This short essay, taken from the Beijing Language and Culture University beginner comprehension textbook, is written from the perspective of a friend visiting Jiang Ping (江苹) before she leaves the country. The language is mostly school-centric as the writer discusses his classmates, Jiang Ping’s scholarship, and her test results.

The crux of the last paragraph hinges on the fact that the Chinese word for “Goodbye” (再见) literally translates as “See you again”, as the writer wonders when or if he’ll ever really see Jiang Ping again.

Interesting Vocabulary

同学 – tóng xué – Classmates
努力 – nǔ lì – Great effort
参加 – cān jiā – Participate
得 – de – To get, earn
满分 – mǎn fēn – Full marks, 100%
奖学金 – jiǎng xué jīn – Scholarship
留学 – liú xué – Study abroad
预祝 – yù zhù – Wish
成功 – chéng gōng – Success

今天我去江苹家了。 我和江苹是中学同学, 她是我的好朋友, 也是我们全班同学的朋友。 她学习非常努力, 是我们班学习最好的学生。 她会学习, 她会玩儿, 还常常帮助别人, 老师和同学都很喜欢她。 她这次参加了美国一个大学考试。 这个考试非常难,但是她考得很好,满分。 听说全世界只有三个学生得满分。 这个大学给江苹最高的奖学金。 我们都为她感到高兴。

她下星期要去美国留学, 我们班的同学都去看她, 给他送行。

江苹的家在城东边, 离我家比较远。 我下午四点多就从家里出发了, 五点半才到。 我到的时候, 同学们都已经到了。

江苹很热情地欢迎我们。 同学们好久不见了, 见面以后高兴得又说又笑, 谈得很愉快。 我们预祝江苹成功。 祝她一路平安。 我说, 一定要常来信啊。 江苹说,一定。 跟她说 “再见” 的时候, 她哭了, 我也哭了。

回家的路上, 我想, 我们常常说 “再见”, 但是, 有时候 “再见” 是很难的。 我和江苹什么时候能 “再见” 呢?


Today I’m going to Jiang Ping’s house. Jiang Ping and I are highschool classmates. She’s my good friend, and she’s also good friends with everyone in our class. She studies very hard, she’s the best student in our class. She studies, she plays, and she also often helps others. The teacher and the other students like her. She recently participated in an examination for an American college. That test is very hard, but she did very well – she earned full marks. I heard that only three people in the whole world got full marks. This college gave Jiang Ping their highest scholarship. We’re all very happy for her.

Next week she’s going to study abroad in America, and all our classmates are going to see her off.

Jiang Ping’s house is on the east side of the city very far away from mine. I left my house a little after four o’clock in the afternoon, and didn’t get there until 5:30. When I arrived, the rest of our classmates were already there.

Jiang Ping warmly welcomed us. She hadn’t seen her classmates in a while, and after she greeted us, we talked and smiled, chatting happily. We wished Jiang Ping success. Wished her a pleasant trip. I said, Be sure to write often. Jiang Ping said, Of course. When she said “Goodbye”, she cried, and I also cried.

On my way home, I thought, We often say “Goodbye” [lit: see you again], but sometimes “Goodbye” is sad. When will Jiang Ping and I be able to see each other again?

36 comments to "Jiang Ping Going to Study Abroad"

  1. The 加 in the first sentence should be 家 perhaps?

  2. 跟他说 “再见” 的时候, 她哭了, 我也哭了。
    first 他should be 她

    来新, 新should be 信

  3. 她下星期要去美国留学, 我们班的同学都去看他, 给他送行。
    Her gender changes to male halfway through the sentence…?

    • This site may have an occasional editorial problem, but it is terrific!

      You should save snarky criticism until after you’ve made your own, better Chinese website replete with translations, analysis, and contextual observations.

      • Thanks for the point-out, Crystal, and for the compliments, Michael – now you can see why I only copy-paste articles offline, as opposed to typing them in by hand these days – too many errors. Will fix.

