Getting a place at a language school
Mr Song: Mr Smith, please take a seat and have some fruit.
Mr Smith: You’re too kind to me.
Mr Song: Not at all, you are so tired after the meeting and I’m still asking you to come over and help explain English to my son, I really feel quite embarrassed.
Mr Smith: It’s only a small thing. If I’m able to help him I’ll be really happy!
Mr Song: That’s really good. Let’s sit and watch the television for a while, or we can chat and dinner will be ready in a while. My wife works quite quickly.
Mr Smith: All right. Mm, I just thought of something. Perhaps I should ask your opinion.
Mr Song: If there’s something I can help you with, just say so.
Mr Smith: When I phoned home yesterday, my daughter, Sophie told me she was really interested in China. I think she’s really curious about it and thinking of coming over and having a look around. So after discussing it with her I'm preparing to let her come to Beijing this summer holiday and study at a language school. In her free time she could travel around everywhere at her convenience and get experience. I wanted to ask you whether you knew about language schools in Beijing? If you could recommend some that would be the best thing.
Mr Song: Mr Smith, you’re really talking to the right person! Previously I’ve looked after quite a few Americans, they also wanted to go to language schools and so I went specially to survey several schools.
Mr Smith: Mr Song, you are very dedicated!
Mr Song: Not really. I suggest three schools: Beijing Language \ [and Culture\] University is very good and usually sets up short-term training courses; the College of Chinese Language & Culture, Beijing Normal University is also good and has official status; in addition, Beijing International Chinese College may also be considered.
Mr Smith: I can’t remember all that at once, let me type it into my phone.
Mr Song: You don’t need to; I’ll send you an e-mail later with information about and the websites of the schools. That way your daughter can conveniently make a comparison.
Mr Smith: Mr Song, you’re too good to me; I don’t know how to thank you.
Mr Song: There’s no need to thank me for that, as it is my duty to look after you and make you satisfied! Come, the meal is ready; let's eat!
Mr Smith: I’ve never yet had a meal in a Chinese person’s home; it’s my first time. Don’t Chinese people generally like to eat out with other people?
Mr Song: Yes, we call eating out “yingchou (social niceties)”. In general for reciprocity such as business negotiations, work partnerships etc. we certainly eat out and only close personal friends we get on with well are asked home for dinner.
Mr Smith: It looks like you already regard me as a good friend!
Mr Song: It was lucky that I was assigned specially to look after foreign friends coming for a conference and met you and it’s also fate! Talking of which, you’ve already been in China for a month; the time is passing very quickly.
Mr Smith: Yes, I’ll be going back soon; I really feel a little reluctant to go.
Mr Song: You’ll certainly come again in the future and remember to contact me at that time.
Mr Smith: I certainly will.