Jiang Ping Going to Study

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,得了满分。 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?

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