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Tanzanian university student wins Chinese language competition
2017-05-29 21:43

Minister Counsellor in the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania Gou Haodong handing over certificate and first prize award in the 16th Chinese proficiency competition to Steven Emmanuel Paul during the finalist competition held at University of Dar es Salaam on May 27, 2017. (Xinhua)

DAR ES SALAAM, May 28 (Xinhua) -- A civil engineering freshman on Saturday emerged as the overall winner of the 16th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition for foreign college students in Tanzania.

Steven Emmanuel Paul, 20, from the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), beat 11 other contestants in Mandarin fluency.

The civil engineering major said his Mandarin proficiency would help him secure employment with Chinese construction companies in the east African nation.

Twenty-two-year-old Tewele Ayubu, an education major at the UDSM, also wore a broad smile as the second-place winner.

"My burning ambition is to become a Chinese language teacher," Ayubu said. "My desire is to teach Chinese to as many Tanzanians as possible so that they could go to China to learn technology and science and come back to develop our country."

Two other students from the UDSM Confucius Institute and four each from the University of Dodoma, and the Zanzibar Journalism and Mass Media College also participated in the contest.

"Language is a bridge to bring people together," said Minister Counsellor in the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania Gou Haodong.

Yan Liu, director of the UDSM Confucius Institute, said Paul, the overall winner, will go to China to participate in the second round of competition and if possible the final round.

The second-place winner, Ayubu, will also go to China to watch the competition, with all expenses covered by the Office of Chinese Language Council International, Yan said.

He said the Confucius Institute at the UDSM, co-founded by the UDSM and Zhejiang Normal University, was launched in 2013.

"Through language and cultural interaction the Confucius Institute at the UDSM has bridged minds of the people from Tanzania and China, and become a platform on which more Tanzanians come to know more about China," he said.

Rose Uppor, principal of the College of Humanities at the UDSM, said the Confucius Institute has contributed to creating a cultural understanding of the world's largest population and their heritage.

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