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Chinese Proverbs

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1. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Thanks for prompting me, Jared ....
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TOP TEN CHINESE PROVERBS:

1)The participant's perspectives are clouded while the bystander's views are clear.
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2)Pick the flower when it is ready to be picked.
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3)If you don't go into the cave of the tiger, how are you going to get its cub?
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4)Follow the local custom when you go to a foreign place.
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5)It's is impossible to change your basic characteristics.
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6)Once bitten by a snake, you are even frightened by a rope that resembles a snake.
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7)Your neighbor's wife looks prettier than your own.
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8)When you go up to the mountain too often, you will eventually encounter the tiger.
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9)Elephant tusks cannot grow out of a dog's mouth.
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10)When the tiger comes down from the mountain to the plains, it is bullied by the dogs.

http://quotations.about.com/cs/chineseproverbs/tp/10_chinese.htm

2. Posted by ukmassage (Inactive 1052 posts) 11y

Generally all proverbs are conservative and used by the older population to support their point of view.

I believe it was Mao who was incorporating traditional chinese proverbs into his speaches to bring authority of elders to his politics.

ps I like no3 and no7

3. Posted by Zhou (Full Member 126 posts) 11y

Actually we are using proverbs all the time to make our points clearer and deeper. It`s not that much to do with Mao or any person. It`s the language and culture thing that we inherite and accumulate during the past five thousand years. BTW, Mao is such a historical person. I mean, come on,it`s 21st cn.;)

4. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

Quoting Zhou

Actually we are using proverbs all the time to make our points clearer and deeper.

" The chinese are always beating around the bush. When will they ever be direct?" - Jerry Seinfeld.

I'm also a Chinese but we don't really call a spade a spade right?;)

Following Wocca's list, i'd like to add some of the phrases that i know and i like. It's a pity that the true flavour will inevitably be lost in translation but i'll do my best to bring the meaning across.

Yi Shan Bu Nen Chan Er Hu - One mountain has no place for two tigers.

Zhan Cao Yao Chu Gen - To remove grass, u must get rid of the roots.

Jiu Feng Zhi Ji Qian Bei Shao - In the company of a friend, 1000cups of wine are never enough.

Yu Bu Neng Xia Yi Nian, Ren Bu Neng Qiong Yi Bei - It won't rain continually for a year and a man won't stay poor forever.

Da Gou Qian, Xian Kan Zhu Ren - Before u hit the dog, see who the owner is first.

Gua Yang Tou, Mai Gou Rou - Hang a sheep head but sell dog meat.

Se Zhi Tou Shang Yi Ba Dao - The word Sex has a dagger in it.

These examples are pretty self explanatory just as there are others that are metaphorical, thus it is common to hear people peppering their sentences with idioms/phrases to disguise or make less obvious their actual intentions.
Hmm..perhaps the comedian was right afterall.

[ Edit: Fixed the quote ]

5. Posted by ukmassage (Inactive 1052 posts) 11y

Quoting Zhou

Actually we are using proverbs all the time to make our points clearer and deeper. It`s not that much to do with Mao or any person. It`s the language and culture thing that we inherite and accumulate during the past five thousand years.

zhou posts confirms that proverbs are used by chinese to support their view: "don't argue with me, I am intelectually superior to you and I learned more from the past" - instead of speaking their mind and be judged purely by that.

in a social context very much about class/group devision and nationalism of the society

6. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting MASSAGEUK

[quote]zhou posts confirms that proverbs are used by chinese to support their view: "don't argue with me, I am intelectually superior to you and I learned more from the past" - instead of speaking their mind and be judged purely by that.

in a social context very much about class/group devision and nationalism of the society

Hey MASSAGEUK
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Have you got something against China, and Chinese people? I notice in another thread that you've been to Hong Kong, but that's not part of the mainland. That was a British colony acquired as a result of the Opium Wars. Please tell us who started the Opium Wars?
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Your comments about China would be regarded as highly offensive here in China. The Chinese are for the most quite conservative, and respectful people. They would certainly NOT make the type of comments that you have. It is most unlikely that you would be welcome in China.
Aren't you assuming an air of superiority by wanting to pass judgment on a culture and race that you have little expert knowledge of?
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In regard to class / group division, are you implying that your own society is egalitarian?
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As for nationalism, what's wrong with engendering national pride? Don't you have it in your country? What are the Olympic Games, the World Trade Organisation, and the United Nations all about?
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You have also insulted Chairman Mao in this thread. No matter what anyone (Chinese or foreign)thinks or feels, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung is considered to be "the father of modern China". His picture is even on the paper money. Have you actually read all his uotations?

