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Chinese Idiom
功亏一篑 (gōng kuī yī kuì)
Learn Chinese - Chinese Idiom

altOnce a man planned to build a terrace. He worked very hard and spent a lot of time digging and carrying earth. When the mound was almost completed and only one more basket of earth was needed, the man gave up. The terrace was never completed.
This idiom means to fail to succeed for lack of final effort. It has a connotition of pity.

 

古时,有一个人要筑一座九仞(八尺=一仞)高的山。他堆了一年又一年,不论严寒酷暑,废寝忘食地从远处挖土,再挑土,再堆到山包上,终于有一天,他就要完工了。这一天也如往常一样,鸡刚叫就起床开工,一筐又一筐,眼看着山就要9仞高了,只差一筐土的工夫。但他一摸肚子咕咕叫,天又下起雪来,认为只有一筐土,就回家去了。此后,他总认为只有一筐土而偷懒,所以这一筐土至死他也没堆上,终究这座只差一筐土的九仞高的山还是没有堆成(为山九仞,功亏一篑)。
“功亏一篑”一成语便出于此。

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 June 2009 23:36
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刮目相看 (guā mù xiāng kàn)
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alt

Lv Meng (lǚ méng 吕蒙) was a general of Wu during the Three Kingdoms Period (sān guó 三国时代,220-280AD). He was born in such a poor family that he did not get any chance to go to the school when he was a child. However, there was still less time for reading when he served in the army after he grew up.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 June 2009 16:09
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瓜田李下 (guā tián lǐ xià)
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alt

Emperor Wen of the Tang dynasty (hàn cháo 汉朝) was a very democratic ruler. Before doing anything, he would always ask the opinion of his ministers. Once he asked Liou Gung-chiuan how the people felt about the government. Liou Gung-chiuan respectfully answered, "Concerning your sending Guo Min to be in charge of Bin-ning, some people are in favor and others are not."

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 21:51
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郭氏之墟 (guō shì zhī qiū)
Learn Chinese - Chinese Idiom

On a vacation trip, Duke Huan of the state of Qi came to the ruin of the capital of Guo Shi , which perished long ago.  

Seeing the desolate and bleak prospects of broken tiles, collapsed walls, and clusters of weeds, he could not help asking the local people about the reason of the ruin of Guo Shi.  
 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 June 2009 17:31
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害群之马(hài qún zhī mǎ)
Learn Chinese - Chinese Idiom

altIt was about four thousand years ago. Huangdi (Yellow Emperor)-the first legendary ruler in China went to the countryside to visit an old friend with his entourage. They met a boy keeping watch over a herd of horses on their way.

 

Huangdi asked the boy, "Do you know the way to my friend's village far away from here?"

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 17:02
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含沙射影 (hán shā shè yǐng)
Learn Chinese - Chinese Idiom

altLegend has it that there was once a water monster called Yu (yù 蜮). It had norns, a shell, wings and three legs, but no eyes. There was a catapult in its mouth. If Yu heard the steps of a man, it would shoot sand from its mouth at him. If even the mans’s shadow was hit, the man would fall ill.
This idiom indicates vilifying people by insinuation.

传说江淮间出产一种很特别的甲虫,名叫蜮,又有人称做射工、射影、短狐、水狐。这种虫常常伤害人,形状很是奇怪,背上长着硬壳,头上有角,身上长有翅膀,可以飞到上空,在人的头上施行袭击。它没有眼睛,但耳朵听觉特别灵敏,口中有一横物,形状像弩,只要听到人声便知道人的所在方向和距离,然后用口中所含的沙当作矢,向人射击。被蜮射中的人,会染上一种毒质而生疮;就算人的身体能够射避,而影子被蜮射中,也会生病。

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 June 2009 22:42
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