I'm taking a history class in Chinese and my teacher brought up 四五运动的两个教训 。 Then later on he talked about 启蒙的两个论点 。 I know that roughly 教训 is translated as "lessons" and 论点 is a bit more like "thesis, or arguments" - but could someone make this distinction a bit more clear? Or are they relatively interchangeable when talking about history?

  • I'm wondering: do English speakers consider there're few distinctions between word "lesson" and word "argument"?
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 18:51

2 Answers 2


教训 [Lesson;Moral]:指从错误或挫折中得到的经验,

lessons learned from past failures and mistakes. It emphasizes the empirical aspect of the origin. Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/777967.htm

论点 [argument; proposition] 论述中的确定性意见及论证意见的理由。

It does not have to be empirical. It can be anything straight off the dome.
Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/562734.htm


1) It is 五四運動, rather than 四五運動.

2) "教訓" means the lessons or experiences that we have learned; "論點" means an argument.

No, they are not interchangeable. Consider the following example: If you left home in a hurry and forgot to have your keys with you, so that when you were back home you found you cannot but have somebody else help out with this problem. This event is exactly a "教訓" for you. Later you argued with the person who unlocked you door and who charged too much by telling him that his peers will never charge so much. You were proposing exactly your "論點" to convince him.

Now, it is clear why they are intrinsically different.

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