Category Archives: Chinese Proverbs

Chinese Proverb of the Week: 11

Chū lín sŭnzi xiàn dăduàn 出 林 笋子 先 打断 The bamboo shoots which grow outside the edge of the grove will be the first to be broken off.   This is a warning proverb – if you stick your … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 9

Hĕi guō lĭ zhŭchū xiāng mĭfàn 黑 锅 里 煮出 想 香 米饭 Tasty rice is cooked out of a black pot When risk-averse westerners see street food being cooked in China they are often horrified, and I imagine that … Continue reading

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Chinese Proverb of the week: 8

guó yì zhì ér jiā nán qí 国 易 治 而 家 难 齐 Easier to rule a kingdom than run a family I’m not sure if we have a similar proverb, but I totally agree with the sentiments in … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 7

Duì niú tán qín 对 牛 弹 琴 Play a harp before a cow   This is the Chinese equivalent to our expression ‘cast pearls before swine’ – that is to say, don’t offer something of value to someone who … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 6

Tóng bìng xiāng lián 同 病 相怜 Patients with similar conditions empathise with each other I think this is the equivalent of the English saying:  ‘Misery loves company’.                      This is a proverb that has two possible interpretations. The first is … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week – 5

lǎo pó shì bié rén de liàng 老婆是别人的靓 Your neighbour’s wife looks prettier than your own. Or, as we would say ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’. I know some people who are always … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 4

shŏu zhū dài tù 守 株 待 兔 Man who waits for roast duck to fly into his mouth must wait a very, very long time. What does this mean?  Well apart from the obvious that the man is a … Continue reading

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