Is there a Chinese saying roughly equivalent in meaning to "turning lemons into lemonade"?

From Wikipedia,

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. "Lemons" in this expression is used in the informal sense of the word, to indicate an unfortunate or inadequate situation, a meaning which probably stems from the sour and acidic taste of unsweetened lemon. "Lemonade" on the other hand, is a sweetened form of this same acerbic fruit, and so in the context of this expression, conveys the potential for pleasure and opportunity in seemingly bad situations.


There are some phrases of close meanings:

  • 化干戈为玉帛 turn hostility into peace;

  • 转危为安 / 化险为夷 turn danger into safety;

  • 化压力为动力 turn the pressure of life into power;

  • 转悲为喜 turn sorrow into joy;

  • 化悲痛为力量 turn sadness into power;

  • 变废为宝 turn rubbish into useful things;

  • 化失败为教训 turn failure into lessons

  • 1
    Nice list. I just want to add 化腐朽为神奇, similar to 变废为宝.
    – 杨以轩
    Oct 15 '13 at 1:43

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