Alex:I Realized My Dream in Wuhan
Editor: Date:November 28, 2019 Hits:

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Source: Changjiang Daily(Nov. 12, 2019)


人物小档案


Chinese Name:孔明

English Name:KONTOGEORGOS ALEXANDROS

Nationality:Greek

Duration:

Chinese Language Student:

2014.9-2015.1/2016.3-2016.7

Master: 2016.9-2019.7

School:Center for Teaching Chinese as A Foreign Language, School of Software Engineering

Major:Chinese, Software Engineering

Supervisor: Shen Gang



Alex(孔明)


On November 10, 2019, Xi Jinping, the President of China, arrived in Athens for a state visit to Greece - the second visit by a Chinese President after 11 years.

Alex, a Greek who graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology(HUST) and now works as a product manager at the headquarters of XIAOMI in Wuhan, was very excited when he saw this news, especially when he read the article of President Xi published in Greek media and heard that the national flags of the two countries had been displayed on the streets of Greece.

"Nowadays in Greece, seven out of ten people are interested in Chinese culture and about three of them would like to study the Chinese language," Alex said. With great interest in Chinese culture since childhood, Alex came to China 5 years ago and got himself a Chinese name - Kong Ming. From his perspective, China is not only profound in history and civilization but also strong in advanced science and technology. He chose to work at Xiaomi, an emerging tech company, because its development direction is exactly the same as his dream: changing the lives of people with technology.

In terms of his reason for studying the Chinese language, his answer is quite certain - love. Both China and Greece enjoy long history, and he believes that this is why Greek people have a natural affinity for their Chinese counterparts. The rising of China's economy has further ignited the passion of Greek people to learn Chinese language, giving rise to a "Chinese language fever" in Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world.

In 2013, Alex began to study Chinese at Athens Business Confucius Institute where he won a full scholarship because of his excellent academic performance. In 2014, he continued his Chinese language study at HUST. "The Confucius Institute in Athens was an hour away from my home and I almost gave up because of the long distance." He told the reporter that courses offered by the Confucius Institute were very popular. The enthusiasm of other students gave him the courage to gradually overcome the difficulties. When he first arrived in Wuhan in 2014, he could only speak some simple sentences in Chinese.Constant communications with native speakers allowed him to be more and more proficient.

Within a year, Alex has not only made astounding advances in the language, but also developed a close connection with the city of Wuhan. In 2015, he had to return to his hometown for military service. In Athens, the growing numbers of language training agencies and greater enthusiasm for Chinese language and culture shown by Greek people made him more confident of China's future. Apart from Chinese language learning, Chinese calligraphy and cuisine also gained popularity in Greece. All of these are the presentation of growing attention to China. "I observed that about 70 percent of Greeks around me are interested in Chinese culture, and about 30 percent are learning the language," he said.

Recent years have seen deepened exchanges and cooperation between China and Greece in various fields. The idea of further study on language and technology in China emerged to his minds exactly under such a background. In 2016, after careful consideration, Alex decided to return to Wuhan, a city with strong educational strength and rapid technological development, for his master's degree in Software Engineering at HUST. According to him, he had previously started his own business in software development in Athens with a team of nearly 20 people, but had to give up due to the immature technology and break of capital chain.

From 2016 to 2019, he tried, on the one hand, to improve his spoken Chinese, and on the other hand, he was encouraged by the pulse of China's internet economic development, re-thought his positioning and value. Finally, he got the offer from XIAOMI in 2019 and chose to achieve his dream and value there. "I have been studying software engineering for so long, and I want to transform the latest scientific and technological achievements into products through my own efforts, so that the quality of people’s lives can be improved. This is my dream," Alex said. His "dream of entrepreneurship" was broken in Athens, but the "dream of technology" is gradually realized in Wuhan.

"Wuhan's airport and railway stations are very convenient, and the just-concluded 7th CISM World Military Games has brought Wuhan more international attention." According to Alex, during President Xi's visit to Greece, many of his Greek friends praised China's construction and management capacity on social media. For example, the container throughput of Piraeus Port in Greece has increased by 60 places in the world since ranking since it was taken over by Chinese enterprises. "Many Greeks are grateful for Chinese people from the bottom of their hearts," he said. "China's help is exactly what the Greek need."


