Chinese idioms are deeply rooted in legacies and traditional culture, making the Chinese language more rich and fascinating. Interestingly enough, the origin for this phrase in Chinese also comes from a translation of the Bible. How sad. Chú feī … 凿壁偷光 Záo bì tōu guāng “to dig a hole (凿)in the wall(壁) to steal(偷) light(光)”. In the same way, a double-edged sword reminds us that what brings us power can also bring us harm. However, there is only scant research regarding the teaching of English idioms among Chinese students and translation strategies between English and Chinese idioms. You can view the chengyu and the explanation in either simplified or traditional Chinese. In this Chinese chéng yŭ (成语), the language is cut down to the barest images. Ear… what now? Don't omit the second half of it like you would in English. The working people have created many idioms in their work and life. Which is actually not very far from the actual meaning. Chinese set expression, typically of 4 characters, often alluding to a story or historical quotation / idiom / proverb / saying / adage / CL: 條|条, 本, 句 成 語 HSK 5 To highlight the insignificance of an action or an event, Westerners might use the term "small potatoes.". How many people do you need to make a mountain and a sea? The idiom "哪壶不开提哪壶 (nǎ hú bù kāi tí nǎ hú)" literally means "to pick the kettle that is not boiling." Chinese Idioms and Proverbs In Chinese they are called “chéngyǔ“ — a 4 character idiomatic expression often revealing a truth or perspective whose origins are based on stories or historical quotations. 说曹操,曹操到. The answer is yes. 爱人如己. sān sī ér hòu xíng Drink water think of the source. No, this does not say 海底捞. She enjoys cooking, hiking, and climbing big rocks. See, Chinese idioms aren’t that difficult at all. "practice makes perfect" or "shun4 feng1" Search 1 As it turns out, they’re really no big deal. That’s another one of those ancient Chinese pots. “Sailors”, for example, invented a lot of vivid phrases, which related to the ocean. Who’s ‘no cure’ now?? They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but guess what, there is in Chinese (this idiom, not actual food. 鸡毛蒜皮. The Chinese prefer throwing them in oceans instead of barns. They reveal a lot about the similarities between the two cultures, as well as a few small differences: Chinese version: When the sun rises from the west But some of the most exciting discoveries are the ones that strike close to home. Tip: Open our free video-based pinyin chart to check your pronunciation of these words. In recent years, much attention has been paid to how translation can benefit English idiom learning for English language learners. Did You Know You Can Use Yoyo Chinese Like a Mobile App? If they were dissatisfied, the same people could easily overthrow the leader. Just be careful not to get swept away, as both English and Chinese speakers recognize the dangers of infatuation when you fall in love at first sight. "practice makes perfect" or "shun4 feng1" Search 1 High as a kite 嗨到飞起 (hāi dào fēi qǐ) The idiom high as a kite was first used in the 19th century in … Chinese version: One look and deep in love. Play piano at the cow. 乌 is a crow and鸟 is a bird. English Translation: When your grandma heard you had a girlfriend, she eyebrows open eyes smile. That just invites thieves to come along and steal your car. The first two Chinese words 半途 [bàn tú] means half way in English. Good thing we were prepared for this from the previous one. hè lì jī qún  You had to be careful when speaking ill about him. Don’t think you can escape that question once CNY is over. English Translation: He built a car behind closed doors, building a car that could not move. English Translation: He is as huge and heavy as a giant ancient Chinese pot. Yes, someone played piano for some cows. (Watch till the end!) Read this article in the Goody Feed App now! First, you say thank you, and then you ask, “Did the sun rise from the west today?”, Chinese version: Water can carry the boat and also overturn the boat. This idiom arose out of the belief that cáo cāo (曹操) had many eyes and ears everywhere, and moved with unbelievable speed. Because idioms don't always make sense literally, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. Chinese version: When the sun rises from the west. Its usage today, however, does not necessarily have religious ties. Click any Card for More Information. Download now and stand a chance to win $50 weekly!iOS: https://goo.gl/a0FZdyAndroid: https://goo.gl/WlJzV8, This article was first