Her special interest is Chinese language. These proverbs also provides a great insight into Chinese culture and history. Happy nations have no history. Many have just four Chinese characters. 10. When someone gets a plum job all his friends and family will also prosper. ~ Robert Heinlein There are so few visitors that the door could be used to catch birds. If you can help improve our efforts please let us know. To teach others you need continuous personal improvement. Understanding the underlying natural order of the whole Universe that is also described as “achieving Dao” definitely requires the “sea of learning”. The four-plus character idioms also originated from it. 13. Many proverbs relate to specific people or places in Chinese history, we have chosen to exclude these as they are hard for non-Chinese people to understand without considerable historical context; instead we have chosen proverbs and sayings that give an insight into Chinese culture and traditions. Every day of your life is a page of your history. “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.” – Chinese Proverb. But as one re-reads, one discovers deeper meaning. Books and Reading. Oxana Ermolaeva is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Russia. Another element which testifies to the importance of the family in Chinese society throughout its history is the use of family names since ancient times. Passed down through the ages, these concise sayings often aim to impart inherited wisdom, historical tales, and even moral insights. A generation which ignores history has no past and no future. Plucked directly from Gerd de Ley’s Book of Chinese Proverbs: A Collection of Timeless Wisdom, Wit, Sayings & Advice, these 50 proverbs … Puns are also used in xiehouyu adding to the difficulty in understanding and translating them. The story is of a statesman who sacked a whole host of incompetent officials working for him with one stroke of the brush. Citation information for this page : Chinasage, 'Chinese Proverbs', last updated 6 Dec 2016, Web, http://www.chinasage.info/proverbs/proverbs.htm. It looks like the tradition still exists somewhat. The short standard form of Chengyu is made up of four characters and there are thousands of them, one for every possible situation. 12. 'Not do not die.') Although I am inspired by this bilingual list of wise Chinese sayings, Bible verses breathe faith and focus on God. The nature of the Chinese language lends itself to proverbs and idioms. If you bow at all, bow low. To keeping himself awake, he jabbed his hip with a needle. Most of the proverbs here are poetically expressed 10 Inspiring Chinese Proverbs about Life. - Reading helps people to stay in touch with interesting ideas. "After three days without reading, talk becomes flavorless." They present a window through which Chinese people have traditionally and even presently view and understand their lives. Translating Chinese proverbs into English is not an easy task. 三人行，必有我师。 – Sānrén xíng, bìyǒu wǒ shī. 1. “Every child born has innate goodness.” Chinese Proverb. So, there are some expressions that highlight the importance of practical implacability. The second story is about Su Qin (苏秦), who often studied until late, too. Chinese people have traditionally been good at drawing lessons from the ordinary things of life. Chinese proverbs are broadly categorized as either 谚语 yàn yǔ (proverbs or ‘familiar saying’) or 成语 chéng yǔ (meaning ‘become language’ usually translated as ‘idiom’ or ‘accepted saying’). There are hundreds of Chinese proverbs addressing all aspects of life – from education and work, to personal goals and relationships. 不作不死。(Bù zuò bù sǐ. Chinese proverbs are broadly categorized as either 谚 语 yàn yǔ (proverbs or ‘familiar saying’) or 成 语 chéng yǔ (meaning ‘become language’ usually translated as ‘idiom’ or ‘accepted saying’). Prudence, condensed. Confucius was a very influential Chinese philosopher and teacher. "Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible." It can be difficult to translate them, as most can seem funny or nonsensical at first (e.g. For background on the types and history of proverbs please, Book : Easy way to learn Chinese Idioms:…. This collection of Chinese Quotes will help you in achieving your dreams in life. Some of the most famous Chinese proverbs are 成语 (chéngyǔ) — these are proverbs that are four characters long, occasionally six. 8. I have picked 10 of my favourite expressions for you here: The Mandarin language is full of “analogical” proverbs and idioms. The short standard form of Chengyu is made up of four characters and there are thousands of them, one for every possible situation. 囫囵吞枣 [囫圇吞棗] Hú lún tūn zǎo [hu lun tun zao] whole all swallow date. Someone with poor judgment and a big mouth. – Studying is like sailing against … History is sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible and always complicated, and Chinese history is no different. Clothing is cherishable when new, but relationship … Read more…. Chinese proverbs were known as Yanyu and idioms were known as chengyu. Fear. These proverbs and idioms record China’s evolving attitudes towards the family. We would be most grateful if you can help improve this page. Below are some of the most common wisdom sayings that give practical life advice. One Chinese proverb says it all, "You can hardly make a friend in … Paying respect to one’s ancestors is an important part of Chinese culture 衣不如新，人不如故。 (yī bù rú xīn, rén bù rú gù.) 11. 子曰：“溫故而知新，可以爲師矣。” (zǐ … 悬梁刺骨 – xuán liáng cì gǔ – to study hard. A little impatience will spoil great plans. Just a few characters in Chinese can quickly convey a complex thought. Literally, this old saying means “If a jade is not cut and polished, it can’t be made into anything.” So, training and discipline are necessary for proper bringing up children. ~ Belgian Proverbs. Goto page: 1 2 A bird does not sing because it has an answer. Taking tough, decisive action to solve a problem. A smile will gain you ten more years of life . "In their 4,000-year civilized history, the Chinese have generated innumerable proverbs. The Chinese language has over 1,00,000 characters, and about one in five persons speaks some or the other form of it, all over the world. ~ Saying. A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. A snide commentator suggested that Meng was growing fat because he ate so many of his own words. Someone is forever retracting what was previously said. The same proverb may appear under several categories. Chinese proverbs can be taken from literary works, social expressions, as well as sayings from both famous people and common folk. – Studying is like sailing against the current: a boat must forge ahead or it will be swept downstream. 