Popular Chinese proverbs that can be translated into English.

Famous Chinese Proverbs in English

Famous Chinese Proverbs in English and Chinese + Their Meanings Chinese proverbs (谚语, yànyǔ) are colloquial and compressed sentences that Chinese can easily pepper into daily conversations in Chinese language. The proverbs are usually passed down from ancient literature and contain truisms that reflect wisdom, experiences, values, and thoughts from past generations. Although famous Chinese[…]

Chinese Puns - 1-on-1 chinese online lesson

Chinese Puns

  Chinese Puns “A bicycle can’t stand on his own because it is two-tired.” You must’ve heard of many puns in English, and you may also “create” puns by playing with the words. Puns can bring fun to the language and in people’s daily lives, too. Not surprisingly, there are also puns in Chinese language,[…]

Chinese chengyu about tigers

Chinese Chengyu – 虎頭蛇尾

Chinese chengyu – 虎頭蛇尾 Do you know anyone who always starts out big and promising but in the end, it might not be as great as they should be? Perhaps it’s easier to say than done or they just simply lack persistence. The chengyu 虎头蛇尾 (hǔ tóu shé wěi) breaks down tiger (虎 hǔ) head[…]

Chinese Chengyu – 如鱼得水

      Chinese Chengyu – 如魚得水 The chengyu 如鱼得水 (rú yú dé shuǐ) breaks down to like (如rú) fish (鱼yú in (得 dé) water (水shuǐ). This corresponds almost perfectly with the classic English idiom, “like a fish takes to water” but with an emphasis on finding a good environment or natural home. During the[…]

Chinese chengyu

Chinese chengyu – 談虎色變

Chinese chengyu – 談虎色變 The chéngyǔ 谈虎色变 (tán hǔ sè biàn) is broken down in into the four words –  talk to(谈tán ) tiger (虎hǔ) color (色sè) change (变biàn). This is often translated to “one’s expression changes when ‘tiger’ is mentioned.’’ Once upon a time, there was man talking to his fellow villagers (村民 cūnmín)[…]

Chinese chengyu

Chinese Idioms in English – Chinegyu “笨鳥先飛”

Chinese Idioms in English The Chinese idiom in English or Chengyu 笨鸟先飞 (bèn niǎo xiān fēi) breaks down to stupid (笨 – bèn) bird (鸟 – niǎo) first (先 – xiān) flies (飞 – fēi). Simply translated in English: a ‘stupid bird flies first’ or ‘the clumsy bird flies early’. These refers to those that[…]

Chinese chengyu and phrases

Chinese Chengyu – 如虎添翼 – Like adding wings to a tiger

Like adding wings to a tiger ? What is it? The chengyu 如虎添翼 (rú hǔ tiān yì) breaks down into the words: like (如Rú) tiger (虎hǔ) add (添tiān) wings (翼yì). This translates nicely to “like adding wings to a tiger” in English. Now, what does it mean to add wings to a tiger? As you[…]

Chinese Chengyu

To recruit soldiers and buy horses | Chinese Chengyu – 招兵买马

Chinese Chengyu – 招兵买马 – To recruit soldiers and buy horses Chinese chengyu 招兵买马 (zhāo bīng mǎi mǎ) breaks down to into recruit (招zhāo ) soldiers (兵bīng) buy (买mǎi) horses (马 mǎ). This is translated into  English as ‘recruit soldiers, buy horses.” You can take this chéngyǔ at face value since the meaning is essential “to raise a[…]

Chinese chengyu

What is a Chengyu? Learning about Chinese idioms

What is a Chengyu? Learning about Chinese Idioms Have you heard the word ‘Chengyu’ before? Do you what is a chengyu? Chinese Chengyu (成语) is a type of traditional Chinese idiomatic expression, or simply ‘Chinese idioms’ in Chinese language learning, typically consisting of four characters. It is widely used in Classical Chinese and are still common in[…]

Chinese Chengyu about wolves

Chinese Chengyu – 狼多肉少 – Many Wolves, Little Meat

Chinese Chengyu – 狼多肉少 –  Many Wolves Little Meat Chinese Chengyu 狼多肉少 (láng duō ròu shǎo) literally translates to wolf (狼 láng) many (多 duō) meat (肉 ròu), little (少 shǎo). Or, in more standard English, ‘many wolves, little meat.’ This is one of the more direct chéngyǔ, that doesn’t require a huge background story to[…]

Chinese Chengyu dog wall

Chinese Chengyu – 狗急跳墙 – A Nervous Dog Jumps Over the Wall

Chinese Chengyu – 狗急跳墙 – A Nervous Dog Jumps Over the Wall The chéngyǔ 狗急跳墙 (gǒu jí tiào qiáng) breaks down to a dog (狗 gǒu) nervous (急 jí) jumps (跳 tiào) wall (墙 qiáng) Or, in more standard English, ‘A nervous dog jumps over the wall.’ While it may make sense on the surface,[…]

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Chinese Chengyu – 畫蛇添足 | Drawing a Snake and Adding Legs To It

Animal Chengyu – Drawing a snake and adding legs to it? Animal Chinese Chengyu 画蛇添足 (huà shé tiān zú ) breaks down to drawing (画 huà ) snake (蛇shé) add (添tiān) legs/feet (足 zú). In English, we would say “drawing the snake and adding legs to it” or simply “adding legs to a snake.” This chéngyǔ[…]