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Russian claims top prize in speech contest

Russian claims top prize in speech contest

The "Talk Show Contest for Foreigners: 2006 Mandarin/Taiwanese," hosted by Radio Taiwan International, the Taiwan News, the International Rotary Club, Mandarin Daily News, SOGO Department store and others was held yesterday and winners were announced.

The top prize in Mandarin Chinese went to Russian Susov Fedor, who gave a speech about having a traditional Russian soup during Chinese New Year in Taiwan. A Myanmar woman studying journalism at National Taiwan Normal University named Nansar took second as she explained the reason behind giving cash-stuffed red envelopes during Lunar New Year.

Japanese national Shoji Okada received double prizes for his eccentric presentation on Lunar New Year customs in the Taiwanese language categories for "most interesting" and "best." His easy attitude and hat-donned, bearded, grinning visage brought life to the stage.

The participants came from many countries, including Russia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, the United States, Thailand and Outer Mongolia. The American contestant, Jessica Wang, notably sang her Talk Show performance with a song she wrote herself.

One judge asked why she did not receive a prize for creativity responded, "her song was creative, but she did not seem to understand the meaning of the words and was missing feeling."

The judge said that stage presence and interaction with the audience are key to winning the prize. These skills require total control over the material contestants present, good timing and eye contact with the audience.

One German contestant, Verena C. V. Gehrmann, presented a two-way dialogue with a Taiwanese host and incorporated numerous classical Chinese phrases with the word "dog" in the discussion. The judge interviewed said that it was a good idea, but she was unable to maintain proper pronunciation and precise delivery of phrases that were intended to be humorous.

She said she was impressed that "foreigners are willing to study Chinese in Taiwan and are willing to share what they've learned."

Champion of Taiwanese culture and languages, Education Minister Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝), personally attended the Taiwanese-language portion of the event to cheer on and encourage students.

Updated : 2022-01-23 17:06 GMT+08:00