So what are Chinese proverbs (谚语 yànyŭ in Chinese)? 5. Find out how CLI’s program options can greatly enhance your understanding of Chinese language and culture, and check out this article on the Anatomy of Chinese Characters! But did you know that Fortune cookies can trace their origin to Kyoto, Japan? There, descendants can come to worship ancestors and consult spirit tablets. These proverbs and idioms record China’s evolving attitudes towards the family. This collection of Chinese Quotes will help you in achieving your dreams in life. Some of the most famous Chinese proverbs are 成语 (chéngyǔ) — these are proverbs that are four characters long, occasionally six. Chinese Proverbs – Inspirational Words Of Wisdom. This phenomenon is referred to as 重男轻女 zhòngnán-qīngnǚ in Chinese. The heavy demands of rural agricultural-based economic life further pressed these extended families into tight cooperative units. “Giving a man a fish is not equal to teaching a man to fish”. Three brothers, three fortresses. Some sayings, particularly those expressing intimacy and support of family relationships, will find a place in the hearts of modern readers. Relaxation is who you are. (Chinese original: 己所不欲勿施于人; Chinese Pinyin: Jiǔ féng zhījǐ qiān bēi shǎo, huà bù tóujī bàn jù duō.) dàng máfan láilín , jiārén huì gěiyú nǐ zhīchí. 不作不死。(Bù zuò bù sǐ. The Chinese proverbs here were derived indirectly from old Chinese texts. Marlon Brando Mobile: +86 18516611424. 徐汇区襄阳南路218号现代大厦 A座 910室 The traditional Chinese extended family, by contrast, consists of grandparents, unmarried aunts, uncles, married sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (Swahili Proverb) - More Swahili Proverbs... Brothers, rivers and priests are three bad neighbors. Chinese philosophers and teachers have always had a way of expressing bits of knowledge in short but concise sayings which we all have the attention span to hear. (Chinese Proverb) The saddest thing is the death of the heart. Proverb in Chinese: 请教别人一次是五分钟的傻子，从不请教别人是一辈子的傻子, Pinyin: qǐng jiào bié rén yī cì shì wǔ fēnzhōng de shǎzi, cóng bù qǐng jiào biérén shì yī bèizi de shǎzi. Some well-endowed lineage organizations award scholarships and engage in charitable work. Here, 未雨 (wèiyǔ) means before it rains. We give plenty of handy information on our courses, blogs to help build your vocabulary, useful apps to learn the language and everything going on at our LTL schools! Sleep is the brother of death. Our proverbs come with full information. English translation: He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. Table of ContentsProverbs and Idioms: A Cross-Cultural PhenomenonTraditional Conceptions of the Chinese FamilyFilial Piety and the Confucian HierarchyClose Family BondsLineages, Descent Lines and ClansLineagesDescent LinesClans or Same-surname AssociationsFamily WordsMen and WomenTraditional Gender RolesGender Roles in Today’s ChinaChinese Proverbs and Idioms About FamilyChinese Proverbs and Idioms About Family: Familial RelationshipsChinese Proverbs and Idioms About Family: Property and SecretsChinese Proverbs and Idioms About Family: MarriageChinese Vocabulary, Idioms and Proverbs About Family. “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb. “Friends always show their love. There are thousands of proverbs after all and we love teaching you them but for now, it’s time to take stock, learn the ones above and give you just three more which might be useful in day-to-day life. Some of the most famous Chinese proverbs are 成语 (chéngyǔ) — these are proverbs that are four characters long, occasionally six. Every Country and Territory Name in Chinese, A Brief Guide to Expressing Birthday Wishes in Chinese, Essential Things to Know Before You Begin Learning Chinese, enhance your understanding of Chinese language and culture, older male cousin; older male cousin on the female side, three obediences and four virtues (Confucian code of ethics for women). Proverbs and idioms reflect society’s values. 6 Chinese Proverbs Every Entrepreneur Should Read Use these words of wisdom to help grow your business and aid you in tough times. These well-tested truths of condensed knowl-edge can once again be used to observe and to instruct. Hi Asad, I found this blog a little while back and just did a podcast episode repeating these 40 Chinese proverbs in honour of Chinese New Year Thanks so much for sharing! Translated literally, this saying reads “men are high, women low.” It means “women are inferior to men.”, In traditional Confucian society, women had little autonomy outside the home. 78. 