11月10日,习近平主席抵达雅典,对希腊进行国事访问,这是中国国家主席时隔11年再次访希。
看到这个新闻,华中科技大学校友,在武汉小米总部担任产品经理的的希腊人Alex内心十分激动,特别是在社交软件上看到习主席在希腊媒体发表署名文章,雅典街头也悬挂了两国国旗。
我身边有七成希腊人对中国文化感兴趣,大约有三成希腊人在学习中文。”Alex自小喜欢中国文化,来中国已5年,还给自己取了个中文名字:孔明。他说,中国不仅是文明古国,科技发展也很迅猛,他所在的公司正在用科技改变普通人的生活,这与他的梦想不谋而合。
“身为希腊人,为什么学习中文?”每次面对这个问题,孔明的回答只有一个:因为热爱。中国和希腊都是文明古国,孔明认为,这是每个希腊人都认同的事,因而彼此有天然的亲近感。随着中国经济的全面崛起,希腊人学习中文的热情不断高涨,在世界上最古老的城市之一雅典,掀起了一股“中文热”。
2013年,孔明就开始在雅典商务孔子学院学习中文,因为成绩优异,还获得了全额奖学金,并于2014年继续在华中科技大学学习语言。“当时在雅典,学校离我家有1个小时的路程,因为路程较远,差点想要放弃。”他告诉记者,孔子学院的课程十分火爆,看到身旁的同学学习热情都很高,他也就逐渐克服一个个困难。2014年刚到武汉时,他还只会讲几个简单的句子,但中文语境给他提供了很多帮助,1年后,他基本能用中文日常交流。
这一年,孔明不仅中文水平突飞猛进,与武汉这座城市也产生了紧密的连结。但2015年,他必须回到希腊服兵役,在雅典,他看到街头出现了更多的语言培训机构,并且大家对于中文和中国文化抱有了更大的热忱,大家除了学习语言,也喜欢写毛笔字、吃中国菜。雅典“中文热”的升温,背后离不开的是“中国热”,他和许多学习中文的同学一样,对中国的未来充满信心。最近,他关注到希腊人的中文学习需求在日益增长,“我身边大约有七成希腊人都在关注中文和中国文化,有三成左右正在学习中文。”
近年来,随着中国与希腊在各领域交流合作的加深,来中国继续学习中文和技术的想法也就应运而生。2016年,几经比较,孔明决定回到教育实力雄厚、科技发展迅猛的武汉,在华中科技大学软件工程专业攻读硕士学位。他介绍,在雅典自己就有过软件开发的创业经历,曾有一个近20人的团队,但由于技术上的不成熟和资金链的断裂,创业计划无奈搁浅。
2016-2019这几年,他一方面努力提高中文口语水平,另一方面在学校里感受中国互联网经济发展脉搏,并重新思考自己的定位和价值。终于,在2019年拿到武汉小米总部的offer,选择在这里完成梦想,实现价值。“我一直在学习软件工程专业,想通过自己的努力,把最新的科技成果转化成产品,让普通人的生活品质更好,这是我一直以来的梦想。”孔明说,在雅典“创业梦”碎了,但在武汉正在实现自己的“科技梦”
“武汉的机场、火车站都很方便,刚刚结束的军运会,也让很多外国人更加充分地了解武汉。”此次习主席出访希腊,很多希腊朋友在社交媒体上与孔明沟通,点赞中国的建设和管理能力,比雷埃夫斯港自从被中国企业接手经营后,集装箱吞吐量全球排名提高了60位。孔明说,“很多希腊人都在内心中感谢中国人,中国的帮助是帮到了希腊的心坎上。”
来源  长江日报(Changjiang Daily)
整理/翻译/编辑   王樱
照片提供  Alex
校译 THUSHINI MENDIS
统筹/制图  尹新林
审核   兰行行




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