The 3rd Annual Chinese language talent show kicks off to a good start

David Spindler

Sun Star

The third annual Chinese talent show hosted by Chinese lecturer Rosalind Kan went off to a great start this year. Some of her students are getting an early practice session to help them prepare for a competition in Anchorage this Friday at the Confucius Institute along with other Chinese foreign language students from UAA campus and other universities.

“This talent show we’re hosting again for the third time at UAF is only offered during the spring semester and our purpose is to help those struggling with the language to strengthen their speaking skills. This is not at any cost being graded,” Kan said. “Basically these performances the Chinese 101 and 102 students are practicing are just Chinese language skits involving speaking Chinese math skills and how to differ between asking and replying by saying the answer such as

UAF Chinese students Hannah Corlide, Kristen Jadon and their friend sing the song 'Sweet as Honey' in Chinese. - David Spindler / Sun Star

UAF Chinese language students Hannah Corlide, Kristen Jadon and their friend sing the song ‘Sweet as Honey’ in Chinese. – David Spindler / Sun Star

1+1=2 for example.”

“Those who are in Kan’s Chinese language classes always enjoy her classes,” said John Adank, 22, a junior linguistics student. “I’ve been to Beijing, China before back in May 2008 and it helped put a strong emphasis on family and food,” Adank said. “I’m actually going back to China for three weeks this summer through Confucius Institute to learn more about speaking the language, calligraphy, ancient sites and Chinese opera as well.”

To go along with the speaking skills of learning Chinese, Kan also prepared ukulele Chinese music and dance choreography to keep the pre-show going.

“The singing with the ukulele is just a minor stance of what Chinese language is really about,” Kan said. “It’s really about helping speak in a different tone that’s part of the pronunciation which in this case is just part of a bunch of Chinese characters that make up the language.”

“The ukulele song I sang with Kristin Gadow called “Sweet as Honey in Chinese was, I think, done really well,” said Hannah Carlile, a sophomore French and Chinese linguistics student. “Overall I thought the Chinese talent show was a little embarrassing because I am not superb at my speaking skills in Chinese but it was really fun nonetheless.” Carlile is one out the six students who are choosing to go down to Anchorage for the competition. “I am nervous about traveling down for the Chinese talent show but after prepping for it here at UAF I am a bit more prepared,” Carlile said.

Kristen Gadow, 20, a physics major was the one who sang the Chinese song “Sweet as Honey” alongside Hannah Carlile. “The song we sang goes by the title in Chinese “Tian Mi Mi” and I didn’t find it difficult to sing because I knew the words to the song and I sing songs in different languages all the time considering I pretty much listen to only Asian music,” Gadow said. Aside from majoring in physics, Gadow also wants to be a polyglot someday, which is a person who knows and is able to use different languages.

“My initial interest in learning Chinese has always been learning about studying different languages. I’ve been interested in Asian languages because I am half Asian,” Gadow said. “I chose Chinese primarily because I couldn’t fit Japanese in my schedule this year but also because my mom is from Thailand and Thai is a tonal language, like Chinese, and I can speak a bit of Thai so I thought maybe my background would help me out with learning Chinese.”

Towards the end of the Chinese talent show was a special finale where all the Chinese major students who chose to attend the pre-show were dancing a choreography dance to the song “Little Apple” by the Chopstick Brothers.

“‘My little Apple’ song otherwise known as you are the apple of my eyes, it’s a love song, and very popular song in 2014 in China,” Carlile said. “We all didn’t know our choreographing that well from before but we did okay for a practice run.”

Six students are willing to go down to Anchorage to compete in the Chinese talent show at the Confucius Institute. The number of Chinese students going down had to be limited due to funding and the event pays for the airfare.

“I feel more prepared for Anchorage than before because we got to perform in front of people before the pre-show during the Chinese New Year event on campus,” Gadow said.

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