Chinese Proverbs

Learn the vocabulary from proverbs

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Last update: 2015-10-23

Proverb 4

(click on any character for its definition, pronunciation, decomposition and more)

Huā yǒu chóng kāi rì, rén wú zài shàonián

Though flowers bloom again, a person cannot get young again.

This quote is an invitation to embrace life now, before it is too late. So, isn’t it important that we work even harder on what we do, before the next Spring? Let’s go practice some Chinese quiz and learn new vocabulary for the next level!

Details per character

  • 花 huā: flower (level 3, )

  • 有 yǒu: to have (level 1, )

  • 重 zhòng: to repeat (level 3, )

  • 开 kāi: to open (level 1, )

  • 日 rì: day (level 1, )

  • 人 rén: man (level 1, )

  • 无 wú: not to have (level 4, )

  • 再 zài: again (level 1, )

  • 少 shǎo: young (level 1, )

  • 年 nián: year (level 1, )

Proverb 3

(click on any character for its definition, pronunciation, decomposition and more)

Dú wàn juǎn shū bùrú xíng wànlǐ lù

Reading ten thousand books cannot compare to travelling ten thousand miles.

The ancients used to believe that reading alone was not enough, and that beyond, there’s the need to move to the second step: traveling the world, witnessing it with your own eyes. This tradition got stronger roots since Confucius himself traveled across the country, to extend his understanding of things.

Details per character

  • 读 dú: to read (level 1, )

  • 万 wàn: ten thousand (level 3, )

  • 卷 juǎn: to roll up, classifier for small rolled things (level 5, )

  • 书 shū: book (level 1, )

  • bùrú: not equal to (HSK level 5)

  • 行 xíng: to go (level 2, )

  • 万 wàn: ten thousand (level 3, )

  • 里 lǐ: li (Chinese mile) (level 1, )

  • 路 lù: road (level 2, )

Proverb 2

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Yǒu péng zì yuǎn fāng lái, bù yì lè hū

To have friends coming from far away, how not to be happy ?

Author: Laozi (c 604 bc - c 531 bc)

Details per character

  • 有 yǒu: to have (level 1, )

  • 朋 péng: friend (level 1, )

  • 自 zì: from (level 2, )

  • 远 yuǎn: far (level 2, )

  • 方 fāng: place, region (level 3, )

  • 来 lái: to come (level 1, )

  • 不 bù: (negative prefix) (level 1, )

  • 亦 yì: also (level 6, )

  • 乐 lè: happy (level 2, )

  • 乎 hū: (expressing doubt) (level 3, )

Proverb 1

(click on any character for its definition, pronunciation, decomposition and more)

Qiān lǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zúxià

A thousand miles begins with a single step

Author: Laozi (c 604 bc - c 531 bc), Dao De Jing, Chap. 6.

Details per character

  • 千 qiān: thousand (level 2, )

  • 里 lǐ: li (Chinese mile) (level 1, )

  • 之 zhī: (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) (level 4, )

  • 行 xíng: to go (level 2, )

  • 始 shǐ: to begin (level 2, )

  • 于 yú: in (level 3, )

  • 足 zú: foot (level 2, )

  • 下 xià: down (level 1, )