Pakistani girls enter finals of international Chinese proficiency competition for college students

The 20th ‘Chinese Bridge’ Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in Pakistan completed on July 23. “Learning Mandarin is one of the most amazing decisions you make as a Pakistani student. It allows you tap into the values and culture of Chinese people, not to mention the doors of bilateral exchange it will open for you as an individual. And we definitely have a lot to learn from them as a nation like the hard work and dedicative spirit of Chinese people,” said Shamaiem Shahid from the Confucius Institute jointly established by Henan Normal University and University of Sargodha who won the championship in Islamabad in this most influential Chinese competition worldwide in the interview with China Economic Net.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year every Pakistani participant competed online as well as submitted a video to showcase his or her Chinese proficiency. Participants made wonderful speeches on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan, and the story of China and Pakistan helping each other to fight against the pandemic.

Shamaiem Shahid’s Chinese journey started with her father Shahid Maqsood, former Pakistani diplomat to China. In 2005, the family moved to Beijing and spent ten years there. China for her is the ‘second home’. Now she is now studying at FAST National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences in Islamabad. “I think the most immediate change is that learning Chinese has opened the door for me to be able to go to China and explore my field of interest i.e. computer science. As a university student preparing to go out into the work field, I am happy that because of my close link to the Chinese language, I will have the opportunity to contribute in any capacity that I can to the further establishment of ties between the two nations and their people,” she said.

Lilwa Shafique from Confucius Institute jointly established by Xinjiang Agricultural University and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad won the second place. Learning Chinese changed her life from major to career. “My undergraduate major is microbiology but I’m going to do master in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language at Southwest University in Chongqing, China this September. I just got the scholarship,” Lilwa Shafique told CEN.

Giving tips for Pakistanis who want to grasp Chinese, Shamaiem Shahid suggests watching Chinese cartoons and films with subtitles to train ears, and repeating the words that the characters say, to create an environment with native Chinese speakers around you. “To learn Chinese is not to compare it with your mother language because Mandarin is a completely different and vast language with a history of over 5,000 years. Always focus on basics of Chinese. Listen more and speak more,” Lilwa Shafique added.

It’s learned that the worldwide finals will be held from September to October, and almost all participants can get scholarships to come to China for further study at least for 6 months.

Source: China Economic Net