56. Members of an extended family enjoy a meal together. “After you” is good manners.” – Chinese Proverb. 54. In reality, the majority of what happens in our life depends on us. In all arenas and at all stages of life, Confucian society required women to allow their male counterparts—fathers, husbands and sons—to take on responsibility for most aspects of their lives. 910 Modern Mansion Building A, Xiangyang South St. 218 In this article, we’ll first explore Chinese attitudes towards the family. Chinese people attach great importance to family, because they believe the family is the foundation of society, and that whatever happens in life, the Family will always be there as a source of support, help, and comfort. Due to the rapid contraction of the family as a consequence of the one-child policy (1979-2015), many of these words have fallen into disuse. In Chinese, 一口 means one mouthful, 吃 (chī) translates to eat, 不成 (bùchéng) to impossible, and 胖子 (pàngzi) means a fat person. Then, we’ll examine 12 Chinese proverbs and idioms about family and consider how they reflect traditional cultural attitudes. This translates to “the master leads to you to the door, the rest is up to you.”. English translation: This proverb means that the only thing we should be afraid of is stopping completely. Another example of one of China's idioms is 名不虚传 (míngbùxūchuán). Aside from getting to grips with the local lingo using proverbs, listening to Chinese music, watching Chinese movies and subscribing to Chinese podcasts are a great way to improve your skills fast. In fact, the term for “good” in Chinese is 好 (hǎo), which is the character for female (女 nǚ) set alongside the character for a male child (子 zi). We look forward to welcoming you to Guilin. In this article, we will tackle ten Chinese proverbs about family, which is a vital concept in traditional Chinese culture. ~ Beninese Proverb. Many have just four Chinese characters. 1. It’s difficult to know when to draw the line and just stop, we could write on and on and on…. You Need To Begin Somewhere and The Best Time Is Now “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The Western nuclear family consists of one father and one mother raising their children. Members of these groups generally lack a clear understanding of the specifics of their collective descent relationship. Historically, Confucian and Daoist customs, patriarchal cultural beliefs and the exclusion of women from economic and educational spheres all combined to elevate the importance of men and minimize the importance of women. Email: [email protected], Xiangyang South Rd. For thousands of years, two key factors fostered extremely close family bonds. what's another example of one of chinese's 4 character idioms? English translation: dig the well before you are thirsty. 8. During difficult times, it’s your family that supports you. 'Not do not die.') There we have it — 11 great Chinese proverbs to learn. A state cannot have two monarchs or a family two heads. Despite these strict Confucian norms, in practice many women did in fact take up positions of power. 7. If you want to discover even more Chinese idioms and sayings, check out our other article. These Chinese proverbs about love transmit traces of marvelous wisdom in their words. Tel: +886 (2) 27555007 在个人 (zài gè rén) means “is on the individual”. The importance of the family can also be detected through language. And remember, each 10,000 mile journey begins with just one step. “One meal won’t make a fat man.” – Chinese Proverb. Since our brothers are the people we value, we ought to help them whenever they are in need, and by so doing God will bless us. China’s millenia-old civilization has also produced a wealth of proverbs and sayings. Message, Email: [email protected] Here, 机 (jī) means opportunity (机会, jīhuì), and 不可失 (bùkě shī) refers to something that we can’t miss. MORE POSTS 100 Motivational Quotes That Would Motivate You Daily. One was the Chinese collective household system, which integrated different married couples into the same family. 