339 Senior & Junior

Do you still remember your seniors and junior from University? Eleanor Olcott is a graduate from Cambridge University who is currently studying Chinese at National Taiwan University in Taipei. ShaoLan and Eleanor discuss the policy of many universities around the world where older students are paired with new students, to help them adjust to university life. In Asia, the bonds between juniors and seniors are quite strong and it’s common to stay in touch for many years after graduation, indeed, ShaoLan shares that she is still in touch with some of her seniors and juniors from high school and university!

The Chinese word for “senior” is 學長/学长 for a male and 學姐/学姐 for a female. The first character 學/学 means “to study” or “to learn,” the next character 長/长 means “elder” and 姐 means “older sister.” It gives a sense of seniors and juniors being a bit like family in the way they look out for each other.

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Senior & Junior
學姐 & 學妹 / 学姐 & 学妹
xué jiě & xué mèi
To learn, to study
學 / 学
Older sister
大學 / 大学
dà xué
Middle school
中學 / 中学
zhōng xué
Elementary school
小學 / 小学
xiǎo xué
學生 / 学生
xué shēng
Language student
語言學生 / 语言学生
yǔ yánxué shēng
University student
大學生 / 大学生
dà xué shēng
Middle school student
中學生 / 中学生
zhōng xué shēng
Elementary school student
小學生 / 小学生
xué shēng shēng
學長 or 學姐 / 学长 or 学姐
xué zhǎng or xué jiě
To grow
長 / 长
Female siblings
jiě mèi
Male siblings
xiōng dì
學弟 or 學妹 / 学弟 or 学妹
xué dì or xué mèi
Brothers and sisters
xiōng dì jiě mèi

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