7. Posted by ukmassage (Inactive 1052 posts) 11y

no much against them - with the exeption that they always had highly structured society kept in a strict order.

I don't know who started opium wars - I suspect that chinese didn't like opium being imported by brits, population becoming addicted and money leaving the country. At some stage around 1840's they burned tens of tons of opium confiscated from the english merchands.

I would imagine that my views won't be appreciated by chinese authorities - but than they never like any disagreement. That's why of the reasons I am not considering visiting china.

Generally chinese population is conservative - you confirmed it - that't all what I was saying.

Nationalism goes closely with conservatism - and is contradictory to my idea of an open society and spirit of a modern humanism (we are all one human race and all state and nation devisions are artificial).

As I mentioned before: I don't have a country; sport more devides than bonds and Olimpics are more about showing the power of the contry and politics - Berlin 1936 is a striking example - with all the flag waving and national anthems; WTO is an international financial institution supporting existing south-north economic devision); UN was set up during the 2nd ww by the usa-uk-ussr against the Axis powers and after the war acting as a supranational status-quo keeping organisation (policeman) sanctioning wars (Bosnia, 2nd Gulf War) - in the interests of the world dominating countries.

I did not insult Mao yet - but I think most of us agree that he was in pair with stalin and hitler - dictator and murderer. I have never read and don't have an intention reading his 'Little red book' - but if I would most probably confirm my present opinions.

8. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting MASSAGEUK

)"...As I mentioned before: I don't have a country..."

Then why record one in your profile? Surely you are NOT suggesting that you are a WORLD citizen?

Quoting MASSAGEUK

"...I did not insult Mao yet - but I think most of us agree that he was in pair with stalin and hitler - dictator and murderer. I have never read and don't have an intention reading his 'Little red book' - but if I would most probably confirm my present opinions...."

Refer to key words in bold & italics above.

What is bigotry ?

[ Edit: Fixed the quote ]

9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Quoting MASSAGEUK

zhou posts confirms that proverbs are used by chinese to support their view: "don't argue with me, I am intelectually superior to you and I learned more from the past" - instead of speaking their mind and be judged purely by that.

Is this something personal against the Chinese or do you attack "proverb users" globally? The IRish culture is rich with proverbial sagacity, but it's not something used to shut someone else up. It's just part of who we are.

Consider the following nugget of Irish "intellectual superiority" (oops, I meant wisdom..)

"Bíonn chuile dhuine lách go dtéann bó ina gharraí."

(roughly translated.....Everyone is sociable until a cow invades his garden.)

But that's just me speaking my mind

10. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 11y

Quoting MASSAGEUK

I did not insult Mao yet - but I think most of us agree that he was in pair with stalin and hitler - dictator and murderer. I have never read and don't have an intention reading his 'Little red book' - but if I would most probably confirm my present opinions.

I don't see how anyone can comment on a culture or society if he or she does not understand the basic principles it has been founded upon? MassageUK, if you are not interested in reading Mao's Little Red Book and know relatively nothing about his thoughts or teachings then what makes you feel that you have the right to comment on the Chinese way of life/culture/society?

I am not Chinese, but I find your startling lack of knowledge when commenting on Wocca's proverbs to be offensive. I specialised in China as part of my degree studies and learnt a lot about Chinese culture and society. Mao is the father of modern china (as Wocca rightly pointed out), and you have single handedly offended all Chinese members and non-Chinese members who understand China.

Reading your comments really does make me ashamed to be British...I cannot stand intolerance of other cultures which is borne from ignorance or laziness to learn.

Donna