Bill Gates: 'I feel pretty stupid that I don't know any foreign languages'

bill gates Xi Jinping
Bill Gates met with Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013.

Bill Gates has made his mark on the world. So what does he regret?

Not matching a skill that Mark Zuckerberg used last year to impress a Chinese audience: speak a foreign language.

"I feel pretty stupid that I don't know any foreign languages," Gates said Wednesday in an online Reddit chat.

"I took Latin and Greek in high school and got A's and I guess it helps my vocabulary but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese," he said. "I keep hoping to get time to study one of these - probably French because it is the easiest. I did Duolingo for a while but didn't keep it up. Mark Zuckerberg amazingly learned Mandarin and did a Q&A with Chinese students - incredible."

Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook (FB, Tech30), has become a fairly fluent speaker of Mandarin, a skill he demonstrated during a question-and-answer session with university students in Beijing.

But when Gates visits China -- whether meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping or visiting a Beijing Dairy Queen with Warren Buffett -- he's left to speak in English.

Gates, 59, should have plenty of time to pursue that passion. He's the world's richest man -- worth nearly $80 billion -- and retired from his day-to-day role at Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) in 2008. Last year, he shed his role as chairman of the company.

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