Jiang Ping Going to Study Abroad

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.

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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?

Show English translation »

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?

32 replies on “Jiang Ping Going to Study Abroad”

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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…

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 🙂

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!

“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.

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

Hi! I’m a beginner in Chinese. I was wondering if the zhong xue tong xue in the second sentence was supposed to be translated to middle school instead of high school. Thank you!

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