35 Ancient Chinese Proverbs and Quotes on Love, Life, Wisdom, Knowledge and Success. Wealthy Chinese women in traditional clothes. Tel: +86 (0) 21 3368 0866 夫妻如衣服, 兄弟如手足 Chinese women’s lives have undergone vast changes in recent years. These popular sayings are just a reminder. They are sayings that have been passed down and usually got there origins from famous Chinese writers and philosophers. Other proverbs and idioms, particularly those relating to the plight of women and the conditions of marriage, will perhaps make the modern reader uncomfortable. As a result, Chinese proverbs and idioms about family are a great way to gain insight into historical and modern Chinese values. While at home, society expected women to follow their fathers. Indeed, Confucian principles governing how each person is bound by obligations to others are at the heart of the Chinese worldview. The English meaning is sometimes equated to the saying “Dig the well before you are thirsty“. Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. English translation: This idiom translates into English quite smoothly. The predecessors plant the tree, the descendents cool off in the shade. 家家有本难念的经 (jiājiā yǒu běn nánniàn de jīnɡ), 出门看天色，进门看脸色 (chūmén kàn tiānsè, jìnmén kàn liǎnsè). The other was the custom of multiple generations living under the same roof. This List of Chinese quotations is composed of quotations that are important for Chinese culture, ... All Men Are Brothers (Title of the novel 水滸傳 Shuǐhǔ Zhuàn in one of the first English translations by Pearl Buck. Note: This proverb was often used in situations where someone had been exiled or engaged in long years of travel. “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.” – Chinese Proverb. Modern Chinese women have made great strides in the workplace. ~ Jean Baptiste Legouve; When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life. This is demonstrated by the many ways one can express one’s relationship with one’s relatives, both living and dead. When you study in China you can fully immerse yourself in Chinese culture, giving you a deeper understanding of the Chinese language. 1. Indeed, people considered children primarily as members of the same age-group or generation rather than as offspring of particular parents. 4. An idealized depiction of a Chinese family from the Mao era. Check out Cam’s 8 tips for learning a language with our video below. In this article, we’ll first explore Chinese attitudes towards the family. Upon marriage, the Confucians expected women to follow their husbands, and after marriage, their sons. Email: [email protected], No. At the same time, however, traditional beliefs continue to influence which options and opportunities are—and are not—available. When you go out, observe the color of the sky, when you come in, observe the facial expressions (of your family members). Wealthy lineages sometimes collectively own an ancestral hall or shrine. Wife virtuous, son filial, father lenient. A tree can grow 10 thousand feet tall but its leaves will always fall back to the roots. Being interpreted in English not only brings out their timeless value but gives new dimensions in expression. Chinese Proverbs #1 – Dig the Well Before You Are Thirsty, Chinese Proverbs #2 – Teach A Man to Fish, Chinese Proverbs #3 – One Only Learns From One’s Mistakes, Chinese Proverbs #4 – It Is Better to Make Slow Progress, Chinese Proverbs #5 – Opportunity Knocks But Once, Chinese Proverbs #6 – Learn to Walk Before You Run, Chinese Proverbs #7 – The Master Leads You to the Door, Chinese Proverbs #8 – He Who Asks A Question, Chinese Proverbs #9 – BONUS: 3 More Chinese Proverbs. Carlos P. Romulo. Paying respect to one’s ancestors is an important part of Chinese culture. They’re also a great way to expand your Chinese vocabulary when you’re learning Mandarin. The size and scope of lineage organizations varies enormously and often depends on the wealth and prestige of individual members. Note: This was proverbial advice given to newly married women. ~ Palestinian Proverbs. Chinese proverbs (諺語, yànyŭ) are popular sayings taken from literature, history, and famous people such as philosophers.The expressions are often used colloquially as statements of wisdom or advice. (Chinese Proverb) It is a little thing to starve to death; it is a serious matter to lose one's virtue. So, a nice thing! (Chinese Proverb) Foxes grieve over the death of rabbits. How can I help you? Name and Email are required. 