When giving some kind of saying or folklore knowledge, in English we often say e.g.:

You know what they say? Two heads are better than one.

I want to say something similar in Chinese:

You know what they say? 天不怕地不怕,就怕老外说中国话!

I find this an amusing rhyme, and it usually gets a laugh. However, I'm not sure what to preface it with. YouDao uses semi-literal translations:

Nǐ zhīdào tāmen shuō...

Nǐ zhīdào tāmen zěnme shuō...

But I don't know if this is actually used by Chinese speakers (outside of translations from English). Perhaps it's Engnese (reverse Chinglish) to say this, and there's a more appropriate phrase in Chinese.

Question: How to phrase "You know what they say? [quote]" in Chinese?

  • iciba: you know what they say, Cindy: Well, you know what they say . All great minds think alike! 嗯, 你知道的. 俗话说: 英雌所见略同! 2. Well, you know what they say: Be careful what you wish for. 你知道他们总是说: “要小心你内心希望的. ” 3. But you know what they say : beauty is only skin - deep. 实际上,她比谁都刻薄和小气. ” & more – user6065 Jul 10 '18 at 4:19



are common phrases, but not for this context。

Depends on the type of the quote, you can use

俗话说/老话说/有句话叫:folk saying

古语有云 (classical saying)

X曰 (quote from ancient scholar)

XX说 (common phrase)

A: 俗话说: 三个臭皮匠, 顶一个诸葛亮(Two heads are better than one)

B:有句话叫: 人多手乱。



A: 高尔基说: 子没说过。

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Yeah, there's an equivalent expression:


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as the saying goes

常言道, 熟能生巧。
Chángyándào, shúnéngshēngqiǎo.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Which could just as easily be translated as: You know what they say, practice makes perfect.

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W can split this into several scenario.

If u want to say or quote Something: 俗話說、俗話話、古語有云。

It u want to say question your audience to understand what the third party say:


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