Top 150 Famous Chinese Proverbs, Sayings
Chinese proverbs are short sayings developed from social experience or knowledge, sayings from philosophers, and historical classics and stories. Here is a collection of Chinese sayings and proverbs with Chinese characters, translations, and explanations.
- Chinese Proverbs About Life
- Chinese Proverbs About Love
- Chinese Proverbs About Success
- Chinese Proverbs About Learning
- Chinese Proverbs About Wisdom
- Chinese Proverbs About Friendship
- Chinese Proverbs About Time
Chinese Proverbs About Life (40 Sayings)
1. 治大国如烹小鲜 (zhì dà guó rú pēng xiǎo xiān)
- Translation: Govern a country as you would cook a small fish.
- Explanation: This saying is from "Tao Te Ching", a Chinese classic text written by Laozi.
2. 天有不测风云 (tiān yǒu bù cè fēng yún)
- Translation: Anything unexpected may happen.
- Explanation: Fortune is as unpredictable as the weather, every day may bring fortune or calamity.
3. 不做亏心事，不怕鬼敲门 (bù zuò kuī xīn shì, bù pà guǐ qiāo mén)
- Translation: A clear conscience never fears midnight knocking.
- Explanation: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.
4. 笑一笑十年少 (xìao yī xìao shí nián shào)
- Translation: A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
- Explanation: This saying tells us to always keep an optimistic attitude.
5. 百闻不如一见 (bǎi wén bù rú yī jiàn)
- Translation: It is better to see for oneself rather than to hear many times.
- Explanation: A picture is worth a thousand words / Seeing is believing.
6. 冰冻三尺，非一日之寒 (bīng hòu sān chǐ，fēi yī rì zhī hán)
- Translation: It takes more than one cold day for the river to freeze. / It takes time for things to develop into shape.
- Explanation: Rome was not built in a day.
7. 吃一堑长一智 (chī yī qià zhǎng yī zhì)
- Translation: A fall into the pit, a gain in your wit.
- Explanation: Learn from mistakes.
8. 忍一时风平浪静，退一步海阔天空 (rěn yī shí fēng píng làng jìng，tuì yī bù hǎi kuò tiān kōng)
- Translation: Patience is a bitter plant, but its fruit is sweet.
- Explanation: Emotional pain is temporary and can be addressed with an attitude of a calm and optimistic attitude.
9. 实践是检验真理的唯一标准 (shí jiàn shì jiǎn yàn zhēn lǐ de wéi yī biāo zhǔn)
- Translation: Practice is the sole criterion for testing truth.
- Explanation: Only Practice Leads to Truth.
10. 小不忍则乱大谋 (xiǎo bù rěn zé luàn dà móu)
- Translation: A little impatience will spoil great plans.
- Explanation: Lack of forbearance in small matters upsets great plans.
11. 好事不出门，坏事传千里 (hǎo shì bù chū mén，huài shì chuán qiān lǐ)
- Translation: Good things don't go out, bad things travel thousands of miles.
- Explanation: Bad news travels fast.
12. 千里之行，始于足下 (qiān lǐ zhī xíng，shǐ yú zú xià)
- Translation: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- Explanation: This saying from "Tao Te Ching" teaches us that the highest eminence is to be gained step by step.
13. 只要功夫深，铁杵磨成针 (zhǐ yào gōng fū shēn，tiě chǔ mó chéng zhēn)
- Translation: It just needs hard work to grind an iron rod into a needle.
- Explanation: This proverb suggests that no matter how difficult a task is, it can be done as long as you have perseverance.
14. 大事化小，小事化了 (dà shì huà xiǎo , xiǎo shì huà le)
- Translation: Minimized the severity of incidents.
- Explanation: Try first to make their mistake sound less serious and then to reduce it to nothing at all.
15. 团结就是力量 (tuán jié jiù shì lì liàng)
- Translation: Unity is strength.
- Explanation: Our unity is our power.
16. 金无足赤，人无完人 (jīn wú zú chì, rén wú wán rén)
- Translation: There are spots even in the sun.
