【Learn Chinese】6 popular Chinese idioms to learn today
|Chinese idioms, or chengyu (成语 chéngyǔ), are an essential part of the Chinese language. These 6 concise statements can come in handy in a variety of situations. 加油！
Literal translation: crouching tiger, hidden dragon
Meaning: a place or situation that is full of people with unusual talents
Example sentence: 那个小地方真是卧虎藏龙! Nàgè xiǎo dìfāng zhēn shì wòhǔcánglóng! That little place really has many talented/extraordinary people!
Literal translation: fail to sleep and forget to eat
Meaning: a description of a diligent, hard-working person; to skip meals for the sake of hard work
Example sentence: 他总是为了工作废寝忘食。Tā zǒngshì wèile gōngzuò fèiqǐn-wàngshí. For the sake of his job, he’s always working extremely hard.
Literal translation: seven mouths, eight tongues
Meaning: a situation or discussion in which everyone is talking at once
Example sentence: 小声一点! 别七嘴八舌的！ Xiǎoshēng yīdiǎn! Bié qīzuǐ-bāshé de! Don’t be so loud! Don’t everyone speak at once!
Literal translation: adding feet when drawing a snake
Meaning: to improve something unnecessarily; to ruin the effect by adding something superfluous
Example sentence: 你们这是把时间浪费在画蛇添足上。 Nǐmen zhè shì bǎ shíjiān làngfèi zài huàshé-tiānzú shàng. You’re wasting your time adding unnecessary stuff.
惊弓之鸟 jīnggōng zhīniǎo
Literal translation: a bird startled by the mere twang of a bow-string
Meaning: once bitten, twice shy
Example sentence: 每个人都成了惊弓之鸟。 Měigèrén dōu chéng le jīnggōngzhīniǎo. Everyone became frightened out of their wits.
Literal translation: a thousand mountains and ten thousand waters
Meaning: a long and tiring journey
Example sentence: 他们跨过千山万水，终于来到了这里。 Tāmen kuà guò qiānshān-wànshuǐ, zhōngyú lái dào le zhèlǐ. They’ve gone through a lot to finally arrive here.