Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Celine Dion Welcomes Lunar New Year 2013 in Perfect Mandarin

Last night, Canadian Singer Celine Dion helped more than a billion Asians welcome the Year of the Snake at the Chinese Lunar New Year Gala in Beijing. 



Although Lunar New Year officially starts on February 10th, on Saturday night millions of extended Chinese families gathered to eat a traditional New Yea's Eve feast and to watch the annual Lunar New Year's gala.  

More than a billion people watched the state broadcaster CCTV's  Lunar New Year gala - a major spectacle that features some China's biggest name performers. . 

But, this year was a little different. For the first time in its 53 years, a foreigner was was the headliner  in the gala.  

Canada's Celine Dion sang the traditional folk song "Jasmine Flower" as a duet with Chinese Soprano Songh Zuying in flawless Mandarin. 
She also performed her international hit "My Heart Will Go On." from the Hollywood blockbuster blockbuster Titanic

Although some people might wonder why a billiion Chinese citizens might want to listen to a 44 year old singer belt out a song from a movie released 15 years ago, it shouldn't come as complete surprise.  
If you ask  a Chinese person to name two English songs they can sing, it will be My Heart Will  Go On and  Happy Birthday, songwriter Gao Xiaosong told the China Daily. 

Last year Hollywood released a 15th anniversary 3D version of Titanic. Although North Americans mainly ignored the new release, the film brought in more than $156 million in China. .
"Big Honour to Be Asked to Sing"  
In an interview in the Telegraph  44 year old Dion said it was a "big honour" to be asked to sing for the New Year's gala because she knew it was an important celebration.
When asked if it was difficult to sing the music of another language, Dion said music transcends boundaries.

"I had wonderful people in the studio with me helping me understand the meaning of the song. But even in between the lines, between what you're singing, you have to feel the music. 

You have to feel the passion," she said. "It's every difficult to pinpoint passion. It's very difficult to pinpoint emotion. This is something that is around us. And I think it lives through music." 

Dion acknowledged the differences between herself and her Chinese counterparts, but added that the passion for performance goes past language and culture.

"We have different Cultures, different ways of singing, and at the end of the song, at the end of the day, we both mean the same. We both want to do our best," she explained.

"We want to both serve the music, and celebrate the New Year, and wish people the very est of health and the very best of luck and wonderful time in the new year to come

Here is a gap fill song activity for all of you who love, Titanic,  Celine Dion and the song My Heart Will Go On. Enjoy it.  Gong Xi Fa Cai to all my Mandarin speaking students, and Gong Hey Fat Choy  to my Cantonese speaking students. 


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