published on goodyfeed.com. Idioms is a special culture which is shaped in the daily lives of the local people, particularly the idioms of diet has a close relation with various elements, such as the eating custom , history, fairy tales, geographic situations. Chinese version: Speak of Cao Cao, and Cao Cao arrives. No work, get free stuff. Audio Chinese dictionary searchable in Chinese (simplified or traditional), pronunciation (Pinyin or Zhuyin - bopomofo) or English. Chinese idioms are often closely linked with the myth, story or historical fact from which they are derived. watch a fire from a safe haven. English Translation: If you don’t know his address, looking for him in Singapore is like fishing for a needle on the bottom of the ocean. Feel free to browse our complementary resources! watch a fire from a safe haven. Ok, this one is a little scarier. But what’s funny in English may not be quite as funny in Mandarin Chinese and vice versa. When you wear masks and apply lipstick at the same time (wait for it) #shorts, When you thought the boss is not in (watch to the end) #shorts, (Wait for it…) When You ‘加饭’ to Fried Rice #shorts, Anyone old enough to remember this ad? Chengyu (成語/成语 chéngyǔ) : chinese idiomatic phrases and proverbial expressions usually consisting of four characters. The Story. This all goes to show that even for languages as different as English and Chinese, there are common ideas we all feel the need to express. English Translation: The story of Newton and the apple is well known. Which one best applies to your situation? To be honest though, why would you build a car with your door open? Ok, these complicated Chinese words need to stop. This Chinese idiom is used the same as the English equivalents. English Translation: During CNY, Chinatown people mountain people sea. You just … 不可得兼 (bù kě dé jiān): “you can’t have both at the same time”. Everyone knows you’re not going to touch Chinese stuff until the next holidays. Was there seriously a guy who played piano for some cows? Oh my God, what is that word? Used in a sentence: 从小在父母的耳濡目染下,我决定当一名医生。. Stop thinking about food. in. #shorts. While ghosts and demons abound in Buddhist tradition and Chinese superstition, cáo cāo (曹操) was the historical figure chosen to represent the devil in this idiom. Chinese Insults: How to Name-Call Like a Pro (Part 1). Those two words both mean see. Apparently the Chinese see mirages more on the oceans than the deserts, but that’s a discussion for another time. The headline seems too chim? 乌 is a crow and鸟 is a bird. Here’s a list of some of our favorite Chinese idioms that have English equivalents. This is a good phrase to use for any friend about to make a big, spontaneous decision, like an elopement in Vegas. This is why it’s important, as a learner, to try and learn a bit more about Chinese slang and idioms . We just taught you how to use 15 Chinese idioms, for free. That’s right, a lot. The implied meaning here is actually to profit from others’ efforts, so really, nothing’s free. You can also click on the chengyu to get a stroke order for the chengyu. ), here are 15 Chinese idioms, also known as 成语, and how to use them in your daily life. I mean it does, but it has nothing to do with the steamboat. 3. The purpose of this article is not, however, to delve into the etymology of each saying. Saving one of my favourite Chinese idioms for last. English Translation: To read Shakespeare to people who don’t understand English is to play piano at the cow. Oh dear. Perhaps we can assume that bigger problems must be expressed through bigger fowl? This Chinese Idiom refers to someone who has the spirit of perseverance in the face of adversity. 九牛一毛 (jiǔ niú yì máo) Meaning: nine cows and one strand of cow hair. You can use this any time someone is trying, in vain, to teach someone else (or you) something significant to them that the listener doesn’t really care about. The chart has video explanations for difficult sounds and audio demonstrations for all 400+ Mandarin sounds! Close door build car. Regardless of all the chickens in the world, you’re bound to meet your crane one day. It’s fast, seamless and ad-free! 乌[wū] is not 鸟 [niǎo] even though they look alike. Do you know of any other idioms we should add to this list? Unfortunately, there’s nine of them now. 学如登山 ENGLISH EQUAL: Wolf in sheep’s clothing. jī máo suàn pí  So the CNY holidays have ended for most of you, and your routine obligations like work and school have begun again. Actually, though, this means you’ll see further when you’re high up, or to be farsighted. Stop thinking about food!). 