In the English translation of Slapping the Table in Amazement there's an interesting phrase that shows up:

Preface [1628 Edition]

As the saying goes, “To one who has seen too little of the world, everything is strange.”

ctext & Wikisource both only start at "chapter" one. There doesn't seem to be a preface.

What's the original Chinese for: “To one who has seen too little of the world, everything is strange.”?

2 Answers 2


中国古典文学 has the preface.

Here's the first paragraph:




The translation of “To one who has seen too little of the world, everything is strange.” is:


There is also an entry for this in ABC Proverbs which says:

Lit [Things (which are)] seldom seen [are felt to be] strange. Note Cf. the preface to Chū Kè Pāi'àn Jīngqì; now more commonly said shǎo jiàn, duō guài; see also the preceding entry.

Like the definition mentions the more, modern, common variant of this phrase is 少见多怪 which ABC defines as:

The less one has seen, the more one marvels.

ABC Proverbs also contains the old phrase with an added sentence:


Lit [One who has] seen little regards many things as strange; [(s)he] sees a camel [and] calls [it a] horse with a hunchback.

  • 1
    少见多怪 is a common phrase for saying someone is ignorant, uninformed on a subject
    – Tang Ho
    Apr 19, 2018 at 11:35

if you answer your own questions, we have nothing to do! I'll go get in the soup kitchen queue.



The Chinese is definitely more succinct!

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