Chinese Language Blog

Tag Archives: 成语

Chinese Idioms (Vol. 5) Posted by on Apr 9, 2012

It’s been a while, but it’s time for another installment of Chinese idioms, or 成语 (chéng yǔ). For this edition, we’ll look at three very different animals – a horse, a mantis, and a bird: 按图索骥 – Àn tú suǒ jì – “judge a horse by the book” Once upon a time, in the Spring…

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Chinese Idioms (Vol. 4) Posted by on Oct 25, 2011

It’s been a while since our last post about Chinese idioms (成语 – chéng yǔ). In Chinese, the word for idiom literally means “to become a part of the language.” All idioms are composed of four characters, and most come from ancient literature. As such, the meaning of the idiom itself is usually more than…

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Idioms Explained Posted by on Sep 24, 2011

Idioms or 成语  (chéng yǔ) are very prevalent in Chinese writing and even in common day sayings. Much like idiomatic expressions used in English, the Chinese equivalents are an amalgam of history, cultural influences and scholarly debate, imparted upon Mandarin and Cantonese over thousands of years. Further, because Chinese and English are the two largest…

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Axioms and Proverbs (成语) Posted by on Dec 22, 2010

Here are some very…lets say…unique Chinese proverbs or 成语 (chéng yǔ). See if you can figure them out before you read the English transliteration/translation: 熊瞎子摘苞米,摘一个丢一个 pinyin: xióng xiā zi zhāi bāo mǐ, zhāi yí gè diū yí gè variant: 狗熊掰苞米 (pinyin: gǒu xióng ba bāo mǐ) Literally: Blind bear picks corn, picks one and drops…

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