- Explanation: Nobody is perfect.
17. 殊途同归 (shū tú tóng guī)
- Translation: Tread different paths that lead to the same destination.
- Explanation: We can reach the same goal through different routes.
18. 隔墙有耳 (gé qiáng yǒu ěr)
- Translation: Walls have ears.
- Explanation: Secret things will also be leaked. This saying is used to persuade people to pay attention to their words, so as not to leak.
19. 一言既出，驷马难追 (yī yán jì chū, sì mǎ nán zhuī)
- Translation: A real man never goes back on his words.
- Explanation: A promise is a promise.
20. 三个臭皮匠，赛过诸葛亮 (sān ge chòu pí jiàng , sài guò zhū gě liàng)
- Translation: Three shoemakers brainstorming will make a great statesman.
- Explanation: This popular saying indicates that wisdom of the masses exceeds that of the wisest individule.
21. 千里之堤溃于蚁穴 (qiān lǐ zhī dī kuì yú yǐ xué)
- Translation: A solid dyke can collapse because of an ant hole in it.
- Explanation: This idiom teaches that ignoring little mistakes can cause great damage.
22. 塞翁失马，焉知非福 (sài wēng shī mǎ, yān zhī fēi fú)
- Translation: A blessing in disguise.
- Explanation: This is a popular idiom, meaning that a bad thing can be turned into a good thing under certain conditions, and vice versa.
23. 前事不忘，后事之师 (qián shì bù wàng , hòu shì zhī shī)
- Translation: Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.
- Explanation: From "Strategies of the Warring States", this saying teaches us that we should bear in mind the lessons of previous experience as a reference for future actions.
24. 今日事, 今日毕 (jīn rì shì, jīn rì bì)
- Translation: Never leave today's work for tomorrow.
25. 过犹不及 (guò yóu bù jí)
- Translation: Too much is as bad as too little.
- Explanation: This saying means that sometimes doing things too much is like not doing enough, both are not appropriate.
26. 没有规矩，不成方圆 (méi yǒu guī jǔ, bù chéng fāng yuán)
- Translation: Nothing can be accomplished without norms or standards.
- Explanation: From "Mencius", this saying emphasizes that we need to follow rules to do certain things, otherwise we cannot succeed.
27. 巧妇难为无米之炊 (qiǎo fù nán wéi wú mǐ zhī chuī)
- Translation: One can't make bricks without straw.
- Explanation: It is difficult to do things without the necessary conditions.
28. 上有天堂，下有苏杭 (shàng yǒu tiān táng, xià yǒu sū háng)
- Translation: There is paradise in heaven and we have Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth.
- Explanation: Circulated since the Song Dynasty, this saying means that Suzhou and Hangzhou are one of the most beautiful places in the world.
29. 三十而立 (sān shí ér lì)
- Translation: A man should be independent at the age of thirty.
- Explanation: From "The Analects of Confucius", this saying means that man usually achieves something around the age of thirty.
30. 严以律己，宽以待人 (yán yǐ lǜ jǐ , kuān yǐ dài rén)
- Explanation: Be strict with yourself and be lenient with others.
31. 人往高处走 (rén wǎng gāo chù zǒu)
- Translation: Man struggles upwards.
32. 人心齐，泰山移 (rén xīn qí，tài shān yí)
- Translation: When people are united, they could move Mount Tai.
- Explanation: This proverb has been circulating since the Qing Dynasty. It means that when people are united, they could accomplish almost anything.
33. 知子莫若父 (zhī zǐ mò ruò fù)
- Translation: The one who knows his son best is his father.
- Explanation: From "Guanzi", a compilation of the speeches of various schools during the Pre-Qin Period, this saying means that no one knows a man better than his own father.
34. 杀鸡儆猴 (shā jī jǐng hóu)
- Translation: Kill a chicken to warn the monkey.
- Explanation: This idiom means to punish someone as a warning to others.
35. 无风不起浪 (wú fēng bú qǐ làng)
- Translation: There are no waves without wind.
