College Students from 118 Countries Compete in Chinese Language in Hunan for World Top 30

[Source] [Time]    2018-07-17 18:31:31 

Contestants answering questions? Photo from the show

Throughout July, the 17th “Chinese Bridge” —Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students is being held in Changsha, Hunan province, where 152 contestants from 141 contesting regions in 118 countries will compete in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals for the whole month.

This year, the number of contestants, who have higher-level Chinese proficiency than previous ones, has set a new record. On July 10th, after fierce competition in the semi-finals, 30 contestants stood out and obtained the chance to compete in the finals. Four of the contestants are from the Oceanian group, 6 from the African group, 6 from the American group, 7 from the European group, and 7 from the Asian group.

Contestants pondering on the answers? Photo from the show

Contestants answer on computers in accordance with the rule. Grouped by continents, they got promoted on proportional basis of group members. Contestants whose total score in the previous contests reaches 100 first could move to the next round. The questions cover the knowledge of Chinese history, geography, and culture, which is aimed to examine contestants’ familiarity with Chinese history, culture, and national situation.

At the event, contestants stood on the stage in national costumes to answer questions. Some of them were full of confidence and answered with ease, while others felt overwhelmed, frowning. The others were jubilant with their hands up in the air when finishing the questions.

Contestants answering the questions under pressure? Photo from the show

Theo Stapleton, an outgoing Australian contestant, took the lead in reaching for the next stage. Having studied Chinese for three years, he majored Chinese in Tsinghua and Peking University. He is not only good at spoken Chinese but also talented in imitating Chinese dialects, such as Sichuan dialect, Dongbei dialect, and Beijing dialect.

“My first visit to China was in 2015, and I immediately fell in love with her. I especially like Chinese food, contemporary arts and Buddhist culture. I hope to study for a master’s degree in China in the future”, said Theo.

Paul from Costa Rica also won his seat in the final contest. He was a student majoring in law and economics in Beijing Language and Culture University. His dream is to be an ambassador to China and establish a bridge of friendship between China and Costa Rica.

New Zealand contestant Ren Dao, though not qualified, expressed that he would continue to participate in “Chinese Bridge” in the future. “I’m thrilled to have a chance to communicate with contestants from all over the world. Though my Chinese still needs improvement, I believe that I will make progress after one-year’s study.” In this September, he will study in Fudan University.

A classroom for exchanges between China and the world was built in the finals of the “Chinese Bridge” this year for the first time. The classroom is moved onto the stage to create fun for studying Chinese. In each episode, three Chinese-foreign-exchange question-proposers will raise questions and interact with the contestants. In addition to answering the answers, a Chinese language game with different levels has also been set up during which players can compete in Chinese cultural knowledge.

Top 30 contestants of the “Chinese Bridge”? Photo from the show

“The questions are rather difficult covering the knowledge of Chinese history and culture. However, all contestants dealt calmly with their superb language skills.” said Chen Ming, the “head teacher” of the class. Chen Ming also expressed that the “Chinese Bridge” promoted the Chinese culture to the world and attracted more people to learn Chinese language and Chinese culture.

In the following days, contestants who didn’t make it to top 30 will go on a study tour to CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co., Ltd, Hunan Museum, Orange Isle in Changsha, and Yuelu Academy with thousands years’ history. And the contestants who stayed will also have a more challenging and interesting test on their way.

(Tang Xiaoqing,, Changsha, July 11th)

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