angela627 Post time 2012-2-8 12:58:55

Idioms: 熟能生巧 shú néng shēng qiăo Practice makes perfect

During the Northern Song Dynasty, there was a very skilled archer. One day while he was doing drills on the field, a big crowd drew around him. The onlookers cheered with excitement each time he made an accurate shot. He was very proud of his skill, but his pride was hurt when he saw that an old oil peddler standing in the crowd was only nodding his head indifferently.

"Can you do this?" he asked the old oil peddler.

"No, I can't."

"What do you think of my skill?"

"It's OK, but nothing special. You've gained your accuracy from persistent practice. That's all."

"What can you do, then?"

The old man said nothing. He put a gourd bottle on the ground and covered its mouth with a copper coin. He then scooped out a ladle of oil from his big jar, held it high in the air and began to pour it into the gourd. A thread of oil came down from the ladle into the bottle, just through the hole of the coin. Everyone in the crowd watched with amazement. The old man said, "This is nothing special. I can do this because I have practiced it a lot." With these words, he left.

Later, people used the phrase, "shú néng shēng qiăo" to mean, "practice makes perfect."

shú néng shēng qiăo
熟能生巧


       北宋时期,有个技艺高超的射手。一天,他在训练场上练习射箭,引来了一大群人观看。大家都称赞他的技艺,他也很得意。但是,人群中有个卖油翁只是淡淡地点点头,这使他很不高兴。

       他就问那老头:“你会射箭吗?”

       “不会。”

       “你认为我的技术如何?”

       “一般。没什么特别的,你只不过反复练习,所以手法熟练罢了,仅此而已。”

       “你会干什么?”

       这个老头没有回答。他把一个葫芦放在地上,在葫芦口上放了一枚铜钱,然后从大油壶里舀起一勺油,从高处往葫芦里倒。只见那油就像线一样从铜钱中间的小洞里滴下去,一滴都没有漏出来。围观者都惊呆了,而这个卖油翁却说:“其实没什么大不了的,只不过是天天练的结果。”说完,他就离开了。

       后来,人们用这个成语来表示熟练了就能做得好。

yī sī bù gŏu
一丝不苟
scrupulous about every detail; conscientious and meticulous; in a careful and serious manner

wú wēi bù zhì
无微不至
meticulously; with great care; in every possible way
shí jīn bù mèi
拾金不昧
not to pocket the money one picks up; to return money one has found

fèn bù gù shēn
奋不顾身
(charge forward) regardless of personal safety

zì sī zì lì
自私自利
selfish; egoistical

zì qī qī rén
自欺欺人
deceive oneself as well as others; self-deception

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