- Explanation: This proverb means that when there is smoke, there is fire. Things happen for a reason.
36. 搬起石头砸自己的脚 (bān qǐ shí tóu zá zì jǐ de jiǎo)
- Translation: Lift a rock only to drop it on one's own feet.
- Explanation: This saying means that hurt oneself by one's own doing
37. 子不教，父之过 (zǐ bú jiāo，fù zhī guò)
- Translation: It is the father's fault that the son does not teach.
- Explanation: From "Three Character Classic", this saying means that it is the parents' fault to feed and clothe their children and not educate them well.
38. 若要人不知，除非己莫为 (ruò yào rén bú zhī，chú fēi jǐ mò wéi)
- Translation: Don't do it if you don't want others to know.
- Explanation: This saying indicates that if you do something bad, someone will eventually know.
39. 听君一席话，胜读十年书 (tīng jun yī xí huà shèng dú shí nián shū)
- Translation: Listening to your words is better than reading ten years of books.
- Explanation: From the "Aphorisms from the Ancient Chinese", this saying means that I feel more useful after hearing your words than after ten years of studying.
40. 人多反误事 (rén duō fǎn wù shì)
- Translation: Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Chinese Proverbs About Love (30 Sayings)
1. 一见钟情 (yí jiàn zhōng qíng)
- Translation: Love at first sight.
2. 爱屋及乌 (ài wū jí wū)
- Translation: Love me, love my dog.
- Explanation: When you love someone, you care about the people or things related to him/her.
3. 但愿人长久，千里共婵娟 (dàn yuàn rén cháng jiǔ，qiān lǐ gòng chán juān)
- Translation: Wishing us long life, though sharing moonlight from afar.
- Explanation: From "Prelude To Water Melody" written by Su Shi on the moon festival, this saying expressed the wish that the people we love could have a long life so as to share the beauty of the graceful moonlight, even though they are miles apart.
4. 执子之手，与子偕老 (zhí zǐ zhī shǒu，yǔ zǐ xié lǎo)
- Translation: Hold hands with you, grow old with you.
- Explanation: From "Classic of Poetry", this saying means holding hands with you as we are gradually aging together. It expressed the desire to never be separated from the one we love.
5. 愿得一人心，白首不相离 (yuàn dé yī rén xīn，bái shǒu bù xiāng lí)
- Translation Long for a heart, never be apart.
6. 有情人终成眷属 (yǒu qíng rén zhōng chéng juàn shǔ)
- Translation: People in love become spouses in the end.
- Explanation: The lovers who were in love with each other finally got married.
7. 情人眼里出西施 (qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī)
- Translation: In a lover's eye is the foremost Beauty.
- Explanation: Beauty is the eyes of the beholder.
8. 家和万事兴 (jiā hé wàn shì xìng)
- Translation: If a family is harmonious everything will go well.
- Explanation: This saying emphasizes the importance of family harmony. It is believed that harmony at home brings prosperity, harmony in the family leads to success in everything.
9. 有缘千里来相会 (yǒu yuán qiān lǐ lái xiāng huì)
- Translation: Fate brings people together from far apart.
- Explanation: Separated as we are thousands of miles apart we come together as if by predestination.
10. 在天愿作比翼鸟，在地愿为连理枝 (zài tiān yuàn zuò bǐ yì niǎo，zài dì yuàn wèi lián lǐ zhī)
- Translation: Birds flying in the sky as one; branches growing on the earth as one.
- Translation: From "Chang hen ge", a Tang dynasty poem by Bai Juyi, this saying expressed the lovers' wish to be the inseparable birds flying in heaven.
11. 两情相悦 (liǎng qíng xiāng yuè)
- Translation: Resonance between two lovers.
12. 曾经沧海难为水 (céng jīng cāng hǎi nàn wèi shuǐ)
- Translation: One who has seen the ocean thinks nothing of mere rivers.
- Translation: From a Tang dynasty poem by Yuan Zhen, this saying is a metaphor that means that once having seen the best, the rest is not worth looking at.
