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643EED14-335D-4B58-9409-A0CE534E8568 - William Sok.jpeg


Christchurch Boys’ High School

When did you start learning Chinese and what inspired you to take up the language?

I developed a passion for learning Chinese when I began studying it in Year 9. The rich history and captivating culture of China served as my inspiration. Furthermore, my parents emphasized the long-term benefits of acquiring Chinese language skills, irrespective of my future career path.

Tell us about your Chinese language learning journey. What has been the most unexpected or rewarding part of the experience?

I've had the fortunate opportunity to participate in the South Island Chinese Bridge Speech competition and achieved a commendable position. This success has presented me with a potential chance to compete in the global finals, which will be held in China later this year. Additionally, I'll have the rare privilege of traveling to China during my 11th year, an experience that doesn't come along often.

What opportunities have opened up for you as a result of your Chinese speaking ability?

Having the capacity to participate in diverse competitions and achieving commendable positions, as well as enjoying the opportunity to travel.

What do you like most about the Chinese culture?

The cuisine is truly exquisite, and I have a deep affection for Chinese food. Chinese cuisine is renowned globally for its diverse flavors, cooking techniques, and regional variations. From the delicate dim sum to the fiery Sichuan cuisine, Chinese food offers a wide range of delectable dishes that satisfy different palates.

What are the most striking differences between Chinese and Kiwi culture?

The dynamics of family and households and their intergenerational relationships have evolved significantly. One notable change is the trend of grandparents cohabiting with their immediate family and the way they address one another. Chinese culture places significant importance on etiquette and formalities. Respect for elders, hierarchical relationships, and proper behavior in public settings are emphasized. In New Zealand, while respect is valued, there is generally a more relaxed and informal approach to social interactions.

Why do you think other New Zealanders should learn Chinese?

Chinese is an immensely beneficial language that offers invaluable assistance regardless of your chosen path in life. Its rich history and cultural significance make it an exceptionally captivating language to explore. Moreover, China's thriving business environment and the widespread usage of Chinese among its populace further enhance the practical advantages of learning the language.

Do you have any tips for anyone thinking about taking up Chinese?

Allocate some personal time for practicing outside of class rather than relying solely on class hours. Strive to comprehend the content thoroughly, as it simplifies the learning process. Additionally, you can enhance your language skills by formulating your thoughts in English and then expressing them in Chinese. Utilizing language-learning applications like DuoLingo can also be beneficial.

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