are commercially-minded, but who are not greedy. It must be remembered that the mission of Cambridge University Press is to disseminate5) knowledge, rather than to make large amounts of money, so I want people who reflect that ethos. That also means that I look for people who have a desire to educate, to be teachers in addition to being business people; and who share my vision of aiming to build a global family.