13. 窈宨淑女，君子好逑 (yǎo tiǎo shū nǚ, jūn zi hǎo qiú)
- Translation: There is a lady, whom a young man is wooing.
14. 金玉良缘 (jīn yù liáng yuán)
- Translation: Gold and jade predestined match.
- Explanation: Perfect Couple.
15. 问世间情为何物，直教生死相许 (wèn shì jiān qíng wèi hé wù, zhí jiào shēng sǐ xiāng xǔ )
- Translation: What is love supposed to be, which can make you devote all your life?
16. 山盟海誓 (shān méng hǎi shì)
- Translation: All the solemn pledges of love.
- Explanation: This is an idiom that means lovers' vow of eternal loyalty.
17. 山无棱，天地合，乃敢与君绝 (shān wú léng, tiān dì hé, nǎi gǎn yǔ jūn jué)
- Translation: Mountains have no edges, heaven and earth are united, but dare to leave you.
- Explanation: This saying is from "Classic of Poetry", which means that I love you till doomsday.
18. 比翼双飞 (bǐ yì shuāng fēi)
- Translation: Fly side by side.
- Explanation: This is an idiom that means a happy couple.
19. 伉俪情深 (kàng lì qíng shēn)
- Translation: Deep conjugal love.
- Explanation: A married couple very much in love.
20. 天长地久 (tiān cháng dì jiǔ)
- Translation: Forever/Everlasting
- Explanation: This idiom means everlasting and unchanging/enduring as the universe.
21. 结发为夫妻，恩爱两不疑 (jié fà wèi fū qī，ēn ài liǎng bù yí)
- Translation: A very loving couple.
22. 情有独钟 (qíng yǒu dú zhōng)
- Translation: Have eyes only for someone.
23. 情比金坚 (qíng bǐ jīn jiān)
- Translation: Love is stronger than gold./Our love solid as gold.
24. 两情若是久长时，又岂在朝朝暮暮 (liǎng qíng ruò shì jiǔ cháng shí，yòu qǐ zài zhāo zhāo mù mù)
- Explanation: In "Fairy Of the Magpie Bridge" written by Qin Guan, a poet of the Song Dynasty, this saying means if the love between both sides can last for aye, why need they stay together night and day?
25. 魂牵梦萦 (hún qiān mèng yíng)
- Translation: Always in my dream.
26. 白头偕老 (bái tóu xié lǎo)
- Translation: Live to old age in conjugal bliss.
27. 青梅竹马 (qīng méi zhú mǎ)
- Translation: Be innocent playmates of green plum a bamboo stick used as a toy horse.
- Explanation: This idiom refers to young men and women who have been together since childhood.
28. 衣带渐宽终不悔，为伊消得人憔悴 (yī dài jiàn kuān zhōng bù huǐ，wèi yī xiāo dé rén qiáo cuì)
- Translation: My clothes grow daily more loose, yet care I not. For you are I thus wasting away in sorrow and pain.
- Explanation: From "Feng Qi Wu" written by Liu Yong, a poet of the Song Dynasty, this saying depicts the suffering of the lovesickness of the lover in love.
29. 百年好合 (bǎi nián hǎo hé)
- Translation: A harmonious union lasting a hundred years.
- Explanation: Bless the newlyweds with a lifetime of love. Wish a couple of love for a long time.
30. 郎才女貌 (láng cái nǚ mào)
- Translation: A man's outstanding talent, a woman's beauty.
- Explanation: This idiom is used to describe a perfect match.
Chinese Proverbs About Success and Effort (20 Sayings)
1. 世上无难事，只怕有心人 (shì shàng wú nán shì, zhǐ pà yǒu xīn rén)
- Translation: Where there is a will, there is a way.
- Explanation: This saying emphasizes that nothing is difficult to a willing heart.
2. 吃得苦中苦，方为人上人 (chī dé kǔ zhōng kǔ, fāng wéi rén shàng rén)
- Translation: No pain, no gain.