授人以鱼不如授人以渔 (shòu rén yǐ yú bù rú shòu rén yǐ yú) translates to “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”. The proverbs and idioms below reflect the historical centrality of the family to Chinese cultural life, and they also indicate just how multidimensional this notion is. Here, the proverb literally means repair (bind with silk) your house before the rain comes, make sure that you are prepared for a rainy day. Proverbs and Idioms: A Cross-Cultural Phenomenon, Traditional Conceptions of the Chinese Family, Chinese Proverbs and Idioms About Family: Familial Relationships, Chinese Proverbs and Idioms About Family: Property and Secrets, Chinese Proverbs and Idioms About Family: Marriage, Chinese Vocabulary, Idioms and Proverbs About Family, Chinese Proverbs and Idioms on Learning and Education, Recommended Chinese Flashcard Options for Learning Chinese in 2020. Confucian society considered not bearing a male heir to be one of the worst things imaginable. The … The modern Chinese characters are given first with links that give information on the character. It is okay to teach someone how to discipline a child, but don’t teach how to divorce one’s wife . While there are enormous differences between conditions in urban and rural areas, since 1949 Chinese women as a whole have become much more educated, independent and integrated into the workforce (although they’re still substantially underrepresented when it comes to business and political leadership positions). Take our quick-fire Chinese Proverbs quiz here. 未 (wèi) usually refers to something in the future, i.e. We’ve prepared a quick-fire quiz to see how much you really know about Chinese Proverbs. 北海市海城区北海大道183号城市购物广场 0510号 China’s rollercoaster of a 20th century shattered many of these historical patterns and radically reshaped many others. Some poorer lineage organizations simply have a place, sometimes in a designated room of an ancestral home, to honor the ancestors on important holidays (such as Tomb-Sweeping Day or Ghost Festival). The word brother has been used in many contexts, the actual meaning of a brother is the person whom you share the same mother with and the other meaning is the person whom you associate with or share a common interest. You will get a reply from us Your email address will not be published. As proverbs are so old you will often see them written using the traditional form of characters; so if of the characters have been simplified the phrase is shown in brackets and gray text. 80. Today, we are going to discuss Chinese proverbs. 29, Lane 78, Section 1, Anhe Rd, Da’an, Taipei “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still”. The oldest known dictionary of the Chinese language, the Erh-ya (尔雅 Ěryǎ), contains a mind-boggling 2,000 terms for family relations. During difficult times, it's your family that supports you. Updated: January 8, 2020 / Home » Quotes [ Lesson for Life ] Known as the only surviving ancient civilization, the Chinese society is the only surviving culture from the ancient times unlike her peers such as Egyptian and Romans, where modern Egyptian and Roman no longer speak or follow their ancient … Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival. Note: This proverb, and the one that follows, demonstrate the playful and strategic approach that many Chinese women took to navigating their relative powerlessness when it came to marriage. 20 Famous and wise Chinese proverbs ( 谚语 yanyu), sayings and quotes: Chinese, pinyin, English translation and Standing still – Jewel (lyrics) Posted on 06/05/2014 by Chinesetolearn 1 A bird does not sing because it has an answer. There are several translations we can choose from in English. Chinese Interpretation The relationship between a husband and a wife is like a piece of garment; if the garment is torn, it can be mended. If the house is cold then marry a man, you'll have clothes to wear and rice to eat. The only thing is that the proverbs mentioned below are not literal translations of the original Chinese proverbs, but may have been slightly modified to make more sense in English. 1. 79. Confucianism’s central obligation is filial piety (孝顺 xiàoshùn). English translation: This is a very well-known proverb, meaning that it’s much more effective to teach someone how to do something for themselves than to simply do it for them in the long-term. See more ideas about chinese proverbs, proverbs, inspirational quotes. Pinyin: shī fu lǐng jìn mén, xiū xíng zài gè rén. Draw inspiration from literary works, social expressions, and sayings from the famous and common folk. So, before getting stuck into the best Chinese proverbs, we wanted to give you our Chinese Proverb of the Day… come back every day for a new pearl of wisdom from the Chinese language! However, the absence of reliable records like spirit tablets or other genealogies hinders the practice of many traditional rituals. Then, we’ll examine 12 Chinese proverbs and idioms about family and consider how they reflect traditional cultural attitudes. For