Questions tagged [chengyu]

Chengyu (simplified Chinese: 成语; traditional Chinese: 成語, pinyin: chéngyǔ, lit. "set phrases") are a type of traditional Chinese idiomatic expressions, most of which consist of four characters. Chengyu were widely used in Classical Chinese and are still common in vernacular Chinese writing and in the spoken language today.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Idiom/chengyu meaning: 小葱拌豆腐一清二白

I recently came across 小葱拌豆腐一清二白 as a dictionary submission, but the explanation of the submitter was unclear. I have had mixed/little luck searching for the expression (or parts of it), and I also ...
1
vote
5answers
652 views

How to translate “If everything goes as planned…”

For example If everything goes as planned, we should have a successful journey. I hope everything goes as planned tonight. Specifically, I'm wondering if there's an idiom for this. If not, what's a ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

Is there a reliable way to check if an idiom (成语) is widely used?

Sometimes I encounter an idiom (or 成语) and think to myself "oh, I like this 成语, maybe I should learn it". However, I'll often find out later that nobody actually uses that particular 成语, and I've ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Words related to several 成语 (via 《AB》 → 《-A-B》)

The word 颜色 (yánsè / colour; facial expression/looks) is clearly related to several chengyu: 五颜六色 容颜失色 正颜厉色 和颜悦色 怡颜悦色 喜颜悦色 I suspect that many two-character words AB are similar to 颜色, in that ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Care yields fine products

Is there a 成语 saying that care yields fine products (eg. care as in cheerfulness)? I have heard 慢工出细货, but I would like a 成语 to express something like 小心出细货, not sure if this expression id's even ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

成語 with 鮑魚, grammar structure?

I stumbled upon this 成語: 如入鮑魚之肆久而不聞其臭。 it's like staying in a fish market and getting used to the stink long exposure to bad surroundings or bad company accustoms one to evil ways (source of ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Is 金口难开 an idiom, and if so what would be a suitable CC-CEDICT definition?

I stumbled upon 金口难开, and I think it's a 成语. I think it describes people who are pretentious (金口 = gold mouth), which makes it hard for them to speak (难开 = difficult to open). Examples: ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

What's the Chinese equivalent of 将就? (成语)

For Example: 正版 Windows 太贵了, 只能拿盗版Windows或Ubuntu将就一下了. Which can be translated to Genuine Microsoft Windows is too expensive, I'll have to make do with pirated Windows or Ubuntu. Are there ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

How well-known is the expression 杯弓蛇影?

I like this 成语 and brought it up in a conversation, but the person I was speaking with (an expat Chinese) didn't know it. So I would like to know how well-known it is. Would a 10 year old in Beijing ...
1
vote
3answers
208 views

What is the meaning of 庸 in the phrase 毋庸置疑?

毋庸置疑 is a chengyu. Its meaning is "beyound any doubt", but what is its verbatim meaning in literary Chinese? 毋 is like "don't" 置 is "to place, to put" 疑 is "doubt" 庸 I am not sure of the correct ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What's a suitable CC-EDICT definition for 各司其职?

I encountered 各司其职 in my textbook 发展汉语,高级口语(I) on page 19, so I'm attempting to whip up a CC-EDICT definition. Question: What's a suitable CC-EDICT definition for 各司其职? The definition the textbook ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Meaning of a Fan Inscription

In a trip to Hangzhou, almost 2 years ago, I participated in one (the biggest if I'm not mistaken) of the Chinese National Amateur Weiqi Championship as a (Brazilian) foreigner. During one of the ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

the leaf always falls down on its root

A friend of mine mentioned the Chinese saying that says that "the leaf always falls down on its root". I would like to know whether this refers to the text that in old age several people return to ...
1
vote
3answers
136 views

Chinese expression for “go out early and return early”

I'm Looking for a Chinese expression that means something like "go out early and return early" or "the sooner you leave, the sooner you can come back". It expresses a wish for a person who is leaving ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What does the phrase 豪华名贵 mean in Dave Wong's song “爱不起”?

Cross-post notice Here is another Quora cross-post, this one 21 days old and marked as needing to be in English. Quora post. Question At the end of 爱不起, there is the sentence "越是迷住我 豪华名贵 越是发现爱不起". ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Meanings of 何以家为?

Is it a 成语? I'm wondering about its range of meanings. One source suggests, "use the rhetorical tone to indicate that you have no time or no mood to think about your family problems." Another says, ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

Are there any chengyu or xiehouyu that only mean their literal meaning?

