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Chinese Idiom

Chinese Idiom & Proverbs



闻鸡起舞 (wén jī qǐ wǔ)

altZu Ti (zū tì祖逖) of the Jin Dynasty (jìn dài 265-420 AD) was a big-hearted and farsighted person who, however, was very naughty and did not like to study when he was a small kid. When he became a young man, he felt acutely that his knowledge was inadequate and that he could not serve his country well if he did not study hard. So he put all his energies into his study. He read extensively,seriously studied history from which he absorbed rich knowledge, and made good progresss in his studies. He had been to the capital city Luoyang several times, and all the people who had to the capital city Luoyang several times,and all the

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 23:55
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狐假虎威 (hú jiǎ hǔ wēi)

 altA tiger caught a fox in a forest, and was just about to eat it, when the fox said, 'You mustn't eat me. I was sent by Heaven to rule the animals. By eating me, you will violate the command of Heaven. If you don't believe me, just follow me to see whether the animals are of me.' The tiger agreed, and followed the fox as it walked around the forest. The animals all ran away on seeing them. The tiger thought they were of the fox, so he let it go. He didn't realise that it was him that the beasts were really of.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2009 09:45
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破镜重圆 (pò jìng chóng yuán)

altIn the Northern and Southern Dynasties (nán běi cháo 南北朝,420-589AD) when the State of Chen (chén guó 陈国) was facing its demise, Xu Deyan (xú dé yán 徐德言), husband of the princess, broke a bronze mirror into halves. Each of them kept a half as tokens in case they were separated. Soon afterwards, they did lose touch with each other, but the two halves of the mirror enabled them to be reunited.

This idiom is used to refer to the reunion of a couple after they lose touch or break up.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 June 2009 17:19
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守株待兔 (shǒu zhū dài tù)

altIn the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū 春秋时期,770-476 BC), a farmer in the State of Song (sòng guó 宋国) was one day working in the fields when he saw a rabbit bump into a tree stump accidentally and break its neck. The farmer took the rabbit home, and cooked himself a delicious meal. That night he thought, 'I needn't work so hard. All I have to do is wait for a rabbit each day by the stump.' So from then on he gave up farming, and simply sat by the stump waiting for rabbits to come and run into it.

This idiom satirizes those who just wait for a stroke of luck, rather than making efforts to obtain what they need.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 June 2009 17:08
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画饼充饥 (huà bǐng chōng jī )

altIn the Three Kingdoms Period (sān guó 三国时代,220-280AD), the king of the state of Wei (wèi guó 魏国), Cao Rui (cáo ruì 曹睿), wanted to select a very capable man to work for him. He said to his ministers: "When choosing a talented person, always beware of one with a false reputation. A false reputation is just like a picture of a cake; it can' t relieve hunger."

Later, this idiom came to be used to mean comforting oneself with unrealistic thoughts, without solving practical problems.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November 2009 07:28
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