instance, Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, created a well-known rule that is taught to kids and adults alike – the Golden Rule. Portuguese proverb. A lineage organization is a group of descendants who have collectively organized for the purposes of recording their genealogy and ritually worshipping or commemorating their ancestors. “If you want to find out about the road ahead, then ask about it from those coming back.” – Chinese Proverb. As long as one continues to produce male heirs, the descent line will continue indefinitely. Email: [email protected], Traditional: 台北市大安區安和路一段78巷29號 Many people live in the past and lament over “ifs” and “should haves” and release their power of action in the present moment. 衣不如新，人不如故。 (yī bù rú xīn, rén bù rú gù.) Chinese proverbs 4 characters long (sometimes 6) are called 成语 (chéngyǔ). Hesiod. For now, we leave you with one of our other really popular blogs, take a look…. In Chinese, 请教 (qǐngjiào) means to ask someone for advice, 五分钟的傻子 (wǔ fēnzhōng de shǎzi) means a “five-minute fool”, whereas 一辈子的傻子 (yī bèizi de shǎzi) means a “fool for life”. If the father is a tiger, then the son will also be a tiger. Below are some of the most common wisdom sayings that give practical life advice. Traditional Chinese society was governed by strict gender roles rooted in Confucian teachings. “Clothing is cherishable when new, … The Confucian doctrine of the Three Obediences and Four Virtues (三从四德 Sāncóng Sìdé) laid out strict rules for women. However, contemporary Chinese still employs dozens of unique relationship words, many of which don’t exist in Western languages. “A fool says what he knows and a wise man knows what he says.” Yiddish Proverb. We all love a taste of these cookies and the wisdom that come with them. The predecessors plant the tree, the descendants cool off in the shade. 建国路88号现代城SOHO B座 504 Ceremonies to honor the ancestors usually involve making symbolic food offerings, burning joss paper and lighting fragrant incense. something that hasn’t happened yet, so in this case the rain. As is the case with all nations, but perhaps more so in China due to the length and continuity of its history, modernity and tradition have yet to achieve a stable balance—it remains a give and take between past and present. Plan ahead. No. A friend by thee is better than a brother far off. Well, that’s a story for another day. 4. “There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.” Russian Proverb . The relationship between two brothers is like a limb; if a limb is broken, it cannot be repaired. ~ One often finds one’s destiny just where one hides to avoid it. For those longer, these proverbs are called 谚语 (yányǔ). You enter by yourself: here, 修行 (xiūxíng) literally means practising Buddhism or Daoism, but actually refers to the action of opening the door. Name * When you deal with your brother, be pleasant, but get a witness. In fact, people judged every aspect of the world, or 天下 (tiānxià), by whether it conformed to or violated these familial principles. (Swahili Proverb) - More Swahili Proverbs... A brother is a cooking pot, and a neighbour is a cooking pot lid. 绸缪 (chóumóu) means to bind something with silk. Skype: [email protected] We’ve put together a list of some of our favourites to get you started, with a short explanation of the tricky vocabulary and the meanings. Chinese proverb. A #910 In the absence of clear records, sharing the same last name is an important part of these groups. What Chinese TV shows should I watch to learn Chinese? 3. Email: [email protected]l.com, Thank you very much! The Chinese word 堑 (qiàn) literally means moat or pit. The children of these households learned to navigate and explore the world under the watchful eye of many older family members. — If you don't do stupid things you won't end up in tragedy. Tel: +86 (0) 10 65129057 The opposite to the English proverb: "Do … The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb. Family is a central pillar of Chinese culture, so it should come as no surprise that many Chinese proverbs and idioms revolve around this important subject. Each civilization encodes its collective wisdom and prejudices into figures of speech, stories and easily remembered phrases. Between brothers, two witnesses and a notary. Women continue to assume unprecedented positions of power. 