Chinese Proverbs

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Proverbs
Annotation And Connotations
Visiting monks give better sermons.
(Chinese original: 外来的和尚好念经; Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wài lái de héshang hǎo niànjīng.)
People always value opinions coming from sources other than their fellow employees.
Mend the pen only after the sheep are all gone.
(Chinese original: 亡羊补牢;Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wáng-yáng-bǔ-láo.)
Some say it is too late. Some say, well, if you learn a lesson, it is not necessarily late: no more sheep will flee. It is better than if you leave the pen broken at all. Therefore people use the proverb to either purpose.
He who plays with fire will get himself burned.
(Chinese original: 玩火自焚;Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wán-huǒ-zì-fén.)
An evil doer will eventually end up being punished.
Ruthlessness is key to a man's accomplishment.
(Chinese original: 无毒不丈夫; Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wú dú bù zhàngfu.)
Unfortunately history proves it to be true again and again, particularly among statesmen and politicians.
No wind, no waves.
(Chinese original: 无风不起浪; Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wú fēng bù qǐ làng.)
How about "There is no fire without smoke."? The assumption here is that rumors may have some grounds.
Things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme.
(Chinese original: 物极必反;Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wù-jí-bì-fǎn.)
The pendulum is also swing back and forth.
One never comes to pray in the Temple of Three Treasures if he is not in trouble.
(Chinese original: 无事不登三宝殿; Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wú shì bū dēng sānbǎodiàn.)
When someone who rarely contacts you suddenly comes to you and you know what he is come to, you will say this to yourself.
If you've done nothing wrong, you shouldn't worry about devils knocking at your door in midnight.
(Chinese original: 无事不怕鬼叫门; Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wú shì bù pà guǐ jiào mén.)
Same as "If you have not done anything evil, you should not worry too much": the good/regular always overwhelms the bad/irregular though in real life it is not necessarily so.
Fifty steps laugh at a hundred steps.
(Chinese original: 五十步笑一百步; Chinese Pinyin: Audio Wǔ shí bù xiào yī bǎi bù.)
Don't gloat over others' mistakes while you are making the same ones in a different fasion.
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Last updated: May 29, 2009