The First Contest of Speaking Spanish in China
China Central Television (CCTV) has launched its first national contest to speak Spanish with the participation of Cervantes Institute, whose cultural center of Shanghai recorded the contest’s sessions with paramount to promote the Spanish study in China.
The show producer Ai Kuiyu, and one of the jury members of “Big Contest of Speaking Spanish” said: “We wanted to celebrate this contest six years ago, but at that time was not easy, because there were not many people who speak Spanish or many students who wished to take part, but 2013 was the best year to start the contest in China.”
The first “Big Contest of Speaking Spanish from the Chinese channel CCTV” had the participation of about 170 people from all over China, 60 of them passed its first test in Shanghai and other 60 people in Beijing. Another hundred participants also sent their video-recordings by internet from other areas in China. Only 20 candidates passed the test and have been selected for the last stage of the show.
The candidate who wins the first place in the contest will also receive a trip to Peru with all expenses paid, offered by the Peruvian Embassy in China.
The program echoes the formula of the popular “talent shows”. Likewise, there is also a video which gives an overview of a particular candidate, where he tells his story and why studying the ‘Spanish language’ (Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaEZUSQtRvs)
One of the interviewed candidates Li Xiaoye (a girl from the Midwest of China) says: “I am in love with Spanish, I can not spend a day without it“. In the contest, she played the famous monologue ‘Sigismund’ from the well-known novel “Life is a Dream”. Another contestant narrates the popular play ‘Platero y yo”, a play of one of the most popular Hispanic writers ‘Juan Ramón Jiménez‘.
Many candidates claim learning the third most spoken language in the world ‘Spanish’, after Mandarin and English, it has changed their lives. The Shanghainese girl Jia Shihui, who participated in the contest dancing a ‘paso-doble’, assures that learning Spanish has made her more cheerful and optimistic.
Many contestants have studied in Spanish-speaking countries and have acquired different Hispanic accents, similar to compare Australian accents with British accents. The candidate Ma Tianlong, who has lived three years in Havana (Cuba), it seems like he was born in Cuba during his monologue presentation in the show.
The candidates that have chosen to sing are the one who left the audience speechless. A girl, Dong Xiaoye (or Xaviera) sings ‘Waka Waka song’ with the same Shakira’s tone voice. Another contestant, Lin Chen, a girl who studied in Barcelona obtained a great score from the judges after presenting a song called “No hesitate” from the Spanish singer ‘Antonio Flores.’
After the candidate’s presentations, the jury who is composed of popular faces of the Spanish-speaking community in Beijing, assesses contestants and votes for their favorite contestants so they can stay competing for the next phase. As part of the jury are included: CCTV Mexican Presenter ‘Octavio Fernandez’, the Spanish Director of the Cervantes Institute in Pekin ‘Inmaculada González’, Peruvian Ambassador ‘Gonzalo Gutiérrez’ and Chinese Hispanista ‘Dong Yansheng’.
The panel is relentless. Many questions seek to test the contestant’s nervousness and if a double ‘rr’ is mispronounced or contestants have a confusion among the pronunciation of ‘/pes/’ and ‘/bes/’, which is very common in Chinese students of Spanish…these complications could leave them out of the contest.
Especially, it is difficult the verdict of the single member of the panel whose mother tongue is not Spanish, Professor Dong , who has been recognized as an Hispanic promoter in China and as the first translator into Chinese of the famous play ‘Don Quixote’ and also awarded the ‘Order of Arts and Letters of Spain’.
Professor Dong is not very generous in their ratings, almost always they are negative, and only he softens his comment when one of the participants, ‘Wang Zhujin’, who studied Spanish in Valencia (Spain) tells him with some humor: ‘ I speak the language perfectly’, with the exception of the Spanish word ‘alrededor’, which means ‘around’.
The contest will be broadcasted on several Chinese national TV-channels, including the Spanish channel ‘CCTV-E’ in China.