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Home Chinese Idiom 滥竽充数 (làn yū chōng shù)
滥竽充数 (làn yū chōng shù)
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During the Warring States Period (zhàn guó 战国,475-221BC),the King of the State of Qi (qí guó 齐国) was very keen on listening to a traditional musical instrument called Yu (yǖ, 竽) ensembles. He used to require 300 Yu players to form a grand music together thus to express his generosity. These musicians could get rather handson payment through playing for the ruler. A man named Nanguo (nán guō 南郭) learned about that and he wanted badly to become a member of the band due to the big money,even though he was not good at playing the instrument at all. Things went on very smoothly just as Nanguo planed. He successfully got a positon in the Yu band. Whenever the band played for the king,Nanguo just stood in the line,pretending that he was playing with his home heart and soul. However, not even one person paid attention to his fake playing.

Good times don't last long. Several years later,the old king passed away,his son took office,who also enjoyed the beautiful music played on the Yu. However,contrary to his father,he preferred solos to choir so that he was able to appreciate the very essence of the music quitely. Therefore,he commanded the musicians to come forward and play the Yu one by one for him. Nanguo was frightened to death as soon as he hearing the news,he had no choice but to package hastily and run out of the palace. Afterwards,the idiom "Be there just to make up the number" is used to sneer at someone who disguises himselves as a profession in a certain field but is a layman indeed.
 

古时候,齐国的国君齐宣王爱好音乐,尤其喜欢听吹竽,他手下有300个善于吹竽的乐师。齐宣王喜欢热闹,讲究宏大的排场,所以每次听吹竽的时候,总是叫这300个人在一起合奏给他听,并给这些乐手们很丰厚的报酬。有个南郭先生听说了齐宣王的这个爱好,心里痒痒的,他虽然对竽一无所知,但觉得这是个赚钱的好机会。于是南郭跑到齐宣王那里去,吹嘘自己的竽吹得有多好,齐宣王听后便信以为真了,很爽快地收下了他。这以后,南郭先生就随那300人一块儿合奏给齐宣王听,每逢演奏的时候,南郭先生就捧着竽混在队伍中,人家摇晃身体他也摇晃身体,人家摆头他也摆头,脸上装出一副动情忘我的样子,居然没有被任何人看出破绽来。

但是好景不长,过了几年,齐宣王死了,他的儿子继承了王位。年轻的王子也爱听吹竽,可是他和齐宣王不一样,他认为独奏更加动听,一群人一块儿吹实在太吵。于是新国王要求乐师们一个一个地在他面前演奏。南郭先生得到这个消息之后吓出了一身冷汗。他想来想去,觉得这次再也混不过去了,只好连夜收拾行李逃走了。从此以后,“滥竽充数”就用来形容那些没有真实才干,只是混饭吃的人。

滥竽充数 (làn yū chōng shù)
【翻译】Be there just to make up the number.
【释义】形容那些没有真实才干,只是混饭吃的人。
【例句】无论工作和学习都不能滥竽充数,这样最终会害了自己。
【近义词】名不副实、掩人耳目、鱼目混珠
【反义词】货真价实、名副其实

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2009 23:01
 

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