  4. This is the best reading website i have ever seen in my life ! thanks and keep up the good work

  5. Reply 陆文卓 says: May 25, 2013 at 4:58 am

    I’m really enjoying using this website for reading practice, and for oral practice as well – I copy and paste sentences into an online translator, listen and repeat.
    I wanted to ask about “她这次参加了美国一个大学考试。” Why use 这次 for “recently” instead of 近来 or 最近?

    • Good eye. Actually, “这次” means “this time”, or “the most recent time”, but I felt that “recently” translated better.

  6. hello! i know this is an old post, but at the end, when it says sometimes goodbye is sad, i think it means sometimes goodbye is difficult (lit to see each other again is difficult due to distance, time, etc). thank you so much for all the work you do on this website, it’s amazing!

  7. I like the site at first sight! It is easy to follow and organized and categorized properly so I can follow without accidentally jump into harder stage without knowing. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thanks for the great effort. Really great

  9. This is really great. I’ve got an exam tomorrow and this is very helpful! :)

  10. Reply Mohamed Taqi says: July 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Hi thank you for this great article :) )

    I think there’s a small mistake in the last sentence :

    但是, 有时候 “再见” 是很难的

    I think “很” can’t be preceded by “是” .you just say :

    但是, 有时候 “再见” 很难的

    Have a nice day

  11. Reply Mohamed Taqi says: October 23, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I just recorded my voice reading this article, thank you so much :D

  12. Thanks for the blog!

    I am learning a lot, it is usually hard to find beginner resources.

  13. Reply annaandtheking says: November 11, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Hi again Kendra,

    I like this is teaching about hard work and friendship..and furthermore it is written in simple chinese vocabulary…
    Thank you for sharing your fabulous work with us…
    I really like your website…

  14. Hello there,

    I wanted to thank you for the beautiful postings, I am a Chinese language student and i was desperately looking for short texts to improve my level , I was so happy to find your blog, It is a very intersting and unique one !

    Thank you again :)

  15. Reply Mohamed Taqi says: May 30, 2015 at 5:06 am

    I recorded a video, me reading this article :

  16. To Mohamed Taqi:

    It’s okay to say 是很, or just 很. The 是 emphasis the adjective, or to boost someone else’s comment. For example, if someone says “他很高”, you can add “他是很高” or even “他真是很高”.

    To Kendra:

    I really think there is one key nuance in the final paragraph that could be written differently:

    但是, 有时候 “再见” 是很难的

    Could be

    但是, 有时候 “再见” 是很难得

    Phonetically it’s the same, but very different meaning. Not to say you manually typed wrong, but just a possibility:

    难得 generally means rare, but with a positive connotation, and in this context I would translate as “precious” or “special.”

    I would then translate the final paragraph:

    As I was going home, I thought to myself, we say “to meet again” all the time, but sometimes “to meet again” is a precious thing. Who knows when 江苹 and I will “meet again”.

    I feel that even in Chinese, if you meant convey the idea it’s very difficult or sad to say “goodbye” (or “to meet again”), you would explicitly add “说” or “讲” or some speech verb.

    Anyways, excellent and very useful website. As an ABC (fluent spoken, colloqial Taiwanese but lived in mainland now for 6 years, so picked up quite a bit of mainland idioms – BUT beginner literacy) I find this website very useful!

  17. Reply Mohamed Taqi says: June 8, 2015 at 4:37 am

    Thank you so much brother, I didn’t know that ^_^ ,

    Best wishes

  18. “她下星期要去美国留学, 我们班的同学都去看她, 给他送行。” Her gender changes at the end of this sentence.

  19. Reply meisjedatchineesleert says: June 19, 2016 at 10:46 am

    给他送行 should be 给她送行

  20. Reply Carol Taylor says: January 16, 2017 at 12:43 am

    Thanks for these. My daughter is learning Chinese and hopefully in a bit we can start practice with these beginners paragraphs. Very exciting

  21. Reply Lucyana Pasaribu says: November 23, 2017 at 12:50 am

    Thanks… This website really useful for me.. Blessing!

  22. Just wondering, do you have permission from Beijing Language and Culture University to post this on your website?

  23. I love it

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  27. Reply get more info says: May 3, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything
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  28. Reply Ngọc Diệp says: February 10, 2020 at 1:41 am

    Different between South and North in the United states?????????

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