All 2 entries tagged Saying

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January 20, 2007

Chinese Idiom of the Day #4 : 手不释卷

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

Chinese Idiom of the Day #2 : 对牛弹琴

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. 


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