Career Magazine

230: Talking About Good and Bad News in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Life is full of ups and downs and some people believe that for every piece of good news there is some bad or not so good news coming your way. However, often the bad news is not so serious and can easily be overcome—leaving you to focus on the good news such as passing an exam or gaining entry to a university course; in which case any disappointment or bad news is quickly forgotten!.

In this Podcast, you will learn:

1) How to tell somebody else your good news

2) To discuss some bad news you may hear and suggest how to overcome it


Friends are talking about their studies:


(Zài xiào yuán)

(at the campus)

A: 告诉你一个好消息。我被香港大学的文化研究硕士项目录取了。

A: Gào sù nǐ yī gè hǎo xiāo xi. Wǒ bèi Xiāng Gǎng Dà Xué de wén huà yán jiū shuò shì xiàng mù lù qǔ le.

Let me tell you some good news. I have been admitted to the Master’s programme for Cultural Studies at the University of Hong Kong.

B: 太棒了!恭喜恭喜啊!你的努力真是没有白费!我申请了美国的三所学校,都还没消息呢!估计没戏了吧。

B: Tài bàng le! Gōng xǐ gōng xǐ a! Nǐ de nǔ lì zhēn shi méi yǒu bái fèi! Wǒ shēn qǐng le Měi Guó de sān suǒ xué xiào, dōu hái méi xiāo xī ne! Gū jì méi xì le ba.

Great! Congratulations! Your efforts have not been wasted! I applied for three universities in the United States, but still no results. Seems to be hopeless.

A: 别灰心啊。你这么优秀,很快就会有好消息的!

A: Bié huī xīn a. Nǐ zhè me yōu xiù, hěn kuài jiù huì yǒu hǎo xiāo xi de!

Don’t be discouraged. You are such an excellent student, and I’m sure there will be good news soon!

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

香港大学:the University of Hong Kong

文化研究:Cultural Studies







你的努力真是没有白费:your efforts have not been wasted, you deserve it

申请:apply for

学校:university, school

消息:news, information (here refers to the results of application)

估计:estimate, it seems that


灰心:lose heart, discouraged

这么:refers to the degree, very

优秀:excellent, good


好消息:good news

Cultural/Grammar notes:

When you want to congratulate your friends on their success and express the opinion that they deserve it through hard work, you can say ‘你的努力真是没有白费’.

‘这么’ is a very common expression in Chinese to describe a degree. E.g.


Nǐ zhè me nǔ lì, yī dìng néng chéng gōng de.

You are such a hard worker/ you work that hard, you will achieve success.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!

Keats Chinese School
Keats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

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