3. 留得青山在，不怕没柴烧 (liú dé qīng shān zài, bù pà méi chái shāo)
- Translation: While there are green hills, there'll be wood to burn.
- Explanation: Where there is life, there is hope.
4. 马到成功 (mǎ dào chéng gōng)
- Translation: Achieve immediate victory.
- Explanation: This idiom is used to describe someone achieving success at the beginning of a job.
5. 笨鸟先飞 (bèn niǎo xiān fēi)
- Translation: A slow sparrow should make an early start.
6. 不能一口吃成胖子 (bù néng yī kǒu chī chéng pàng zi)
- Translation: You can’t get fat with one mouthful.
- Explanation: If you want something you have to be patient and persistent. Don’t give up.
7. 失败是成功之母 (shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ)
- Translation: Failure is the mother of success.
8. 逆境出人才 (nì jìng chū rén cái)
- Translation: Adversity yields flair.
- Explanation: Adversity makes a man wise.
9. 风无常顺，兵无常胜 (fēng wú cháng shùn , bīng wú cháng shèng)
- Translation: The wind isn't always favorable, and soldiers aren't always victorious.
- Explanation: This saying teaches us that there is no constant success without constant effort.
10. 不鸣则已,一鸣惊人 (bù míng zé yǐ, yī míng jīng rén)
- Translation: Amaze the world with a single brilliant feat.
- Explanation: People who have no outstanding performance achieve an amazing success unexpectedly.
11. 万事开头难 (wàn shì kāi tóu nán)
- Translation: All things are difficult at the start.
12. 循序渐进 (xún xù jiàn jìn)
- Translation: Proceed in an orderly way and step by step.
13. 功成名就 (gōng chéng míng jiù)
Translation: Achieve success and win recognition.
14. 水滴石穿，绳锯木断 (shuǐ dī shí chuān, shéng jù mù duàn)
- Translation: Water drops pierce stone; rope saws cut wood.
- Explanation: This is a popular Chinese saying, which means that as long as we persevere and keep working hard, we will achieve success eventually.
15. 青出于蓝而胜于蓝 (qīng chū yú lán ér shèng yú lán)
- Translation: The worthy disciple excels in his masters.
- Explanation: This popular saying comes from Xun Zi, a Chinese Confucian philosopher who lived during the Warring States period. It means after learning, people can be improved, and even surpass teachers.
16. 老骥伏枥，志在千里 (lǎo jì fú lì, zhì zài qiān lǐ)
- Translation: An old warhorse in the stable still longs to gallop a thousand miles.
- Explanation: This saying comes from the poet Cao Cao, the penultimate Chancellor of the Eastern Han dynasty. It means although the stabled steed is old, he dreams to run a thousand li, expressing the poet's desire to make a contribution and be successful.
17. 战无不胜 (zhàn wú bù shèng)
- Translation: Invincible, undefeated.
18. 不入虎穴，焉得虎子 (bù rù hǔ xué , yān dé hǔ zǐ)
- Translation: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
19. 行百里者半九十 (xíng bǎi lǐ zhě bàn jiǔ shí)
- Translation: The last leg of a journey marks the halfway point.
- Explanation: From "Zhan Guo Ce", an ancient Chinese book that contains stories of politics and war during the Warring States period, it teaches us that the closer you get to success, the more difficult it is, and the more serious you have to take it.
20. 知己知彼，百战不殆 (zhī jǐ zhī bǐ , bǎi zhàn bù dài)
- Translation: Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat.
- Explanation: From "The Art of War", an ancient Chinese military book attributed to the military strategist Sun Tzu, this saying means that if you have a thorough understanding of the enemy's situation and your own, you will not lose the battle.
Chinese Proverbs About Learning (20 Sayings)
1. 授人以鱼不如授人以渔 (shòu rén yǐ yú, bú rú shòu rén yǐ yú)
- Translation: Give a man a fish and you feed him for one day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
- Explanation: This is a famous quote from the Chinese philosopher Laozi. It is better to teach someone to do something than to do it for them.
