Rebecca Mingotti Landriani is a third year student of International Relations and Chinese at the University of Leeds.
The Chinese Bridge Competition (汉语桥) is an annual international Chinese language proficiency competition organised by the Confucius Institute Headquarters. Read more about the competition and our previous results on our Chinese Bridge page.
Here Rebecca tells us in her own words about her Mandarin learning background and goals for the competition.
Chinese Bridge represents a challenge in which I will definitely try to keep up with all the outstanding participants and performers joining it, while trying to learn from them as well.
When did you start learning Chinese?
I started learning Chinese in 2015-16, year in which I spent almost 9 months on an Exchange in Taiwan, where I went through an exchange organised by Rotary International. In Formosa I was hosted by four Taiwanese families, which where all club members, while my family in Italy hosted a Taiwanese girl. In Taiwan I studied with regular students at 平镇高中 (PingZhen Senior High School) in Taoyuan, a lively and hectic city in the North of the island. In this city I integrated really well with locals, travelled throughout the whole territory and discovered the cultural pot that Taiwan is, as well as I practiced traditional calligraphy, Chinese painting, Takekwondo and so on.
My Chinese improved mainly because I kept an open mind throughout the whole course of the exchange, whereas most students just gave up in overcoming cultural differences.
What is your favourite thing about learning Chinese?
Besides the most renowned perks of studying Chinese, my favourite thing about learning this language is that the more you dig into its underlying logic, the more keys of interpretation of events and reality in general you can you acquire. In fact, by broadening and deepening our understanding of the world, we can increase our awareness and make better choices both as individuals and, significantly, as communities. On top of that, I reckon it would be such a pity to deny ourselves an access to such a rich cultural heritage as that of China just because of a language barrier, thus the pleasure I find in satisfying my curiosity represents another key reason why I persevered in studying Chinese.
How do you hope that Chinese Bridge will help you to develop your Chinese?
Chinese Bridge surely represents a great opportunity for me to further improve my Chinese. There are two main reasons for this: first, the Business Confucius Institute 的老师们 (teachers) are very professional, so preparing for the competition with them in individual classes will definitely help me improve my current level a lot. Second, knowing well that I am an incredibly competitive person, Chinese Bridge represents a challenge in which I will definitely try to keep up with all the outstanding participants and performers joining it, while trying to learn from them as well.
You can follow along via updates here on our website, in our newsletters, and on Twitter and Facebook. 加油 Rebecca! (View definition of 加油 in online dictionary mdbg.net)