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How do you interpret the phrase: "你的美如日; 你的智若猫头鹰" (Nǐ dì měi rú rì; nǐ de zhì ruò māotóuyīng in Mandarin)?

I'm trying to say something like: "Your beauty is like the sun; your wisdom is like an owl's".

  • It is all wrong, we do not use the sun to represent beauty, and we certainly don't compare human's brain to owls – Tang Ho Feb 9 '18 at 21:34
  • @Tang Ho: Okay; how do you recommend I can improve this? I wanted to specifically include a reference to an owl. Also, what does the phrase mean as it is now? – HeadOfJarg Feb 9 '18 at 23:09
  • Owl as a symbol of wisdom is mostly a western children book visual representative, adults don't even use it, so you should drop the idea of using owl as a representative of wisdom – Tang Ho Feb 9 '18 at 23:40
  • Comparing beauty with the sun is nonsensical, you might as well saying "your beauty is like rock or paper" ; compare human's intelligence with animal's is always derogatory , for example "stupid as pig" or "cunning like a fox" – Tang Ho Feb 9 '18 at 23:48
  • Is it (close to being) grammatically correct? – HeadOfJarg Feb 10 '18 at 2:08
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i would suggest:

其妍也﹒如冬之日﹒和煦可人

其智也﹒若夜之鴞﹒慎默覃思

here's a brief explanation:

his/her's beauty (妍), is like (如) the winter sun (冬之日), warm (和煦) & pleasant (可人)

his/her's wisdom (智), is like (若) an owl (夜鴞), think (覃思) carefully (慎) and silently (默)

如冬之日 do not indicate the sun itself, it implied the sunshine in winter.

then, 鴞 is one of the name used in ancient time for owl.

have fun :)

  • Thank you for your great suggestions! 😍 (I initially used "鴞", but some translators didn't properly recognize it.) – HeadOfJarg Feb 10 '18 at 8:18
  • When writing this on paper, should the hanzi be ordered top to bottom, left to right? Should each section before a small full stop (﹒) be written in a new column, or each row in a new column? – HeadOfJarg Feb 10 '18 at 8:53
  • personally, i write chinese vertically, without punctuation. so, it's yes, top to bottom, left to right. about full stop and / or comma, it's up to you. the above suggestion should be in two column :) – 水巷孑蠻 Feb 10 '18 at 16:43
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你的美如日; 你的智若猫头鹰

I'd say the grammar of your sentence is correct. It's another point as to whether your analogy, beauty to sun; wisdom to owl, is good or not. I can get wisdom to owl, and I have the difficulties to imagine beauty to sun. You might put some explanation for it in your text I think.

美如日月,睿智如鹰 might sound better.

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    grammatically correct or not, it is awfully phrased Chinese sentence. – Tang Ho Feb 10 '18 at 3:53

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