Author: angela627

Chinese allegories 歇后语 [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2012-1-12 15:58:41 |Display all floors
lăo shŭ guò jiē – rén rén hăn dă
老鼠过街 – 人人喊打
A rat runs across the street. – Everybody shouts, "Kill it!"; to be extremely unpopular

duì niú tán qín – bù qĭ zuò yòng
对牛弹琴 – 不起作用
Play the lute to a cow – address the wrong audience; to act to little effect

sān tiān dă yú, liăng tiān shài wăng – mó yáng gōng
三天打鱼,两天晒网 – 磨洋工
Go fishing for three days and then dry the nets for two – dawdle over one's work; work off and on

xiăo xiàng zi lĭ ná zhú gān – zhí lái zhí qù
小巷子里拿竹竿 – 直来直去
Take a bamboo in an alley – go straight; speak frankly and openly

guò hé chāi qiáo – wàng ēn fù yì
过河拆桥 – 忘恩负义
Demolish the bridge once the river is crossed. – be ungrateful to one's benefactor

bái zhĭ hēi zì – hēi bái fēn míng
白纸黑字 – 黑白分明
(Written) in black and white – in sharp contrast; being clear-cut

zhū bā jiè zhào jìng zi – lĭ wài bù shì rén
猪八戒照镜子 – 里外不是人
Zhu Bajie (Pig in Journey to the West, one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, who carries a rake as a weapon) looks in the mirror – neither he nor his reflection is anything but a pig; (figuratively), trying to please everyone and ending up pleasing no-one. When you are in such a situation you feel like "里外不是人".

rè guō shang de mă yĭ – jí de tuán tuán zhuàn
热锅上的蚂蚁 – 急得团团转
Ants crawling frantically on a hot pan – cat on a hot tin roof

fēng chuī qiáng tóu căo – liăng biān dăo
风吹墙头草 – 两边倒
The grass on top of a wall blows either way with the wind – someone who sits on the fence will end up going along with the crowd; to sit on the fence

dă zhǒng liăn chōng pàng zi – sĭ yào miàn zi
打肿脸充胖子 – 死要面子
Try to look fat by slapping one's face till it's swollen – to try to look impressive; be keen on face-saving

māo kū hào zi – jiă cí bēi
猫哭耗子 – 假慈悲
A cat crying over a mouse's death – hypocritical show of sorrow or sympathy; shedding crocodile tears

lăo hŭ zuĭ li bá yá – zhăo sĭ
老虎嘴里拔牙 – 找死
Pulling teeth from a tiger's mouth – seeking death; dare the greatest danger; beard the lion in his den

jī dàn pèng shí tou – zì bù liàng lì
鸡蛋碰石头 – 自不量力
Like an egg striking a rock – attacking somebody far stronger than oneself; overestimating oneself or one's strength; overrating oneself

jiăn le zhī ma diū le xī guā – tān xiăo shī dà
捡了芝麻丢了西瓜 – 贪小失大
Pick up the sesame seeds but overlook the watermelons – covet a little and lose a lot; seek small gains but incur big losses; be penny-wise and pound-foolish

méi mao hú zi yī bă zhuā – zhŭ cì bù fēn
眉毛胡子一把抓 – 主次不分
Try to grasp the eyebrows and the beard all at the same time – try to attend to everything at once irrespective of priority; confuse the primary with the secondary

wáng pó mài guā – zì mài zì kuā
王婆卖瓜 – 自卖自夸
Wang Po keeps praising his melons while selling them. – ring one's own bell; blow one's own trumpet

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2012-1-12 15:59:11 |Display all floors
tū tóu shàng de shī zi – míng băi zhe
秃头上的虱子 – 明摆着
Like a flea on a bald head – perfectly clear

kŏng fū zǐ bān jiā – jìn shì shū (shū)
孔夫子搬家 – 尽是书(输)
When Confucius moves (houses), there is nothing but books (because he is a philosopher). – Figuratively, it means you always lose (书 is a homophone for 输)

jī dàn li tiāo gŭ tou – gù yì zhăo chá; wú zhōng shēng yŏu
鸡蛋里挑骨头 – 故意找茬;无中生有
Look for a bone in an egg – look for a flaw where there is none; find fault; nitpick

pī shuāng bàn dà cōng – yòu dú yòu là; dú là
砒霜拌大葱 – 又毒又辣;毒辣
Large green Chinese onion served with arsenic – poisonous and pungent; sinister; malignant

pò guàn zi pò shuāi – zì bào zì qì
破罐子破摔 – 自暴自弃
Smash a jar into pieces just because it's already cracked – act recklessly and irresponsibly when facing adversity or despair

lăo shŭ pèng shàng māo – zài jié nán táo
老鼠碰上猫 – 在劫难逃
A mouse encounters a cat. – It is impossible to escape its doom; what is destined cannot be avoided.

niú láng huì zhī nǚ – xǐ xiāng féng
牛郎会织女 – 喜相逢
The Cowherd and the Girl Weaver (two figures in an ancient Chinese fairy tale), meet each other. – A pleasant reunion

qŭ xí fù jià nǚ – shuāng xǐ lín mén
娶媳妇嫁女 – 双喜临门
One's son and daughter get married at the same time. – Two happy events occur at the same time; double happiness

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 2

Post time 2012-1-15 16:41:27 |Display all floors
pretty good

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 4

Post time 2012-1-16 04:29:36 |Display all floors
Very interesting, they cover a wide range from funny to scary .

