On October 29, the semifinal of the 19th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was held. The top 15 competitors from all continents gathered on the internet to compete for 5 continent championships.
The competition was hosted by Zhu Xun, hostess of the China Media Group, and invited Zhao Yang, professor and dean of the School of Chinese as a Second Language at Peking University, Han Tianlu, professor of the School of Arts at Hebei University, and Wang Ning, host of the News Channel of the China Media Group, as judges. There was also a cheering group composed of people of all over the world, such as previous competitors John Klumpp and Liu Zhengxi.
The global semi-final had two parts, "Winners of the Five Continents" and "Gorgeous Language": "Winners of the Continent" tested knowledge in the forms of multiple choice questions, which were scored separately in each continent, and the top two players in each continent entered the next part. "Gorgeous Language" was in the form of subjective expression questions. The players would take turns recommending their favorite Chinese literary and artistic works according to the order chosen by lottery. The three judges scored according to the comprehensive performance of the players. The highest score in each continent would be the continent champion and would enter the global final.
Knowledge based multiple-choice questions are very difficult as they aim to test Chinese language ability, basic Chinese knowledge, and the Chinese cultural skills of the players. When answering the questions, the players were very interested in the allusion to the Three Kingdoms mentioned in the questions, and all told stories from the Three Kingdoms, such as "Straw Boat Borrows Arrows,""Gwaan Wancheung Bone Scraping for Detoxification," and "Empty City," which fully showed their understanding of Chinese culture.
When talking about the Chinese couplet, Professor Zhao Yang introduced some knowledge of the couplet, that is, antithesis and level and oblique tones, and used the couplet "There is no end to learning, there is no boundary to studying" to encourage the players to keep studying Chinese. The contestants were very interested in this artistic form of neat and flat coordination of the tone and form and shared the couplets they felt most interesting. Gu Yige sent an original couplet to the "Chinese Bridge":"Chinese bridge, world bridge, bridges connect; Chinese heart, world heart, hearts link," expressing love to the "Chinese Bridge".
After answering the questions, Ai Nan of the African group, Hai Yang of the European group, Ichikawa Mizuki of the Asian group, and Li Ailuo of the American group lost in the first round. Zhang Leilin and Ma Mingyue of the Oceania Group tied for second and had an extra test; each person had to take turns to say four-word words with a predetermined word, “Tian” (sky or day in English). After three rounds of competition, Ma Mingyue was a point above and entered the next part.
With the joint efforts of the contestants, the Oceania Group won the first group award, the European and Asian groups won the second group award, and the African and American groups won the third group award.
In the subjective expression part, the contestants successively recommended their favorite Chinese literary and artistic works, which were rich and diverse in types and spanned ancient and modern times. There were novels in various periods, tales, prose, and traditional Chinese poetry. The contestants expressed themselves clearly and logically and talked about their feelings and thoughts after reading, which were very intriguing.
Zhu Ziqing's The Back（a famous Chinese literary work）reminded Dai Luke of his relationship with his parents. As they grow up, children keep chasing their dreams, eager to grow but gradually stepping away from the parents. Faced with the dilemma, Dai Luke said, "rather than blindly indulge in the powerlessness caused by time, we should adjust our mentality and make sure that we can grow faster than our parents are growing old. Just do it." The audience members were all touched at the sight.
African "Huang Rong" (a cute and smart girl from the Legend of the Condor Heroes) Luo Qi shared Jinyong’s (famous Chinese novelist and playwright) martial arts novel Legend of the Condor Heroes. Though the martial arts world is illusory, the characters are vivid. Luo Qi used body language to make her speech more lively and interesting.
Ma Mingyue introduced the master, Tang monk, and his three apprentices in The Journey to the West in forms of doggerel. "Kind and loyal is Tang monk, single-minded to take the truth,""Monkey King, lovely, naughty and quirky,""Pigsy, funny, greedy and lazy,""diligent and reliable is Monk Sha, take the burden on the journey." Being catchy is also a good method for storytelling.
Finally, after comments and scoring by the judges, Gu Yige of the Asian group, Dai Luke of the European group, Gui Weisheng of the American group, Luo Qi of the African group, and Ma Mingyue of the Oceania group became the continent champions of the 19th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students and are heading to the Global Final.
Next, the continent champions will give us another great competition to compete for the world championship of the 19th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students.