William Hart wins Grand Prize for Manchester in the Chinese Bridge competition

William Hart, a medical student who began learning Mandarin Chinese during the pandemic, has won the Grand Prize in the UK finals of this year’s Chinese Bridge Competition.

The UK’s regional final of the 21st international Chinese language competition took place in London last Monday, 27th June 2022. After two years of online broadcasts, Mandarin learners from universities across the UK took turns to impress the judges in person again. The competitors demonstrated their talents in two rounds, firstly their Mandarin speaking skills through speeches and secondly their cultural knowledge and creativity through a variety of performances.

William Hart is the first Manchester student to win the UK Grand Prize. He, along with three other competitors, will now go on to represent the UK in the global finals that can hopefully take place in China. William’s excellent Chinese language skills, humorous conversations and charm won the judges and online/offline audiences over at once. The focus of his speech was his understanding of a healthy lifestyle and concern for environmental conservation. He then went on to stage a talk show in order to share valuable tips for learning Chinese.

At the start of lockdown, the medical student was looking for a challenge, and in just two years taught himself Mandarin Chinese to a really high level. This has not only helped him to stay focused during challenging times, but it has also allowed him to become more confident and make new like-minded friends. Watch him share his personal experience learning Mandarin!

Manchester’s second candidate, Aude Rajaona , who is a final year student of Chinese and Business Management won the Excellence Award. She has been studying Mandarin for four years and wowed the judges with a singing and dancing performance of the Chinese folk song Jasmin Flower -’.

Congratulations to both contestants - they are truly an inspiration for other learners!

Taking part in Chinese Bridge is a great way for non-Chinese university students to develop their language and presentation skills with a lot of fun in the process. Each year, Manchester Confucius Institute and Chinese Studies Department select students to represent The University of Manchester at the UK finals in London. The candidates receive coaching and support from CI staff to help prepare them for the competition. In recent years, Manchester’s students have achieved great successes with Gabriel Marriage winning 3rd price in 2020, Orla Fawcett being awarded the Best Talent Prize and Julia Makosa winning 2nd Prize overall, representing the UK in the global finals in 2021.

Watch the UK Regional Final of the 21st ’Chinese Bridge’ Competition 2022 back here .

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