I know how Google Translate translates this, but wondering how those who actually use Mandarin/Chinese would say it.

Thank you very much in advance.

4 Answers 4


Chinese versions of some quotes at https://zh.wikiquote.org/zh-cn/%E9%A7%AD%E5%AE%A2%E4%BB%BB%E5%8B%99 https://www.juzimi.com/article/%E9%BB%91%E5%AE%A2%E5%B8%9D%E5%9B%BD many w/o original, there find 明白一件事和做这件事是不同的 which sounds like a possible translation


There is a difference in knowing the path and walking the path

The idiom 知易行難 (knowing how to do something is easy; put it into action is hard) match this quote quite well

知 - know; aware

易 - easy

行 - implement; walk

難 - difficult

The writer might know this idiom but thought 行 meant walk

To put this idiom into quote:



古語有云 「知易行難」

To translate the quote from Matrix directly, you can say "知道路怎麼走和真的去走這條路是有分別的" (There is a difference between knowing the path and really walking the path)


PaleNeutron wrote:

popular way is "说起来容易做起来难".

The elegant way to say it is "说時容易做時难", which is a common expression


When people say "There is a difference in knowing the path and walking the path", they usually means "Do something is much harder than know something".

Based on your context, the formal way is "知易行难", but the popular way is "说起来容易做起来难".

One step further, "知行" is the core theory of a school in Ming, ref. 知行合一.

  • "说起来容易做起来难" is not as elegant as "说時容易做時难" as an expression
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 17:47

Probably, 眼高手低 denotes the same sense. It describes that one possesses good knowledge or vision, but can't achieve much practically.

More closely, it can be 理论和实践是不同的.

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