Gems of the Chinese Language Through the Ages–100 Pearls of Chinese Wisdom (Chinese-English)
author: Yin Binyong
publishing house: SINOLINGUA BEIJING
number of editions: first edition in 1999
number of print: fifth print in 2005
number of pages: 200 pages
format: 34 format
What is the next step for a foreign student of the Chinese language after mastering the phonetics, grammar, and a fair amout of vocabulary? It is highly desirable to grasp something typical Chinese—like idioms, set phrases, proverbs or even the two-part allegorical sayings peculiar to Chinese. These idioms are so closely related to Chinese culture that once one has mastered them, one will not only be able to speak idiomatic Chinese and sound more like a native speaker does, but also penetrate deeper into Chinese culture, and gradually become a “China hand”.
For this purpose, we have composed this Gems of the Chinese Language Through the Ages series, which comprises the following four books:
The stories Behind 100 Chinese Idioms
100 Pearls of Chinese Wisdom
100 Common Chinese Idioms and Set Phrases
100 Chinese Two-Part Allegorical Sayings
These idioms and proverbs have been chosen for their frequency of use, practical value and expressiveness. Each one is accompanied by an English translation and an appropriate illustration. Some obscure expressions are classified with the help of annotations in both Chinese and English.
The yamen gate is wide open, yet with only right on your side but no money, don’t go inside.
Provisions should be arranged before an army is mobilized.
Wisdom comes from experience.
How can you catch tiger cubs without entering the tiger’s lair?
A little error may lead to a large discrepancy.
Just as the waves of the Yangtze River behind drive on those ahead, so does each new generation replace the old one.
When rich, think of poverty, but don’t think of riches when you are poor.
A fall into the pit, a gain in your wit.
Unless you beat a snake to death, it will cause endless trouble in future.
Keep the general goal in sight while tackling daily tasks.
With justice on your side, you can go anywhere without it, you can’s take a step.
Fate brings people together no matter how far apart they may be.
Chatting with you for one night is more profitabl than studying for ten years.
Distant water can’t put out a nearby fire, and a distant relative is not as helpful as a close neighbor.
The moon waxes only to wane, and water surges only to overflow.
If a person does not treat guests properly when at home, few will wish to entertain him when he is away from home.
Know the enemy, know yourself, and in every battle you will be victorious.
The magistrates are free to set fires, while the common people are forbidden even to light lamps.
If you work hard enough at it, you can grind even an iron rod down to a needle.
As a man sows, so shall he reap.
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