Ancient Chinese Wisdom: Chinese Idioms and Their Stories

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Language: English
Page: 108
Publication Date: 05/2020
ISBN: 9787532782284

This collection of one hundred Chinese idioms details the stories behind each one and offers a humorous and fascinating insight into the cultural history of China. From paper tigers to praying mantis, to the music of nature and heavenly robes, these tales have not only shed light on the traditional Chinese way of thinking, but also illustrated many of its ancient customs.

About the author

Born in Shanghai in 1949, ZHANG Ciyun (Peter) is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Shanghai Daily, a leading regional English-language daily newspaper on the Chinese mainland. He is also a prolific translator and writer.

Mr. Zhang graduated from Jilin Normal University in China, majoring in English language, and later from Stanford University in the United States with a master’s degree in journalism.

Starting from 1980, he had worked in several news agencies in China and helped bring into existence four English-language newspapers, including China Daily and Shanghai Daily.

Table of Contents

按图索骥 A Winged Steed

百步穿杨 Shooting a Willow Leaf

班门弄斧 Respecting Rank

别开生面 Drawing New Faces

兵不厌诈 Nothing is Too Deceitful in War

博士买驴 A Donkey Receipt

跛鳖千里 A Lame Tortoise Triumphs at Last

沧海桑田 Forever Changing

城门失火 City Gate on Fire

重蹈覆辙 Following the Track

唇亡齿寒 Lips and Teeth

从善如流 Following Good Advice

得陇望蜀 Insatiable Desire

东施效颦 Imitating Beauty

对牛弹琴 Lute Before Cattle

釜底抽薪 Removing Burning Firewood

覆水难收 Spilt Water Lost

高山流水 Finding Source of Inspiration

狗尾续貂 Wagging the Dog

邯郸学步 Learning to Walk

画虎类犬 Be Tiger or Dog

画龙点睛 Eyes of the Dragon

画蛇添足 The Feet Too Far

鸡犬升天 Relative Power

狡兔三窟 The Wily Hare

金城汤池 Fortress Tactics

锦囊妙计 A Pouch of Ploys

近水楼台 Waterfront Towers

举棋不定 Two Minds' Folly

刻舟求剑 A Lost Sword

困兽犹斗 Like a Cornered Animal

滥竽充数 Playing Off-key

老马识途 Trust an Old Horse

老生常谈 A Mere Platitude

乐不思蜀 Forgetting One's Home

梁上君子 Gentleman on the Beam

两袖清风 Clean Hands

鹿死谁手 Who will Take the Deer?

洛阳纸贵 Paper Price Soars

满城风雨 Tempest in a Line

毛遂自荐 Promote Yourself in Due Modesty

门庭若市 Crowded Courtyard

模棱两可 Pleasing Both Sides the Best Way to Survive

鸟尽弓藏 When Birds Are Gone

抛砖引玉 Ploys to Collect Gems

破釜沉舟 The No-way-out Order

旗鼓相当 A Match of Flags and drums

骑虎难下 Plight of Riding a Tiger

歧路亡羊 Pick a Path and Stay on Course

杞人忧天 Easing Anxious States

千万买邻 True Value of Neighbors

黔驴技穷 The Guizhou Donkey

强弩之末 A Powerful Crossbow

青云直上 Meteoric Rise in Rank

请君入瓮 Torture by Own Design

罄竹难书 Not Enough Bamboo

人杰地灵 Inspiring Greatness

塞翁失马 Relativity of Hidden Values

三顾茅庐 Three Calls at the Thatched Cottage

三人成虎 Lies Turning into Truths

死灰复燃 Dying Ashes Flare up

四面楚歌 Mournful Songs

守口如瓶 Tight-lipped Counsel

守株待兔 Hare-brained

水滴石穿 Art of Water Torture

水深火热 Water or Fire Option

太公钓鱼 Fishing Hookless

贪生怕死 Imperial Indulgences

螳臂当车 The Praying Mantis

螳螂捕蝉 Wasted Warnings

天罗地网 Dragnet of Deception

天衣无缝 The Heavenly Dress

铁杵成针 Li Needled into Action

投鼠忌器 Spare a Rat for a Vase

完璧归赵 Defending the Stone

玩物丧志 Folly of the Senses

亡羊补牢 Never Too Late to Fix

望梅止渴 The Power of Illusions

危如累卵 An Eggy Tale of Risk

味如鸡肋 Chicken Ribs Maneuver

未雨绸缪 Duke's Poetic Advice

卧薪尝胆 Biding Time for Revenge

物以类聚 Birds of a Feather

相煎太急 From Brotherly Beans

胸有成竹 Life Lesson from Artist

悬梁刺股 Studies Can Be Painful

掩耳盗铃 Stealing a Bell

叶公好龙 A Dragon Passion

一鸣惊人 The First Sweet Song

一诺千金 Worth Weight in Gold

一丘之貉 Outspoken to Death

一叶障目 Leaf of Sad Illusion

饮鸩止渴 Poisoned Wine Relief

游刃有余 Master of His Cleaver

愚公移山 Moving Mountains

鹬蚌相争 Third Party Thinking

越俎代庖 Stay out of the Kitchen

自相矛盾 Spear and Shield

朝三暮四 Monkeying Around

纵虎归山 Setting the Tiger Free

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Ancient Chinese Wisdom: Chinese Idioms and Their Stories