成语 Chéngyǔ are a type of traditional Chinese idioms typically made up of four characters.. There’s over 5000 (!) 九牛一毛 (jiǔ niú yì máo) Meaning: nine cows and one strand of cow hair. Yeah, that’s it. House know… house know. Each Chinese idiom carries profound meaning, and knowing how to use them will help you sound just like a native Chinese speaker. Chengyu, proper names, examples, synonyms and calligraphy. You now know 15 Chinese idioms! Welcome back everyone to this new Chinese idiom animation lesson from Tales from China! This actually means hear and see a lot, get influenced easily, which is why there are an ear and an eye in the idiom. There are two of them scary Chinese words now (Why do you even need two?). 4. This Chinese Idiom translated into English means “love me, love my dog”, although the Chinese character for dog “狗” is not mentioned in the Chengyu. Chinese Idiom Dictionary free download - Talking Dictionary, Dictionary, iFinger Collins English Dictionary, and many more programs This Chinese idiom is used … 500 Common Chinese Idioms is the ideal tool for all intermediate to advanced learners of Chinese. idiom translate: 习语,成语,惯用语, (某一时期、个人或群体在写作、言语、音乐方面的)典型表达风格. Chinese version: Love people as if they were yourself 10 Facts About Cell-Cultured Chicken That Doesn’t Need Any Animal to Die to Produce... 2 COVID-19 Cases Today (2 Dec) & Both Are Imported Cases. You say you smile with your eyes, I give it to you, but your eyebrows? I guess this doesn’t really have the same ring to it. Act after. Recently, Thailand has opened up its borders to leisure travellers provided they are able to meet the stringent requirements. By giving a problem three thoughts, you can often come up with a solution crafty enough to take care of two birds at once. She used to teach English in Beijing, and hopes to visit again soon to see friends and family and to eat all the food twice. I bet you didn’t know your facial features could do those things. The example is literally about a desert, what the heck, Chinese? Who in the right mind would play piano for cows? You can also click on the chengyu to get a stroke order for the chengyu. ", It's also interesting to note that the second half of the idiom is often omitted in English. Hm. This one means ‘famous’, and literally means your name is as huge and heavy as a giant ancient Chinese pot. shuō cáo cāo, cáo cāo dào HOME. Chinese version: Chicken feathers and garlic peels. 1. Then again, some problems aren’t problems at all. After the list of chengyu is generated, if you click on them you can see more information and the explanation (in Chinese). Please don’t tell me I’m doing exactly this right now. yí jiàn shuāng diāo  These days, both expressions are used more generally to point out how our tools can either help or harm, depending on how we use them. ex. So when someone shows up to your potluck dinner party with a small plate of nothing, you’ll know what to say about this. ex. Based on large corpora of authentic language data, it presents the 500 most commonly used Chinese idioms or chengyu, along with a variety of synonyms, antonyms and the most common structures, enabling the reader to make educated guesses about the meanings of hundreds of unfamiliar idioms. the Sources of Chinese and English Idioms. Congratulations! Study of Chinese and English Idioms in Sources Similarities. This means ‘just and honourable’. This must be very familiar to many of you, amirite? You can view the chengyu and the explanation in either simplified or traditional Chinese. Very obvious. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Don’t worry, this one is actually very simple. Now go out there and wow your friends and family with your dedication to Chinese culture. It's your birthday, and your friend, who's the laziest person alive, gets you a chicken burger as a present. And no, I’m not old. 