为时不晚 – wéi shíbù wǎn – it is not too late. The following Chinese friendship proverbs will show you that friendship is not just an experience but a responsibility. Whereas in Europe the use of family names began only between the 13 th and 15 th century, the Chinese were already using these from about 2,000 years BCE. For those longer, these proverbs are called 谚语 (yányǔ) . In addition to the proverbs below, you can learn Mandarin through authentic language in cultural context on FluentU.. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. In poverty - wearing an old coat so threadbare that pulling it up exposes the elbows through holes. Proverbs are often metaphorical and use formulaic language.Collectively, they form a genre of folklore.. Some proverbs exist in more than one language because people borrow them from languages and cultures similar to theirs. Having very few visitors. Here are a few random idioms to give a flavor of the hundreds on this site. The Confucian canon has its core called Classic of Rites (Lijing). There can be a proverb for almost any situation. (Paper tiger is a literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhǐ lǎohǔ (Chinese: 紙老虎), meaning something which seems as threatening as a tiger, but is really harmless. Thanks. Not surprisingly, the Mandarin language boasts so many proverbs and idioms about learning. Nowadays, Gaokao (National Higher Education Entrance Examination) is considered to be one of the most difficult pre-entrance tests in the world. Learning is compared with something that is difficult to overcome and sometimes unpredictable. Thank you for putting together this list of Chinese quotes! Not surprisingly, some wise sayings about learning are attributed to him. Known as the only surviving ancient civilization, the Chinese society is the only surviving culture from the ancient times unlike her peers such as Egyptian and Romans, where modern Egyptian and Roman no longer speak or follow their ancient customs and language. Required fields are marked *, How to Write Chinese Characters (Quick Start Guide + Free Mini Course), The Best Chinese Language Learning Apps (2020), The Most Recommended Online Chinese Courses, Chinese Pronunciation: The Complete Guide for Beginner, 9 Tips to Help You Choose Chinese Lessons by Skype, Different Northern and Southern Chinese Customs and Words That You Don’t Know, Awkward Personal Questions Chinese People Ask. – Learning is as high as the mountains and as wide as the seas. These proverbs are admired for their simplicity and wisdom, and the simple sheer number of them. Need motivation to begin (or continue) studying Mandarin Chinese? Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up. I’m bookmarking this list for inspiration! Alternatively, you can look a proverb by in Chinese by looking through the index by pinyin. Literally this means “Mountain of Dao, sea of learning”. The history of education in China can be tracked back to the 16th century B.C. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Chinese Proverb “If you bow at all, bow low.” – Chinese Proverb “A book holds a house of gold.” – Chinese Proverb “Talk does not cook rice.” – Chinese Proverb “A man who cannot tolerate small misfortunes can never accomplish great things.” – Chinese Proverb Riding high on someone else's success. These well-tested truths of condensed knowl-edge can once again be used to observe and to instruct. The modern Chinese, Our translations are in need of improvement, so please let us know your ideas. Our examples may help to explain why Chinese philosophers are seen as a source of great wisdom. Studying proverbs and idioms is a great way to boost your Chinese to the next level. Chinese Proverb. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. As there are so many these are split into separate pages: We also have an index of the proverbs base on similarly meaning English language proverbs. Dao is a Chinese concept signifying ‘way’ or ‘doctrine’. Alternatively can mean once a problem has been cracked anyone can solve it. Use this bar to see a group of related proverbs. Famous, wise and inspiring Mandarin proverbs for Chinese learners. — If you don't do stupid things you won't end up in tragedy. Standing still – Jewel (lyrics) Bookmark It. 凿壁偷光 – záobì tōuguāng – to study diligently. The proverbs are usually passed down from ancient literature and contain truisms that reflect wisdom, experiences, values, and thoughts from past generations. Scholars had to study very hard to prepare for government tests since only the high score let them to get a good governmental job. Extreme circumstances require extreme measures. Luckily, the language itself contains many inspiring sayings related to learning. She loves studying new languages and cultures. 5. 7. You might have heard someone or the other using old proverbs, which seemed humorous to you, and yet conveyed an important message through them. Behind some of Chinese idioms, there are interesting legends and stories. 学如逆水行舟，不进则退。- Xué rú nì shuǐ xíng zhōu, bù jìn zé tuì. For example. In the first part of a xiehouyu the situation is described and the second gives the underlying truth, so in English there is the similar ‘a bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush’ construction. “If your mind is strong, all difficult things will become easy; if your mind is weak, all easy things will become difficult.” Chinese Proverb. Friday 12th February 2021 Chinese New Year - Spring Festival (Chūnjié 春节). The superficial message becomes apparent immediately. Feel free to share your interest on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr or Mix using the buttons. … History teaches us the mistakes we are going to make. 3. […] I need encouragement, I try to redirect my attention and look up. 玉不琢，不成器。 – Yù bù zhuó, bù chéng qì. 道山学海。- Dào shān xué hǎi. (Cantonese saying. Proverbs and idioms are integral components of the Chinese language. Sometimes there is no similar construct or meaning in English and so a translation can seem contrived. So for example you can look for a Chinese eqivalent of proverbs such as ‘Many hands make light work’: Chinasage is a new web resource, pages will be added and enhanced regularly.
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