2. 三人行，必有我师 (sān rén xíng, bì yǒu wǒ shī)
- Translation: In a group of three people, there will always be one person I can learn from.
- Explanation: This saying from "The Analects of Confucius" teaches that there is always something to learn from others.
3. 活到老，学到老 (huó dào lǎo, xué dào lào)
- Translation: Live until old, study until old.
- Explanation: It can also be translated as "You're never too old to learn."
4. 读万卷书不如行万里路 (dú wàn juàn shū bù rúxínɡ wàn lǐ lù)
- Translation: It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books.
- Explanation: This Chinese proverb illustrates that you can learn more by experiencing things by yourself than by just reading books.
5. 教学相长 (jiào xué xiāng zhǎng)
- Translation: When you teach someone, both teacher and student benefit.
- Explanation: This proverb is from "The Analects of Confucius". It illustrates that students can learn from their teachers. Teachers can also learn something from students.
6. 温故而知新 (wēn gù ér zhī xīn)
- Translation: Studying the past helps to understand the present.
- Explanation: This proverb is from "The Analects of Confucius". It illustrates that it is necessary to go over the lesson we have learned before learning something new.
7. 学而不思则罔，思而不学则殆 (xué ér bù sī zé wǎng, sī ér bù xué zé dài)
- Translation: Learning without thought is deceptive; thought without learning is perilous.
- Explanation: This Confucius proverb reminds us that both learning and thought are important.
8. 十年树木，百年树人 (shí nián shù mù, bǎi nián shù rén）
- Translation: Ten years to cultivate wood, a hundred years to cultivate a man.
- Explanation: This saying illustrates that education is a life-long process, just like it takes 10 years to grow a tree that's ready to be used.
9. 学不可以已 (xué bù kě yǐ yǐ)
- Translation: Learning is endless.
- Explanation: This proverb reminds us that learning is a continuous process and we should never stop learning.
10. 知之为知之，不知为不知，是知也 (zhī zhī wéi zhī zhī，bù zhī wéi bù zhī，shì zhì yě)
- Translation: To know what you know, and what you don't know. That's true wisdom.
11. 不耻下问 (bù chǐ xià wèn)
- Translation: No shame in asking questions, even to people who are not as good as you are at learning.
12. 书中自有金屋 (shū zhōng zì yǒu huáng jīn wū)
- Translation: A book holds a house of gold.
- Explanation: This saying comes from a poem from the Song Dynasty, encouraging us to read more books.
13. 师傅领进门，修行在个人 (shī fu lǐng jìn mén, xiū xíng zài gè rén)
- Translation: Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.
- Explanation: The improvement of academic or technical skills mainly depends on the efforts of the students themselves.
14. 工欲善其事，必先利其器 (gōng yù shàn qí shì, bì xiān lì qí qì)
- Translation: A workman must first sharpen his tools if he is to do his work well.
- Explanation: This saying is from Confucious. It reminds us that we need to have good tools and get prepared in advance in order to do a good job.
15. 尽信书不如无书 (jìn xìn shū bù rú wú shū)
- Translation: It's better to be without a book than to believe a book entirely.
16. 好书如挚友 (hǎo shū rú zhì yǒu)
- Translation: A good book is like a good friend.
17. 书到用时方恨少 (shū dào yòng shí fāng hèn shǎo)
- Translation: When using books, you'll regret reading a few.
18. 严师出高徒 (yán shī chū gāo tú)
- Translation: Strict teachers produce fine students.
19. 读书破万卷，下笔如有神 (dú shū pò wàn juàn，xià bǐ rú yǒu shén)
- Translation: After you have read more than ten thousand books, you will find it easy to write.
20. 知识是智慧的火炬 (zhī shí shì zhì huì dē huǒ jù)
- Translation: Knowledge is the torch of wisdom.
Chinese Proverbs About Wisdom (10 Sayings)
1. 大智若愚 (dà zhì ruò yú)
- Translation: A man of great wisdom appears slow-witted.
- Explanation: This saying means still waters run deep.
