Accidently I found the TV show “汉语大赛” Chinese Language Competition for foreign students in China on CCTV-4 when I was switching TV channels. This competition started last year and is to effectively assess how well the non-Chinese students can manage the Chinese language from listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation five specific paths with a particular emphasis on listening and speaking skills of the candidates. At the same time, this competition tests candidates’ strengths as well as their unique elegance. The organizer behind this competition aims to create a platform where the international students who came to China for studying can share their experience of learning Chinese language, so that they can find their own suitable learning methods and foster their confidence in learning Chinese.
The show I’ve been watching recently is the final session. Watching the performances of the finalists makes me thinking how much energy and time they spent on my mother tongue. It’s not just a language competition but also a cultural and literal contest. They are really amazing! They showed their strong interest in Chinese language and history, and understanding of Chinese culture. Some of them speak even better Mandarin than some of the native speakers. In particular, their multi-talented performances made me convulse with laughter. They are indeed the “Old China Hand” (中国通 zhōngguótōng). I really respect their enthusiasm and perseverance for learning Chinese.
There is a saying in China: “台上一分钟，台下十年功 táishàng yìfēnzhōng, táixià shíniángōng。” It means that one-minute stage performance implies a decade of practice off the stage. An advice to the Chinese leaners: Don’t give it up when you meet dificulties!