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Chinese Idiom

Chinese Idiom & Proverbs

望洋兴叹 (wàng yáng xīng tàn)

altThis is an old fable story about the gods. Long long ago, there lived in the Yellow River (huáng hé 黄河) a river god known as He Bo (hé bó河伯). One day, He Bo stood on the riverbank and watched the turbulent waves from the west surging forward to the east. Being very impressed by the magnificent scene, he said excitedly and conceitedly:"How big the Yellow River is !It’s so broad and spectacular that can dwarf any other rivers in the world. Well,it’s safe to say that I am the greatest river god."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 17:58
不寒而栗(bù hán ér lì)



During the Han dynasty (hàn cháo 汉朝, 206BC—220AD), there was a man whose name was Yi Zong (yìzòng 义纵). Because of the special Kindness of the mother of the emperor, Yi Zong was made a magistrate in one county.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 14:12
洛阳纸贵 (luò yáng zhi guì)



In the Jin Dynasty (jìn dài 265-420AD) there was a famous writer whose name was Zuo Si (zuǒ sī 左思) who, however, was very naughty and did not like to study when he was a small kid. His father often got angry, and yet young Zuo Si was as naughty as ever and would not study hard.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 23:59
三顾茅庐 (sān gù máo lú)


In the third century, China was divided into three kingdoms: Wei (wèi guó 魏国) in the north, Shu (shǔ guó 蜀国) in the southwest and Wu (wú guó 吴国) in the southeast. Shu was a weak state.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 June 2009 15:42
指鹿为马 (zhǐ lù wéi mǎ)

altIn the reign of Emperor the Second of the Qin Dynasty (qín cháo 秦朝,221-207 BC), the prime minister Zhao Gao (zhào gāo 赵高), obsessed with ambitions, was planning to usurp the throne day and night. But he did not know how many of the ministers in the court were allowed to be ordered about by him and how many of them were his opponents. So he thought out a way to test how high his prestige among the ministers was and also to find out who dared to oppose him.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 23:57
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