2. 足智多谋 (zú zhì duō móu)
- Translation: Smart and resourceful.
- Explanation: This idiom means a man of great resource and wisdom.
3. 人无远虑，必有近忧 (rén wú yuǎn lǜ bì yǒu jìn yōu)
- Translation: Man has no far-sighted worries, but will have near-term worries.
- Explanation: From "The Analects of Confucius", this saying means those who do not plan for the future will find trouble at their doorstep.
4. 读书使人明智 (dú shū shǐ rén míng zhì)
- Translation: Reading makes a man wise.
5. 博观而约取，厚积而薄发 (bó guān ér yuē qǔ, hòu jī ér bó fā)
- Translation: Accumulate as much as possible but take out a little at a time.
- Explanation: From an article written by Su Shi, this saying teaches us that learning is a process of extensive reading, discarding the dross, and selecting the essential. Only by accumulating a large amount of knowledge can we be able to use it with ease.
6. 纸上得来终觉浅，绝知此事要躬行 (zhǐ shàng dé lái zhōng jué qiǎn, jué zhī cǐ shì yào gōng xíng)
- Translation: Paper to get shallow, must know this matter to practice.
- Explanation: From poetry written by Lu You, a prominent poet of China's Southern Song Dynasty, this saying means that what's learned from books is superficial after all. It's crucial to have it done and tested.
7. 才高八斗 (cái gāo bā dǒu)
- Translation: Smarter than the average bear.
- Explanation: This is an idiom used to describe a man who is endowed with extraordinary talents.
8. 博学多才 (bó xué duō cái)
- Translation: Be of great learning and great ability.
- Explanation: A brilliant man with great learning and great ability.
9. 兰质蕙心 (lán zhì huì xīn)
- Translation: Pure heart and spirit.
- Explanation: This idiom is used to describe a girl who is beautiful and intelligent.
10. 聪明才智 (cōng ming cái zhì)
- Translation: Intelligence and wisdom.
- Explanation: This idiom is used to describe someone who is smart and intelligent.
Chinese Proverbs About Friendship (20 Sayings)
1. 君子之交淡如水 (jūn zǐ zhī jiāo dàn rú shuǐ)
- Translation: A gentleman's friendship is insipid as water.
- Explanation: From "Zhuang Zi", an ancient Chinese book from the late Warring States period, this saying means that friends agree best at a distance.
2. 路遥知马力，日久见人心 (lù yáo zhī mǎ lì，shì jiǔ jiàn rén xīnzlù yáo zhī mǎ lì，shì jiǔ jiàn rén xīn)
- Translation: A horse's strength will be known by long-distance travel, while a person's heart will be revealed by time.
3. 海内存知己，天涯若比邻 (hǎi nèi cún zhī jǐ , tiān yá ruò bǐ lín)
- Translation: If you have a friend from afar who knows your heart, distance can't keep you two apart.
4. 近朱者赤，近墨者黑 (jìn zhū zhě chì, jìn mò zhě hēi)
- Translation: Peers can influence our behavior in positive and negative ways.
- Explanation: This proverb reminds us that the environment can change a person's behavior and personality.
5. 患难见真情 (huàn nàn jian zhen qing)
- Translation: In hardship, we see true friendship.
6. 道不同，不相为谋 (dào bù tóng bù xiāng wéi móu)
- Translation: Men of different principles don't work well together.
7. 礼尚往来 (lǐ shàng wǎng lái)
- Translation: Courtesy calls for reciprocity.
8. 冤家宜解不宜结 (yuān jiā yí jiě bù yí jié)
- Translation: Better make friends than make enemies.
9. 有朋自远方来, 不亦乐乎 (yǒu péng zì yuǎn fāng lái，bù yì lè hū)
- Translation: How delightful I am to have friends coming from afar!
10. 广交友，无深交 (guǎng jiāo yǒu,wú shēn jiāo)
- Translation: Numerous friends mean no deep friendship.
