All 2 entries tagged Saying
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January 20, 2007
手不释卷 - Shou Bu Shi Juan
Literal Meaning - Hand Not Release Book
Figurative Meaning - Diligent in Study
Western Equivalent - Bookworm, Always with a book in hand
Story Behind Idiom:
Lv Meng was a meritorious general of the State of Wu during the Three Kingdoms Period. He came from a poor family and had not had the chance to go to school when he was young. When he became a general, the duke of Wu encouraged him to read some books. Lv Meng took his advice, and started to study hard. Even when he was marching or fighting, he would find time to study. There was always a book in his hand. Finally, Lv Meng became a learned general.
(nb Lv is a pinyin representation of an L followed by a short and sharp Oo sound. So it would sound a bit like Lew or Lieu)
January 17, 2007
对牛弹琴 － Dui Niu Tan Qin
Literal Meaning - Face cow, play (stringed) instrument．
Figurative meaning - Reasoning with Stubborn people or talking to the wrong audience
Western Equivalent - Presenting a pearl before a swine.
Story behind idiom:
In ancient times there was a man who played the zither very well. Once, he played a tune in front of a cow, hoping that the cow would appreciate it. The tune was melodious, but the cow showed no reaction, and just kept on eating grass. The man sighed, and went away.