This text is talking about 应试教育 versus 素质教育。In this sentence the last phrase is a bit unclear.


Dictionaries say ‘着急’ means 'worry, feel anxious'

我们不能太着急。I'd like to translate this as 'we shouldn't expect quick results' or 'we shouldn't fret'. Does that catch the Chinese meaning??

  • Since the process is not in 'our' control, I agree with your interpretation in your last sentence. – NS.X. Sep 1 '15 at 1:04

I suggest: "We shouldn't rush the process" since it's a long and painful process you're talking about.

  • Might be better with 'can't rush the process'?? What do you actually think when you read '不能太着急‘? ‘cannot very worry (about it)? – Pedroski Sep 1 '15 at 0:49
  • What do I actually think when I read '不能太着急‘? -- one cannot afford to rush the process because rushing it might be detrimental. That's why I said "shouldn't", or maybe "must not" is a better choice? – monalisa Sep 1 '15 at 4:41

'着急' is not worry, the text is talking about 应试教育 versus 素质教育, the transition from 应试教育 to 素质教育 is a long hard process, so we must be patient and follow the basic education rules to make this change. In this text, '着急' means impatient, short-tempered. As the saying goes A watched pot never boils.

  • On the other hand, 快乐的时光总是短暂的, 'time flies when you're having fun'。 Maybe he means, have fun, don't worry, and the change will happen quicker than you think! I don't really think so, but it is possible. – Pedroski Sep 1 '15 at 4:23
  • 快乐的时光总是短暂的, time flies when you're having fun. I think when a man is happy, the time flies quicker than when he is sad or worried. 着急, in this text, means a man is eager to get the result or for example a man is eager to have a watermelon and even the watermelon is not ripe. Maybe the example can help you understand. – GoingMyWay Sep 1 '15 at 4:39


This line does not have a subject. It looks like a typical bad use of Chinese language.


It's saying this change is very difficult and it needs a long and painful duration to be accomplished.


Thus, we'd better not push it forward too hard / jump the gun / be too hasty / act in haste / go off at half cook / advance too quickly.

So 着急 here does not mean 'worry, feel anxious'.

Here it's more referring to the probable unwise actions and behavior that is caused by your worry and anxiety.

  • Chinese often omits words, which always confuses me. This is an interview, so in context it is not hard to infer 我们 as the subject. Since they wrote 不能, wouldn't 'can't ' be more fitting than the subjunctive 'we had better not'?? – Pedroski Sep 1 '15 at 4:12
  • Sorry, you are right about that. Precisely speaking, 不能 should be translated as " can't ". – John Sep 2 '15 at 5:09
  • Please don't apologize, I am only asking because I don't know what is right. – Pedroski Sep 2 '15 at 8:43

XXX, 是一个痛苦的漫长的过程,我们不能太着急

"XXX is a struggling and long-time procedure, we shouldn't hurry"

but how it sounds I prefer this:

"XXX is a struggling and long-time procedure, we need to be patient"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.