79 Mind-Blowing Chinese Proverbs. If we are fearful, if we are afraid of taking that first step, if we are distant and artificial and we don’t listen to our heart, we will rarely find people who satisfy us. If the house is cold then marry a man, you’ll have clothes to wear and rice to eat. Note: This proverb suggests that even if something is of little value, if it’s your property you should cherish it. Marry a chicken, follow a chicken; marry a dog, follow a dog. Women were primarily seen in light of their ability to produce male heirs who would maintain the descent line, thereby pleasing the ancestors. Wise Chinese Proverbs ~ Tension is who you think you should be. It goes back to the beginning of time, starting with the first father who founded the line. Some even act as emergency banks where members can gain access to loans during times of financial instability. English translation: This proverb is all about learning from your experiences or mistakes. Familiar English-language proverbs and idiomatic phrases touch on everything from health and hygiene (“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”) to psychology (“Great minds think alike”) and morality (“Turn the other cheek”). China’s megacities are fast producing their own updated expectations for men and women, while the influx of tens of millions of migrant workers from rural areas often reinforces older relationship models. ~ Proverb; The younger brother must help pay for the pleasures of the elder. ~ Vietnamese Proverbs. Indeed, the Chinese principle human relationships (father-son, husband-wife, ruler-subject) stem from this core parent-child relationship. I'm away right now, so I will get back to you by email as soon as possible, Chinese Proverbs: Learn Mandarin through Chinese Sayings, discover more Chinese sayings and idioms check this post out, What is Chuan (串) and where to find it in Shanghai, The Complete Guide to Traditional Chinese Clothing. They each possess a special talent: one can swallow the sea, one has an unbreakable iron neck, one can stretch his legs to incredible lengths, one can survive being burned, and one can hold his breath forever. Clan and same-surname associations either in China or overseas are broader and looser coalitions of individuals who share an ancestor. For those longer, these proverbs are called 谚语 (yányǔ). But more literal translations could be: “Fall into the pit, a gain in your wit” or “Fall into the moat and you’ll be wiser next time”. History is sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible and always complicated, and Chinese history is no different. Proverbs and idioms reflect cultural belief systems. The Confucian hierarchy emphasizes the importance of families harmoniously ruled by benevolent elder patriarchs. (Chinese Proverb) Sleep is the brother of Death. 当麻烦来临，家人会给予你支持 (dàng máfan láilín, jiārén huì gěiyú nǐ zhīchí). Consider, for example, the existence of many family-related Chinese words that contain the character 家 (jiā): 大家 (dàjiā, literally “big family”)——Everybody, 国家 (guójiā, literally “national family)——Country, 家具 (jiājù, literally “family tool”)——Furniture. Chinese proverbs (or Chinese idioms) are sayings which originate from famous Chinese philosophers and writers. 时不再来 means the time (时 shí) won’t come again another time. Chinese culture places strong emphasis on the family and on reverence for ancestors. These sayings are short but memorable proverbs and sayings that have stood the test of time. Yes, proverbs are used in day-to-day speech all the time. Note: This is a Chinese proverb that is equivalent to Western sayings such as “like father like son” or “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”, 姥姥家的狗，吃完了就走 (lǎolao jiā de gǒu, chīwánle jiù zǒu). Th… 不怕慢，就怕站 (bù pà màn, jiù pà zhàn) means it’s better to make slow progress than no progress at all. Learning these, when you get to an advanced level of Chinese, is a very beneficial thing to do and will help your spoken Chinese greatly. I am from Norway and I am the LTL Shanghai School Director. We are here to help you understand. Since then her love for China has blossomed and she now resides in Beijing with LTL. In other words, the act itself is up to the individual. A single member of a family eats; the whole family will not be hungry. Ready to try your hand at our Chinese Proverbs quiz? These old Chinese sayings and quotes about love, life, wisdom, and success are what you need to pick yourself up on a lousy day. . Phone: +86 (0) 10 65129057 It reminds us to be patient and that some things take time, slow progress is still progress after all. These “same-surname associations” (同姓会 tóngxìnghuì) often served—and continue to serve—as sources of mutual-aid and mutual protection.