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 1

Post time 2012-1-17 16:20:20 |Display all floors
Translations are funny, but do not know them right.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2012-1-31 13:27:28 |Display all floors
shí wŭ ge diào tŏng dă shuǐ – qī shàng bā xià
十五个吊桶打水 – 七上八下
Have one's heart clang like fifteen buckets in one well, seven going up and eight going down – have one's heart pound with uncertainty, fear or turmoil

niú tóu bù duì mă zuĭ – hú lā luàn chĕ
牛头不对马嘴 – 胡拉乱扯
Horses' jaws don't match cows' heads – incongruous; irrelevant

zhàng èr hé shang – mō bu zháo tóu năo
丈二和尚 – 摸不着头脑
You cannot touch the head of a ten-foot monk. – can't make head or tail of something; completely fail to understand

yī ge bā zhang pāi bu xiăng – gū zhăng nán míng
一个巴掌拍不响 – 孤掌难鸣
You can't clap with one hand; it takes two to make a quarrel; it takes two to tango. – It's difficult to achieve anything without support.

zhēn jiān duì mài máng – zhēn fēng xiāng duì
针尖对麦芒 – 针锋相对
A pin against an awn – be diametrically opposed

wén zi zhăo zhī zhū – zì tóu luó wăng
蚊子找蜘蛛 – 自投罗网
A mosquito looks for a spider – throw oneself into a trap; bite the hook

chū shēng de niú dú – bù pà hŭ
初生的牛犊 – 不怕虎
New born calves are not afraid of tigers. – Young people dare do anything and fear nothing.

tiān xià wū yā – yī bān hēi
天下乌鸦 – 一般黑
All crows are black. – Evil people are the same all over the world; in every country dogs bite.

jĭng dĭ de há ma – jiàn shi shăo
井底的蛤蟆 – 见识少
Frog in a well – A person with a very limited outlook

kŏng fū zĭ de kŏu dài – shū dāi (dài) zi
孔夫子的口袋 – 书呆(袋)子
Confucius' bag is full of books. (Confucius is the Chinese philosopher, educator and founder of Confucianism in late Spring and Autumn Period.) – Somebody is a pedant or bookworm.

tū zi dāng hé shang – jiāng jiu cái liào
秃子当和尚 – 将就材料
Let a baldhead serve as a monk. – Make do with what is available.

yī lì lăo shŭ shĭ – huài le yī guō tāng
一粒老鼠屎 – 坏了一锅汤
One bit of rat's dung in the soup spoils the whole pot. – A fly in the ointment

dòng dòu fu – nán bàn (bàn)
冻豆腐 – 难办(拌)
Frozen bean curd is difficult to mix. – It means something is hard to deal with. ("办," which means deal with, manage or operate, is a homophone for "拌," which means mix.)

wáng xiăo èr guò nián – yī nián bù rú yī nián
王小二过年 – 一年不如一年
Things get worse with each passing year; things go from bad to worse every year; be on the decline

ròu àn shang de măi mài – jīn jīn jì jiào
肉案上的买卖 – 斤斤计较
Buying and selling at a butcher's shop – Haggle over every ounce; be overly calculating

shā jī gěi hóu kàn – shā yī jĭng băi
杀鸡给猴看 – 杀一儆百
Kill the chicken to frighten the monkey – Punish someone as a warning to others.

dāng yī tiān hé shang zhuàng yī tiān zhōng – dé guò qiĕ guò
当一天和尚撞一天钟 – 得过且过
Go on tolling the bell as long as one is a monk – drift or muddle along; do the least that is expected of one; take a passive attitude towards one's work.

ài kè sī guāng zhào rén – kàn tòu le
爱克斯光照人 – 看透了
X-ray somebody –see through him/her.

bā zì méi yī piĕ – zăo zhe ne
八字没一撇 – 早着呢
Not even the first stroke of the character "八" ("eight") has been written – nothing tangible is in sight; there's no sign of anything happening yet.

chū lóng de niăo er – yŏu qù wú huí
出笼的鸟儿 – 有去无回
A bird out of its cage will never come back – gone never to return.

dāo zi zuĭ dòu fu xīn – zuĭ yìng xīn ruăn
刀子嘴,豆腐心 – 嘴硬心软
Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger, but a heart as soft as tofu – have a sharp tongue but a soft heart

duàn le xiàn de fēng zhēng – bù zhī qù xiàng
断了线的风筝 – 不知去向
The flying kite has broken away from its string – it's unknown where somebody or something has gone.

fēi é pū huŏ – zì qŭ miè wáng
飞蛾扑火 – 自取灭亡
A moth darting into a flame – bringing destruction upon oneself; courting one's own doom.

zuì wēng zhī yì bù zài jiŭ – lìng yŏu suŏ tú
醉翁之意不在酒 – 另有所图
The drinker's heart is not in the cup – have other things in mind; have ulterior motives; many kiss the baby for the nurse's sake.


Use magic tools Report

You can't reply post until you log in Log in | register

BACK TO THE TOP
Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email: blog@chinadaily.com.cn
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.