笑里藏刀: Hide a dagger behind a smile. When are you going to get a girlfriend? Explanation: Easily translated between Chinese and English, this ancient insight emphasizes that teaching someone a skill, rather than simply procuring the reward for them, is the best way to help them achieve lifelong success. English Translation: Because of his farsightedness, he managed to build a great career. This expression is used to describe someone who stands out from the rest, such as an excellent job candidate, an impressive artist, or a potential love interest. What is it with the Chinese and their giant pots? Both cultures focus on nutrition as a way to avoid seeing or bothering the doctor, but the Chinese idiom includes a seasonal caveat as well as a focus on prescriptions and medications—which can be both costly and foul tasting. So below you will find a list of 148 Chengyu and idiomatic phrases that are among the most used in modern China: 1. What do you mean that was 10 years ago!? Drink water think of the source. English Translation: He refuses to listen to reason, no cure now. That is apparently how the Chinese smile: with their goddamn eyebrows. English: Give a man a fish and you feed him for one day. However, it's one thing to learn to understand these expressions in Chinese text, but a completely different thing to learn to actively use them in your own phrases. It aims to help them understand and use the common Chinese idioms correctly. DIANA XIN writes fiction and teaches writing in Seattle, Washington. Translating Chinese idioms is not easy at all. Eyebrows open eyes smile. Usually, you'll often hear people say, "Speak of the devil.". How did this idiom even come about? This one may be very familiar with some of you, when your Chinese teacher used this on you when you refused to do your Chinese homework. In Chinese, no one will ever say "shuō cáo cāo (说曹操)" and leave it at that. This one means to have gratitude and think of where your happiness comes from. 冬吃萝卜夏吃姜, 不用医生开药方. Seriously, Chinese, couldn’t you use simpler words for the same meaning? Type something in the field below, to find great chinese idioms. Who’s ‘useless’ now? This Chinese idiom is so well known that Hong Kongers sometimes just use the English literal translation, just as English speakers the world over do for “long time no see”, saying “Wow, it was so packed last night… people mountain, people sea.” © 2020 Yoyo Chinese Inc. All Rights Reserved. Ok, now we’re getting back to the easier ones. yì shí èr niăo  in. 6 Awesome Authentic Chinese Foods You Need to Know About. Then he went back to Guangzhou and continued his English teaching in Zhongshan University, and afterwards in the Guangzhou Foreign Languages Institute until he retired in 1977. For example, if your team at work is feeling great because your project is getting a lot of press, just keep in mind that media attention can go both ways. yí jiàn zhōng qíng Oh. This idiom means it is useless to explain something to someone who doesn’t understand. Click here to Log in. Chinese version 1: One rock two birds If you meet an old friend at the dinner party but only have time for small talk, you can say that you only spoke of 鸡毛蒜皮 (jī máo suàn pí) things. Yeah, that’s right. This Chinese Idiom translated into English means “love me, love my dog”, although the Chinese character for dog “狗” is not mentioned in the Chengyu. Now you should probably buy us lunch or something. Just like the first idiom, the literal meaning of this would be physically hitting or beating … Say, for example, your child is awake before noon and has cleaned up the house and made you breakfast. High and far what now? But even in language, there are some cool coincidences. the Sources of Chinese and English Idioms. English Translation: You’ll often see mirages while walking in the desert. Study of Chinese and English Idioms in Sources Similarities. Other languages this idiom exists in: We hear from translators that this is an idiom in Swedish, Polish, Latvian and Norwegian. An additional note: This expression can also be used as a question to express your surprise at an uncommon incident. The present 30 000 idioms are provided with explanations in English, pinyin, illustrative sentences, simple instructions of usage, synonyms and antonyms. 乌[wū] is not 鸟 [niǎo] even though they look alike. ài rén rú jĭ  Okay, so let’s be … Idioms is a special culture which is shaped in the daily lives of the local people, particularly the idioms of diet has a close relation with various elements, such as the eating custom , history, fairy tales, geographic situations. Also, different ways of translation on different diet idioms in English and Chinese will be analyzed in this article. (For example, ni3 hao3 -> nǐ hǎo), Already have an account? Here’s a much deeper kind of love to focus on. See, Chinese idioms aren’t that difficult at all. Come on! I take what I said earlier back. It's used to indicate that someone is saying or doing something that shouldn't be mentioned in front of others, or that someone is bringing up a sensitive subject. English Translation: He always does business in a Light bright, right, big manner, and never lies. Learn more in the Cambridge English-Chinese simplified