When I saw the beginning and middle of this Honda television commercial, I was wondering – why is Honda showing a Chinese American couple speaking Mandarin in an English language commercial? Odd that the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese auto manufacturer would be pushing the “foreignness” of a Chinese American couple. But after seeing the ending, I thought the commercial was hilarious brilliant. I just love how the couple reacts after the salesman responds in perfect Mandarin.
I recall many times when my parents resorted to speaking in Mandarin or Taiwanese to discuss privately issues around purchasing something in front of a salesperson.With the growing popularity of studying Mandarin, it’s not too surprising to see non-Chinese speaking Mandarin. I have to say, this actor’s Mandarin (unless it was dubbed perfectly) seemed pretty spot on.
I do wonder – would this same concept work for other ethnicities and languages? I guess if you had a Hispanic couple speaking Spanish and then an Asian American salesperson responding back in Spanish would work.