Two Russian students, Inna Zhavaeva and Mikhail Sidorskiy, studying at TKU Chinese Language Center and the Master’s Program of Business Management respectively, won the second place and an award for the funniest speech at a Chinese Speech Contest for foreign nationals held by Radio Taiwan International some time ago. The duo, Inna and Mikhail delivered a dialogue, talking about idioms containing “pigs”. Their unique contents and humorous delivery won them approval from audiences and judges alike. The event was like a typical United Nations gathering involving more than 30 teams from various countries such as the US, Russia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Inna arrived at Taiwan in September last year, and it was the first time for Inna to participate in this kind of contest but she did not feel nervous at all. She enjoyed the whole process thoroughly. There are many “firsts” for Inna, in fact. For example, this is her first year being in Taiwan; this is also the first time for Inna to learn Chinese. One the other hand, Mikhail, who arrived at Taiwan the same time as Inna, has been to Taiwan before. He once spent a year here as an exchange student, an experience that laid down the foundation for his fluent Chinese. When asked about their secret to speaking good Chinese, Inna puts it down to her good teacher, whereas Mikhail believes it was the conversation practice he and Inna have with each other.
Inna, who studies “Teaching Russian as a Second Language” and Law, enjoys learning languages and cooking. Her expertise in Russian Cuisine was in good use when she made a program, which will be aired in March, for Discovery Channel introducing some famous and traditional dishes for Russian New Year. Since this was also the first year for them to spend Chinese New Year in Taiwan, Inna and Mikhail traveled around the island to experience how people in various parts of Taiwan celebrate the festival. After this round trip, Inna concluded that she likes Tamsui best for its river, hilly landscape, white sandy beaches and food. Mikhail, on the other hand, likes everything about Taiwan. ( ~Ying-hsueh Hu )