Most chengyu and xiehouyu have a literal meaning and a figurative meaning. Take 鸡飞狗跳 for instance, it literally means [the] chicken[s] fly [and the] dog[s] jump, figuratively it stands for chaos and ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Meaning of characters in 休戚相关, 患难与共

I have consulted a dictionary, but am unsure of the meaning of 关 in 休戚相关, 患难与共。 Also I'm not sure about the meaning of 与 in this context.
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Do most native speakers understand these Chengyus at all? 霽範永存, 亹亹不卷, 巾袖無光, 鑿枘不入

I am learning some Chengyu but after a google search with inverted commas, only a very small number of usages are found: 266 results for 霽範永存; 720 results for 亹亹不卷; 817 results for 巾袖無光; 886 ...
0
votes
3answers
98 views

袖手旁观 generalizations

I am looking for Chinese 成语 that generalize 袖手旁观, but indicate complacency with regards to something that could happen, rather than to something that has already happened, or is happening. Thanks. ...
0
votes
5answers
699 views

揠苗助长 or 拔苗助长 ? Which one is correct?

A dictionary says both chengyus being equal in meaining. Is it so, or is there any difference between these two idioms?
0
votes
1answer
145 views

What is the verbatim (grammatical) meaning of 不了​了之?

不了​了之 is a ChengYu, read as bu4 liao3 liao3 zhi1 its figurative meaning is "to let sth. in its original state". I guess the ChengYu had some concrete verbatim meaning in literary Chinese, but I do not ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

In 立下了汗马功劳, how should I understand 立下了 (“set up”) 汗马功劳 (“war exploits”)?

In many example sentences for the chengyu 汗马功劳 hànmǎgōngláo war exploits; (fig.) heroic contribution[src] we see 立下了汗马功劳, e.g.: 他参加过许多战役, 立下了汗马功劳, 但他仍然很谦虚。 I don't understand this because 立下 = &...
0
votes
3answers
56 views

How do I use a chengyu (idiom) to describe a “one extreme to the other” kind of transformation?

In my story, 孔琳's behavior has changed from ultra-depressed to ultra-optimistic in a matter of moments (she has an unstable personality). Her friends (陈叶 and 胡灵阳) are staring at her in amazement, and ...
0
votes
2answers
502 views

What is the difference between 井底之蛙 and 坐井观天?

To express a person that has a narrow view, there are two 成语. According to 百度词典: 坐井观天 坐在井底看天。比喻眼界小,见识少。 井底之蛙 井底的蛙只能看到井口那么大的一块天。比喻见识狭窄的人。 Both words include derogatory sense (含贬义). But for me ...
0
votes
3answers
376 views

“If you can't beat them, join them” 成语 or 俗语

There is an English expression, "If you can't beat them, join them." For example, After competing with Microsoft for so many years, he finally accepted the lucrative offer and joined as their ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

Meaning of 别 in 别开生面?

I am aware of the fact that 别 usually means "don't", but what about :/ the expression 别开生面​。 Here, doors it mean "another"? What exactly does it mean in this context? Thanks.
0
votes
1answer
62 views

“你我未来,由此展开。” Is this a real Chinese expression?

Is this an authentic Chinese expression? If it is, then why is the only place I see it in use on the Chinese-language version of the US Census website?
0
votes
3answers
157 views

精益求精, how to properly interpret this classical Chinese chengyu?

The idiom stands for constantly strive for improvement. When I look at 精益求精, I read Excellence increase seek excellence But shouldn't it be Excellence increase seek more excellence Of course if ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

What is the correct saying?

In Zhuang Zi 5.2 we read: 聞之曰:『鑑明則塵垢不止,止則不明也。久與賢人處,則無過。』 Lin Yutang translation: "Now I have heard that if a mirror is perfectly bright, dust will not collect on it, and that if it does, the mirror ...
0
votes
2answers
118 views

Two contrasts between 文 and 武, culture and war

There are two sayings available on-line, each with various explanations. One is: 文无第一 武无第二 (in culture there is no first, in war there is no second) And one is: 文无第二武无第一 (in culture there is no ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

A shorter translation of 举案齐眉

举案齐眉 - 汉英大词典 A wife lifts the tray to a level with her eyebrows to show great respect for her husband Are there any shorter translations? PS: Why do people still admire such kind of marriage?
0
votes
3answers
127 views

Is there a proverb that means something like an enemy's best tactic is to hide himself?

I'm looking for a 成语 that means something along the lines of an enemy's best tactic is to hide himself, or to make you believe he doesn't exist.
-1
votes
1answer
386 views

What are the HSK chengyu (idioms)?

I've been going through the HSK lists with awk, so I now feel like I can answer... Question: What are the HSK chengyu (idioms)? My answer is below. To my knowledge, there's no HSK5 idioms, except ...
-1
votes
2answers
83 views

Alternatives to 自圆其说, but for self-justification

自圆其说 refers to making one's statement plausible. Is there a similar saying, indicating the action of justifying one's own reason, but justifying it to oneself, i.e., without necessarily making it ...

1
2