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Chinese Idiom
不入虎穴,焉得虎子 (bù rù hǔ xué, yān dé hǔ zǐ)
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altBan Chao (bān chāo 班超) was a famous diplomat and military figure of the Eastern Han Dynasty (dōng hàn 东汉). In 73 AD, Ban Chao and 36 subordinates were on a diplomatic mission to the kingdoms of the Tarim Basin, and first arrived at the kingdom of Kroran, also known as Loulan (lóu lán 楼兰) or Shanshan (shàn shàn 鄯善).

 

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 14:19
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不学无术 (bù xué wú shù)
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In the reign of Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty (hàn cháo 汉朝), Grand General Huo Guang (huò guāng 霍光) was a minister who occupied a decisive position at court and was deeply trusted by the emperor. when Emperor Wudi was dying, he entrusted Huo Guang with the task of assisting his youngest son Liu fuelling (Emperor Zhaodi) in governing the country. After the death of Emperor Zhaodi,Huo Guang made Liu Xun the emperor. who was Emperor Xuandi of the Han Dynasty.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 14:27
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才高八斗 (cái gāo bā dǒu)
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altTsau Pi and Tsau Jr were sons of Tsau Tsau. Both were very gifted writers, and Tsau Jr was especially quick-witted.

After Tsau Tsau's death, Tsau Pi took over the throne of the kingdom of wei. Jealous of Tsau Jr's literary ability, and afraid that he might cause problems, Tsau Pi was always looking for a way to kill his brother. One day, Tsau Pi called Tsau Jr into see him. He ordered his brother to make up a poem within the time it took to walk seven steps, adding that if he could not, his life would be in danger.

Greatly saddened, Tsau Jr began to walk and to think. Before he had taken the seven steps, he had already finished his poem, the meaning of which was: "Brothers are of the same family, so why should the oppress each other?"

 

Tsau Jr was very intelligent and loved to study. He wrote many outstanding articles which showed his artistic talent and earned him the admiration of many people. One scholar said of him: "Heaven gave the world ten decalitres of talent, and Tsau Jr alone has eight of them."
Today, to say that a person "has eight decalitres of talent" is to say that he has a great aptitude for writing.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 14:32
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草木皆兵 (cǎo mù jiē bīng)
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altIn AD 383, the king of Former Qin (qín cháo 秦朝), Fu Jian (fú jiān 苻坚), led a huge army to attack Eastern Jin. After losing the first round of fighting, Fu Jian looked down from a city wall, and was terrified when he saw the formidable battle array of the Eastern Jin army. And then looking at the mountains around, he mistook the grass and trees for enemy soldiers. As a result, when the nervous Fu Jian led his army into battle, it suffered a crushing defeat.
This idiom describes how one can defeat oneself by imaging difficulties.

 

东晋时代,秦王苻坚控制了北部中国。公元383年,苻坚率领步兵、骑兵90万,攻打江南的晋朝。在淝水一带,被晋军出奇击败,损失惨重,大将被杀,士兵死伤万余。秦军的锐气大挫,军心动摇,士兵惊恐万状,纷纷逃跑。此时,苻坚在寿春城上望见晋军队伍严整,士气高昂,再北望八公山,只见山上一草一木都像晋军的士兵一样,于是更加恐慌。后来苻坚全军覆没,带着少数残余的队伍逃回去了。
这个成语后来形容人在极度惊恐时,疑神疑鬼的心理状态。

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 14:40
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程门立雪(chéng mén lì xuě)
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     alt
Cheng Yi
(chéng yí 程颐) was a Chinese philosopher born in Luoyang during the Song Dynasty. He worked with his older brother Cheng Hao (chéng hào 程灏).
On a heavy snowy day, there was a young man named Yangshi went to visit his teacher Cheng Yi. He found his teacher was sleeping when he arrived at the house. So he waited in the snow because he didn't want to wake his teacher up. When his teacher finally got up and the snow was very thick. Since then people use this idiom to say some one respect his teacher.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 14:45
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沉鱼落雁 (chén yú luò yàn)
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To make the fish sink and the wild goose fall

In Chinese ancient history,there were four well-known beauties named Shi Shr (xī shī 西施),Wang Jau-jun (wāng zhāo jūn 王昭君),Diao chan (diāo chán 貂蝉),Yang yu-huan (yáng yù huán 杨玉环). Though they were not in the same period, their unforgettable beauties were universally acclaimed by the later generations.

Shi Shr lived in the state of Yue (yuè 越国),during the Spring and autum period (春秋 chūn qiū,770 - 221BC). One day,she and a group of her femal friends went to a nearby river to wash yarn. The sky was blue,the water was extremly crystal that they could see flocks of fish swimming in the water here and there cheerfully. The fish ,too,could see the girls very clearly. Suddenly ,all of the fish began to swim swiftly downward to the bottom of the water,being shocked by the unparalleled beauty of Shi Shr and feeling ashamed themselves. Before long ,the interesting story were diffused and known by most civillians around the country. They therefore gave Shi Shr a nickname ‘The girl makes the fish sink’ ,demonstrating how beautiful she was.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 14:48
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