Benjamin Zephaniah on Learning Mandarin (Podcast)

Photo by David Morris, England, Wikimedia Commons

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For Today’s podcast I had the honour of interviewing a very distinguished guest. Benjamin Zephaniah is best known as one of Britain’s favourite poets. He is also a political activist, playwright and novelist who has been listed as one of Britain’s 50 greatest postwar writers by the Times newspaper. 

One of the lesser known aspects of Benjamin’s life is his interest in foreign languages and in particular Mandarin. In his Autobiography, the life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah, he writes about his decades long exploration of the Chinese language and culture.

I wanted to find out more about why he took on the challenge of learning Chinese, how he went about doing so and why he believes language learning can be a powerful tool against bigotry and war. 


Benjamin’s Website:

Benjamin’s autobiography:

Dreaming in Chinese, Deborah Fallows:

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