Two hawks with one arrow

31 01 2008

一箭雙鵰 (yī jiàn shuāng diāo) – Two hawks with one Arrow

There is an English expression, ‘Two birds with one stone’. However, this same idea is expressed in Chinese as Yi-jian-shuang-diao or Shooting two hawks with one arrow, and is an expression found in the Pei-shih or the official history of the Northern -Wei dynasty, 386-605 A.D., written by the Tang (唐 táng) historian, Li Yen-shou. In an historical anecdote, the following is related. Read the rest of this entry »


Swan feather

30 01 2008

千里送鵝毛 (qiān lǐ sòng é máo) – A gift of Sincere Wishes

Gift-giving is an important part of Chinese tradition and culture. The custom of bringing something as a house-warming gift when visiting to gifts to mark various celebrations, rites of passage, important events, festivals, etc. Some types of gifts become standard, such as seasonal foods and cakes, or fruits and cakes. Whatever the case may be, there are various forms of gift-rapping, such as boxes, trays, envelopes, etc, each marked for various occasions. However, there is also a traditional custom to attach a feather with or on the gift. This defines the gift as Qian-li-song-e-mao, literally, a swan feather from a thousand miles. meaning a gift which may be small but, carries with it the sincere wishes of the sender. Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese Proverb of the day 070515

15 05 2007

锦上添花[jǐn shàng tiān huā]

Adding flower to a bouquet
[Providing unnecessary favor or help]

各花入各眼[gè huā rù gè yǎn]

Different flowers match different eyes
[Beauty is in the eye of the beholder]

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Chinese Proverbs of the day 070508

8 05 2007

远水救不了近火[yuǎn shuǐ jiù bù liǎo jìn huǒ]

Can not fight fire with distant water
[Used to emphasize timing in resolving an issue]

远水解不了近渴[yuǎn shuǐ jiě bù liǎo jìn kě]

Can not quench thirst with distant water
[Used to emphasize timing in resolving an issue]

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Chinese Proverbs of the day 070502

2 05 2007

画蛇添足 [huà shé tiān zú]

Draw a snake with legs
[Performing redundant tasks that may cause failure]

过河拆桥 [guò hé chāi qiáo]

Dismantle the bridge after crossing
[Used to describe a selfish or unthankful person]

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