Pakistani female researcher wins firsts prize in Chinese essay competition

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BEIJING: This month, Sarah Mazhar, Pakistani PhD student from Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), who has formally learnt Mandarin since September 2019, bagged first prize in an essay competition for international students in Beijing.
Sarah was serving as Lecturer in Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
in National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.

Beijing People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (The BPAFFC) and related organizations jointly organized the 2020 ‘Beijing and I’ Theme Essay Competition for foreign students in Beijing to enhance the interest and ability of foreign students in learning Chinese.

Aimed at strengthening people-to-people friendship, the competition is being organized after every two years, and 2020 is the fifth competition, China Economic Net (CEN) reported.

“I recommend all Pakistani people to learn Chinese,” Sarah said. “In fact, Chinese has started to be taught in many schools in Pakistan. We love China as our brother, so we want to communicate with Chinese people and get to know the country more. As most Chinese people prefer to speak Mandarin, rather than English, so it motivates us to learn Mandarin for better communication.”

She also shared her experiences in learning Mandarin with reporters. Sarah believed that Chinese is quite different from Urdu, “Chinese, a symbolic and tonal language as the meaning of a word changes according to its tone, is difficult to learn by heart ‘at first’. But once you get to know how to study the language, it will be easy,” she commented.

Sarah said learning Chinese has opened many doors for her to explore the vast world, “Through learning Chinese we will be able to better understand all the peculiarities and prospects of CPEC. For example, Pakistanis can communicate and cooperate with Chinese engineers and everybody involved in the project in a more effective way.

Moreover, if Pakistanis learn Chinese from childhood just like learning English, bilateral relations will come very close. Meanwhile, we can do the positive portrayal and representation of CPEC worldwide,” she remarked.

“Learning Chinese will play an important role in understanding the culture. Cultural exchanges between the two countries are a token of love. If the countries know about bilateral culture, their people will be united and the way ahead of bilateral relations will become clearer as well.”

College of International Education (CIE), is the major teaching faculty that offers high quality Chinese courses to international students who study at BJUT. Apart from credits Chinese courses, CIE also offers Chinese courses after school time to all international students who are interested to learn Chinese.

Dr. Li Yi, the Mandarin teacher of Sarah in BJUT, spoke highly of the performance of the Pakistani students. She said, “In my Chinese class, many international students are from Pakistan. They have impressed me with their hard work and positive attitudes.

They come to talk to me during the class breaks and they tell me how much they enjoy learning Chinese. I would always encourage them to use the Chinese they have learnt in class in daily life.”

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