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  • 7/11/2006

Chinese Proverbs

chinese proverbs

Add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it.

(Do something that is totally unnecessary and spoil what you already have done.)

An ant may well destroy a whole dam.

(If a small problem is overlooked, it could develop into a big disaster as ant can multiple making tunnels in the dam to allow water soak in and consequently bring it to a collapse.)

A book holds a house of gold.

(It is a motto adults use to encourage youngsters to study. If you study hard, you"ll have a good job and a chance to make good money.)

Butcher the donkey after it finished his job on the mill.

(Isn"t that ungrateful and mean? There are people who after taking advantage of you turn their back to you.)

A crane standing amidst a flock of chickens.

(A crane is too obvious when it stands among a flock of chickens and looks very awkward. It is also true with a camel amidst a flock of sheep and a flea when it stands on top of a hairless head. They all carry a pejoritary tone: the thing that outstands others is something awkward if not necessarily bad.)

A camel standing amidst a flock of sheep.

(A crane is too obvious when it stands among a flock of chickens and looks very awkward. It is also true with a camel amidst a flock of sheep and a flea when it stands on top of a hairless head. They all carry a pejoritary tone: the thing that out stands others is something awkward if not necessarily bad.)

Crows everywhere are equally black.

(It is a metaphorical statement of "Bad people are bad no matter where you find them because human nature never changes".)

A dish of carrot hastily cooked may still has soil uncleaned off the vegetable.

(When hurry through a job it is impossible to attend to the minute details.)

Dismantle the bridge shortly after crossing it.

(Isn"t that ungrateful and mean? There are people who after taking advantage of you turn their back to you.)

Distant water won"t help to put out a fire close at hand.

(In an emergency, regular help from afar can not be reached: expedient measures in the case are very much warranted.)

Distant water won"t quench your immediate thirst.

(In an emergency, regular help from afar can not be reached: expedient measures in the case are very much warrented.)

Do not want others to know what you have done? Better not have done it anyways.

Donkey"s lips do not fit onto a horse"s mouth.

(It refers to something totally irrelavent.)

A dog won"t forsake his master because of his poverty; a son never deserts his mother for her homely appearance.

Dream different dreams while on the same bed.

(It is a reality that even the closest people, husband and wife, will dream different dreams. That means, people are never alike in their minds. The connotation is that you got to be wary of even the people you trust the most.)

Even a hare will bite when it is cornered.

Fail to steal the chicken while it ate up your bait grain.

(Kind of like "Shoot Your Own Feet". Starting out to hurt others but ending up in being hurt.)

A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.

(Cracked eggs that yield odours are as vulnerable to flies as problem children to gangs or bad company.)

Fight a wolf with a flex stalk.

(Each party is fearful of the other: the wolf thought the stalk could be a fatal weapon while the person fears the consequence of his trick seen through by the wolf. Are you ever caught in a situation like this?)

A flea on the top of a bald head.

(A crane is too obvious when it stands among a flock of chickens and looks very awkward. It is also true with a camel amidst a flock of sheep and a flea when it stands on top of a hairless head. They all carry a pejoritary tone: the thing that outstands others is something awkward if not necessarily bad.)

Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites.

A frog in a well shaft seeing the sky.

Flies never visit an egg that has no crack.

A good fortune may forbode a bad luck, which may in turn disguise a good fortune.

Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger but a heart as soft as tofu.

Have one"s ears pierced only before the wedding ceremony starts.

A horse cannot gain weight if not fed with extra fodder during the night; a man cannot become wealthy without earnings apart from his regular salaries.

How can you expect to find ivory in a dog"s mouth?

How can you put out a fire set on a cart-load of firewood with only a cup of water?

If you do not study hard when young you"ll end up bewailing your failures as you grow up.

If a son is uneducated, his dad is to blame.

If you have never done anything evil, you should not be worrying about devils to knock at your door.

An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can"t buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.

It is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind.

A Jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated.

 Kill a chicken before a monkey.

Kill one to warn a hundred.

Like ants eating a bone.

Looking for the ass on its very back.

Lift a stone only to drop on your own feet.

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