For Youths
8 May 2009

The 8th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students (Singapore 2009)

For the six finalists of the 华文?谁怕谁! The Chinese Challenge Grand Final TV show, taking home the grand prize, worth over S$10,000, required not only good knowledge but wit and strategy as well. The event, graced by Manpower Minister Mr Gan Kim Yong, was telecasted last night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

After a two-hour battle of wits and knowledge of the Chinese language and culture, the eldest contestant of the lot, 57-year-old pilot, Mr Soh Sin Yan, emerged as the grand champion.

A round of audition was held, where the six finalists were selected from the top 100 contestants with the highest cumulative scores for the online contest over the past 12 weeks. They include a 14-year-old student, a teacher, an engineer, a research scientist, and a magazine editor. The majority of them do not use Chinese in their daily work.

The Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students is an international competition organised annually by the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban). Since 2002, the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition has been successfully held for 7 consecutive years with close to 600 students from 59 different countries participating, and over 40,000 students competing in the preliminary rounds. The Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition has since become one of the most prestigious and influential Chinese language competitions worldwide. It is also widely recognised as a vital platform through which students may express themselves linguistically and have a greater understanding about modern China.

For the first time this year, NTU’s Confucius Institute and Business China have jointly organised the Singapore leg of the 8th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition. Through this integrative and esteemed competition, we hope to cultivate and strengthen bilingualism amongst Singapore’s youths and encourage outstanding individuals to participate and compete on the world stage in hopes of encouraging these youths to gain an international perspective on the importance of learning Chinese.

The event’s Guest of Honour, Manpower Minister and Business China’s Director Mr Gan Kim Yong said, “Singapore’s tertiary students who have participated in this competition, had first-hand encounters of the Global Chinese Fever. This motivated them to put more efforts on improving their Chinese Language. And this will also inspire more students to work harder to be Singapore’s bilingual and bicultural talents, which will benefit them for life.

In order to encourage more students to participate, the Singapore’s leg was conducted in 3 stages. The first stage conducted on 2-3 May, was open to all students in Singapore’s universities and polytechnics who are not of the Chinese nationality. 12 outstanding ones were selected to enter the next stage held on 6 May, which they were required to take a written test on Chinese Language and Culture. These 12 students then proceed to participate in a Chinese culture, artistic talent showcase and speech competition at the 3rd stage of the competition held on 8 May.

2 winners are awarded the 1st to 3rd place respectively based on their overall results from the 2nd and 3rd stages. And Anna Lim Shi Ting from NTU and Cindy Ng Bee Ting are awarded the 1st place winners. Both of them will represent Singapore to participate in the semi-finals and grand finals held in China, Hunan.

The grand finals of the 8th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition will award 1st to 3rd place winners as well as hand out an award of excellence and selected single-category awards to outstanding participants. Winners will be awarded the title of “Chinese Language Ambassador” and given a scholarship to study in China and other entitlements.

While in China, participants will also get to experience a specially packaged Chinese culture immersion programme that aims at advancing their learning of the Chinese language.

Every Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition has a central theme,this year being “Fun with Chinese ● Hope of Success”. Previous themes include “China of the New Century”, “Culturally Vibrant China”, “Ethnically Diverse China”, “China Welcoming the Olympics” etc.