11. 在家靠父母，出外靠朋友 (zài jiā kào fù mǔ，chū wài kào péng yǒu)
- Translation: Rely on parents at home and friends when you go out.
- Explanation: When you are at home, your parents will take care of you. When you go out and away from home, sometimes you need the help of your friends.
12. 一个朋友一条路，一个冤家一堵墙 (yī gè péng yǒu yī tiáo lù，yī gè yuān jiā yī dǔ qiáng)
- Translation: A friend a road, an enemy a wall.
- Explanation: This proverb means that one more friend is one more convenient road to build for yourself. More than one enemy is equal to their own more set a heavy obstacle to moving forward.
13. 远亲不如近邻 (yuǎn qīn bú rú jìn lín)
- Translation: A close neighbor is better than a brother far off.
- Explanation: A distant relative may not be as helpful as a near neighbor
14. 八拜之交 (bā bài zhī jiāo)
- Translation: Sworn brothers.
- Explanation: This idiom means that sworn brothers and sisters are closely related to each other.
15. 万两黄金容易得，知心一个也难求 (wàn liǎng huáng jīn róng yì dé，zhī xīn yī gè yě nán qiú)
- Translation: Ten thousand taels of gold are easier to get than an understanding heart.
- Explanation: From "A Dream in Red Mansions", this proverb suggests that it is hard to find a true friend.
16. 一排篱笆三个桩，一个好汉三个帮 (yī pái lí bā sān gè zhuāng，yī gè hǎo hàn sān gè bāng)
- Translation: A row of fence three piles, a good man three help.
- Explanation: No matter how capable you are, you would need help sometimes, just like a fence needs three stakes to be stable.
17. 义结金兰 (yì jié jīn lán)
- Translation: To be as sworn brothers.
- Explanation: From "Taiping Yulan", this proverb means very good friend.
18. 交友应学人长，处事当克己短 (jiāo yǒu yīng xué rén zhǎng，chù shì dāng kè jǐ duǎn)
- Translation: Friends should learn from each other, and overcome their shortcomings when dealing with things.
19. 患难之交 (huàn nán zhī jiāo)
- Translation: Friends in adversity.
- Explanation: It means friends who have been through hardships together.
20. 忘年之交 (wàng nián zhī jiāo)
- Translation: A friendship between old and young people / A forget-the-age mutually beneficial relationship.
Chinese Proverbs About Time (10 Sayings)
1. 花有重开时，人无再少年 (huā yǒu chóng kāi shí , rén wú zài shào nián)
- Translation: A flower may bloom again, but you are never young again.
- Explanation: This saying comes from a poem from the Song Dynasty. It teaches us to cherish time, not to waste time.
2. 一寸光阴一寸金，寸金难买寸光阴 (yī cùn guāng yīn yī cùn jīn , cùn jīn nán mǎi cùn guāng yīn)
- Translation: An inch of time is worth an inch of gold, but an inch of gold may not buy an inch of time.
- Explanation: Time is as precious as gold.
3. 时不我待 (shí bù wǒ dài)
- Translation: Time and tide wait for no man.
4. 时间就是生命 (shí jiān jiù shì shēng mìng)
- Translation: Time is of the essence.
5. 一日之计在于晨 (yī rì zhī jì zài yú chén)
- Translation: The whole day's work depends on a good start in the morning.
- Explanation: Morning hours are the best time of the day to work.
6. 光阴似箭 (guāng yīn sì jiàn)
- Translation: How time flies.
7. 时间一去不复返 (shí jiān yī qù bù fù fǎn)
- Translation: Lost time is never found again
8. 明日何其多 (míng rì hé qí duō)
- Translation: There is no time like the present.
- Explanation: This is a popular saying since the Ming Dynasty. It tells us to cherish time. Don't put off until tomorrow what you need to do today.
9. 岁月不待人 (suì yuè bù dài rén)
- Translation: Time and tide wait for no man.
10. 日月既往，不可复追 (rì yuè jì wǎng, bù kě fù zhuī)
- Translation: Past can never be called back.
Back to Chinese Culture.