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Learning a foreign languages goes beyond the classroom. For Egyptian students learning Chinese language, one way to learn faster is to watch Chinese TV shows and movies.

An Egyptian student majoring in Chinese language at Cairo University cited “Love is Blind,” “Happy Life” by Jin Tailang and “The Legend of Zhen Huan” as among the Chinese productions she had watched. “In fact, Chinese TV dramas are the new cool in Egypt,” China Daily quoted Salma Ragab.

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Ragab is one of the 1,500 students enrolled at Cairo University’s Confucius Institute in 2015. Their number had grown 50-fold from 30 students in 2007, disclosed Rehab Mahmoud, director of the institute.

The Confucius Institute in Cairo is one of two in Egypt. The other one is in Suez Canal Province, while across the world there are 470 Confucius Institutes holding 800 Chinese language classes, reported Xinhua News Agency.

Mahmoud learned Chinese in 1988 at Ain Shams University. At that time, all her friends and her parents were shocked with her choice of language to learn since there were a lot of more popular tongues then. Because of the large number of Chinese language students, the university hosted on Wednesday morning Chinese Bridge.

Chinese Bridge is a language competition which held its Egyptian finals on May 11 with more than 1,000 people in the audience. The competition goes beyond showing the language proficiency of the institute’s students but is also a festival for people of same interest to get together, explained Hang Bing, a minister-counselor at China’s embassy in Cairo who was guest at Chinese Bridge.

Besides Cairo University, nine other universities in Egypt offer Chinese language or a total of 2,000 Egyptian students learning the Chinese tongue. Out of that number, 11 students from seven universities competed in Chinese Bridge.

Ahmed Magdy from Ain Shams won the top prize for his seven-minute performance that fused traditional Chinese comedy with trendy Chinese pop music. Magdy’s fluency comes from having visited China thrice and having a Chinese girlfriend and Chinese best friend. After finishing his studies, Magdy wants to begin his career in China.