Dictionary. Chengyu, Chinese idioms, are a kind of traditional Chinese idiomatic expressions. This means very difficult to find something, basically the Chinese version of searching for a needle in a haystack. Chú feī tài yáng cóng xī biān chū lái Another rather simple idiom, but quite ridiculous if you think about it. They are derived from ancient literature and most of which consist of four characters. They are often referred to as Chinese idioms or four-character idioms; however, they are not the only idioms in Chinese. Finding the familiar in the foreign is a great reminder that no matter where you go, people are, at their core, just people. Read more about The Unique Way Chinese People Talk About Health Matters, Chinese version: Think three times. it works with chinese, pinyin and english. I can already see you recoiling in fear. When hell freezes over / When pigs fly. It just means ‘mirage’. But don’t let that stop you from trying to be as Chinese as possible like you’ve been doing for CNY. HOME. In the spirit of CNY, and the spirit of doing what the government told you to (remember the speak mandarin campaigns like 华语酷? English Translation: One must drink water and think of the source, and have gratitude. (Watch till the end!) When You Exercise & Eat at the Same Time #shorts. Also, different ways of translation on different diet idioms in English and Chinese will be analyzed in this article. Originally, it was a reminder that leaders were kept afloat by the populous that supported them. Type something in the field below, to find great chinese idioms. Most idioms come from the ordinary people’s daily life. 2. (Of course, you can also remind the team that “all press is good press.”), Chinese version: Carrots in winter and ginger in summer, then the doctor won’t have to write a prescription. Additionally, chicken feathers and garlic peels can be used to discuss any trifling matter or superficial conversation. Chinese idioms often appear to be written with a special type of compressed grammar, and may therefore be difficult to interpret. Please share in the comments below! 一见钟情. In the Chinese version, kitchen scraps like chicken feathers and garlic peels are used. Used in a sentence: 给不懂英语的人朗诵莎士比亚,实在是对牛弹琴。. 华语 is 酷, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. The English translation of this Chinese Idiom is to give up halfway. Fish for a needle on the bottom of the ocean. Ah. There is currently no English chengyu explanation. Ancient Chinese scholars loved their idioms and therefore most of these sayings that we take for granted in English have their roots in ancient Chinese literature. This one actually means to do things blindly, outside of reality. The Mandarin word for idiom is 成语 and the most common types are four-character idioms. To "have bitten off more than you can chew " is an idiom that means you have tried to do something which is too difficult for you. Both cultures were smart enough to include this proverb, what with double-edged swords and boats being so tricky. That’ll show you, Chinese teacher! 100 People in Thailand Might Have Come in Contact With COVID-19 Cases; Authorities Urge... MAS Urging Households to Exercise Prudence When Buying Big-Ticket Items Due to Economic Uncertainties, Leaked Documents Allegedly Reveal How China Mishandled COVID-19 During Its Early Stage, This Hokkien + Chinese PPAP Tutorial is Funny AF, This CNY, You’ll Lose Your Pants if These Chinese Zodiac Signs Deal in Blackjack. Type tone numbers after each pinyin syllable then click the convert button to change them in tone marks. 废 [fèi ] in English translation is to give up or throw away. You can feel at ease using it to tell off any bully. This one says one sentence nine pots, which means your words and promises are very important and not to be broken. dōng chī luó bo xià chī jiāng, bú yòng yī shēng kaī yào fāng These idioms are not only Learn more in the Cambridge English-Chinese traditional Dictionary. We don’t recommend overusing these at the risk of trying to fit in, but slide them in once in awhile during your conversations! Hit the sack. 