Tag Archives: Chinese

The thousands of thoughts have turned into ashes.

The thousands of thoughts have turned into ashes. — One of the meanings of this proverb could be… All is lost. A hopeless situation. (This is a rough translation from a Chinese proverb)

When the tree falls, the monkeys scatter.

When the tree falls, the monkeys scatter.  — You use this when a leader loses power, his followers become disorganized. This proverb is anti-anarchistic. (This is a rough translation from a Chinese proverb)


Wants the horse to be good and at the same time want the horse not to eat hay.

Wants the horse to be good and at the same time want the horse not to eat hay. — The moral of this proverb, or a meaning could be You can’t have your cake and eat it too (English equivalent). It’s used when someone has an unrealistic expectation. And ‘good’ and ‘hay’ rhyme in Mandarin. (This is a rough translation from a Chinese proverb)

Spilt water will not return to the tray.

Spilt water will not return to the tray. — One of the meanings of this proverb could be… It’s no use crying over spilt milk. / A separated couple can never go back to as it was. Original meaning comes from an old Chinese story of a couple, but the proverb is often used in a more general sense today. (This is a Japanese proverb, saying, or idiom)

Massive amounts of water flooded the dragon-king temple.

Massive amounts of water flooded the dragon-king temple.  — The moral of this proverb, or a meaning could be even those who work to prevent something (bad) can be hurt or damaged by it. Explanation: the dragon-king is a mystical creature that lives underwater and controls the natural bodies of water. People visit the dragon-king temple to placate him and prevent floods, thus this proverb is ironic situationally (Sometimes this proverb is used as ‘???????,????????’ (…yi1 jia1 ren2 bu4 ren4 yi1 jia1 ren2 …one+home+person+not+know+one+home+person), or, One family member doesn’t recognize another family member. The idiom might be used to resolve an embarrassing situation; Someone has a conflict with a stranger, only to find the stranger was a neighbor, or a sister’s boyfriend, or any other person with some relation. The two might use this idiom to save face and make peace with each other, comparing the conflict to that of the flooded dragon-king’s temple (dragon-king: rain god in some sense). (This is a rough translation from a Chinese proverb)

If the roots are not removed during weeding, the weeds will grow again when the winds of Spring blows.

If the roots are not removed during weeding, the weeds will grow again when the winds of Spring blows. — The moral of this proverb, or a meaning could be 1)It is essential to finish a task thoroughly or the effort would be wasted 2) To solve any problems, the source of the problem must also be dealt with. Compare it to the English equivalent, A stitch in time saves nine. (This is a rough translation from a Chinese proverb)