鹤立鸡群. English Translation: From the influence of my parents when I was young, I decided to become a doctor. There is currently no English chengyu explanation. English idioms, proverbs, and expressions are an important part of everyday English. In the alternative saying, the birds are somewhat bigger and the act of shooting an arrow somewhat harder. English Translation: If you want people to respect you, you must one sentence nine pots. Light bright, right, big. But most of them aren’t fit for use in everyday speech…. This work is the result of his many years' collection of and comparison between Chinese and English phrases, idioms … English Translation: There is no such thing as no work, get free stuff. A warlord during the Three Kingdoms period, cáo cāo (曹操) has been praised as a brilliant strategist and fair ruler, but Chinese opera also represented him as cunning and deceitful. such idioms in the Chinese language. “There’s always a few bad apples” Idiom on its own: 鱼龙混杂 (yú lóng hùn zá) 水能载舟,亦能覆舟. Rather, the Chinese word 乌 is mentioned. Chinese idioms are one of four types of formulaic expressions (熟语, shuyu), which also include collocations (惯用语), two-part allegorical sayings (歇后语), and proverbs (谚语). No cure. Click any Card for More Information. idiom translate: 習語,成語,慣用語, (某一時期、個人或群體在寫作、言語、音樂方面的)典型表達風格. After the list of chengyu is generated, if you click on them you can see more information and the explanation (in Chinese). Now we’re back at the simpler words. How to Know If Someone is Lying (Body Language) Based on Studies! During the 漢 Han Dynasty, there was a student named 匡衡 Kuang Heng. This Chinese idiom is used to express something that is so small. 一箭双雕. Anytime you are enjoying some gossip and suddenly the subject of your conversation texts, calls, or announces her presence, you can verbalize this coincidence by saying, "shuō cáo cāo, cáo cāo dào (说曹操,曹操到)! Except this article! Thank God this one is really easy, and I’m quite sure many of you already know this. In this video, we take a look at some of the more common ones and see how they can be used in context. 除非太阳从西边出来. 23 Chinese Idioms To Sound Like a Fluent Speaker. This portrayal carried on into the literary epic, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Chinese Idioms and Proverbs In Chinese they are called “chéngyǔ“ — a 4 character idiomatic expression often revealing a truth or perspective whose origins are based on stories or historical quotations. Chinese Idiom Story 3: 凿壁偷光 Dig a Hole in the Wall. Which is exactly how you use this. In English, the phrase is “buying a pig in poke,” but English speakers do also “let the cat out of the bag,” which means to reveal something that’s supposed to be secret. It may not be romantic love, but both cultures celebrate the importance of the Golden Rule. Chinese version: A crane standing among a flock of chickens. Why do non-Chinese people feel that Chinese is difficult to learn? The working people have created many idioms in their work and life. have bitten off more than you can chew 是一句成語,意思是試圖承擔力所不及的事。 [ C or U ] formal This means every house and family knows, referring to something being very well known. shuǐ néng zài zhōu, yì néng fù zhōu 饮水思源. 一石二鸟, Chinese version 2: One arrow two hawks This looks like a mish-mash of generic good descriptions. Most idioms come from the ordinary people’s daily life. Speaking of those insignificant chickens… they really just can’t compare with a crane. This is a good way to remind people to eat more nutritiously and mind their health. Don’t worry, you’re reading this article; your Chinese confirm got cure. it works with chinese, pinyin and english. Rather, the Chinese word 乌 is mentioned. This one means “people mountain people sea”. 心神不宁 (xīn shén bù níng): “to feel bad about nothing”. Language is often the most alienating and isolating cultural barrier, preventing us from communicating and connecting with the world around us. When talking about an event that is impossible, Westerners turn to flights of fancy, and the Chinese to astronomical upheaval. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English. These idioms are not only Many Chinese and English idioms intersect in meaning or even match in phrasing. You just translate them simply and the meaning is obvious. #shorts, Fried Rice, Correct What? The term sān sī (三思) means to mull it over or to think again in Chinese, but the plea includes a specific number as the literal definition is “think three times.”. 三思而后行. “Sailors”, for example, invented a lot of vivid phrases, which related to the ocean. Often called “Chinese idioms” in English, the term 成语 (chéngyǔ) can be directly translated as “already made words” or “formed words.” Woven together over thousands of years out of ancient myths, fairy tales, philosophical musings, poetry and folktales, Chinese idioms are a testament to the longevity and continuity of the Chinese language. Why Motivation is Overrated When Learning a New Language. 不得其法 (bù dé qí fǎ): “not knowing the right way”.