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Chinese Proverbs & Old Chinese Sayings

Chinese Proverbs 1 2

If you want happiness for an hour; take a nap.   If you want happiness for a day; go fishing.   If you want happiness for a month; get married.   If you want happiness for a year; inherit a fortune.   If you want happiness for a lifetime; help someone else.   

To believe in one's dreams is to spend all of one's life asleep
Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
With true friends...even water drunk together is sweet enough.
To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend, and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.
There is only one pretty child in the world   and every mother has it.
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
Mankind fears an evil man but heaven does not.    Chinese Proverb
Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.    
Not wine...men intoxicate themselves; Not vice...men entice themselves.   
One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.      
One joy scatters a hundred griefs.   
Public before private and country before family. 
An ant may well destroy a whole dam.
A book holds a house of gold.
Butcher the donkey after it finished his job on the mill.
A crane standing amidst a flock of chickens.
A camel standing amidst a flock of sheep.
Crows everywhere are equally black.
A dish of carrot hastily cooked may still has soil uncleaned off the vegetable.
Dismantle the bridge shortly after crossing it.
Distant water won't help to put out a fire close at hand.
Distant water won't quench your immediate thirst.
Do not want others to know what you have done? Better not have done it anyways.
Donkey's lips do not fit onto a horse's mouth.
A dog won't forsake his master because of his poverty; a son never deserts his mother for her homely appearance.
Add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it.
Dream different dreams while on the same bed.
Even a hare will bite when it is cornered.
Fail to steal the chicken while it ate up your bait grain.
A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.
Fight a wolf with a flex stalk.
A flea on the top of a bald head.
Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites.
A frog in a well shaft seeing the sky.
Flies never visit an egg that has no crack.
A good fortune may forbode a bad luck, which may in turn disguise a good fortune.
Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger but a heart as soft as tofu.
Have one's ears pierced only before the wedding ceremony starts.
A horse cannot gain weight if not fed with extra fodder during the night; a man cannot become wealthy without earnings apart from his regular salaries.
How can you expect to find ivory in a dog's mouth?
How can you put out a fire set on a cart-load of firewood with only a cup of water?
If you do not study hard when young you'll end up bewailing your failures as you grow up.
If a son is uneducated, his dad is to blame.
If you have never done anything evil, you should not be worrying about devils to knock at your door.
An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.
It is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind.
A Jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated.
Kill a chicken before a monkey.
Kill one to warn a hundred.
Like ants eating a bone.
Looking for the ass on its very back.
Lift a stone only to drop on your own feet.
The longer the night lasts, the more our dreams will be.
Mend the pen only after the sheep are all gone.
No wind, no waves.
Of all the strategems, to know when to quit is the best.
Once bitten by a snake, he/she is scared all his/her life at the mere sight of a rope.
Once on a tiger's back, it is hard to alight.
One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of being choked.
One monk shoulders water by himself; two can still share the labor among them. When it comes to three, they have to go thirsty.
Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.
An overcrowded chicken farm produce fewer eggs.
Pick up a sesame seed but lose sight of a watermelon.
Play a harp before a cow.
Paper can't wrap up a fire.
Reshape one's foot to try to fit into a new shoe.
Regular feet can't be affected by irregular shoes.
Shed no tears until seeing the coffin.
A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den.
Some prefer carrot while others like cabbage.
Steal a bell with one's ears covered.
Three humble shoemakers brainstorming will make a great statesman.
There are always ears on the other side of the wall.
There is no silver here: three hundred taels.
A tiger never returns to his prey he did not finish off.
Vicious as a tigeress can be, she never eats her own cubs.
Waiting for a rabbit to hit upon a tree and be killed in order to catch it.
We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt.
A weasel comes to say Happy New Year to the chickens.
When you are poor, neighbors close by will not come; once you become rich, you'll be surprised by visits from (alleged) relatives afar.
Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.
You can't catch a cub without going into the tiger's den.
You think you lost your horse? Who knows, he may bring a whole herd back to you someday.
You won't help shoots grow by pulling them up higher.
You can't expect both ends of a sugar cane are as sweet.
Your fingers can't be of the same length.
Age and time do not wait for people.
Attack is the best defence.
Bad things never walk alone.
A bird in your hand is worth more than 100 in the forest.
The death of the heart is the saddest thing that can happen to you.
Different flowers look good to different people.
Giving your son a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold.
A great man can bend and stretch.
Once you pour the water out of the bucket it's hard to get it back in it.
Once a word leaves your mouth, you cannot chase it back even with the swiftest horse.
Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.
The soldier who retreats 50 paces jeers at the one who retreats 100 paces.
To cultivate trees, you need 10 years. To cultivate people, you need 100 years.
May you get what you wish for.
Laws control the lesser man.  Right conduct controls the greater one.
Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.
Pray to God, but keep rowing toward(s) the shore.
Mankind fears an evil man but heaven does not.    Chinese Proverb
Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.             Chinese Proverb
Not wine...men intoxicate themselves; Not vice...men entice themselves.    Chinese Proverb
One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.            Chinese Proverb
One joy scatters a hundred griefs.    Chinese Proverb
Public before private and country before family.    Chinese Proverb
An ant may well destroy a whole dam.
A book holds a house of gold.
Butcher the donkey after it finished his job on the mill.
A crane standing amidst a flock of chickens.
A camel standing amidst a flock of sheep.
Crows everywhere are equally black.
A dish of carrot hastily cooked may still has soil uncleaned off the vegetable.
Dismantle the bridge shortly after crossing it.
Distant water won't help to put out a fire close at hand.
Distant water won't quench your immediate thirst.
Do not want others to know what you have done? Better not have done it anyways.
Donkey's lips do not fit onto a horse's mouth.
A dog won't forsake his master because of his poverty; a son never deserts his mother for her homely appearance.
Add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it.
Dream different dreams while on the same bed.
Even a hare will bite when it is cornered.
Fail to steal the chicken while it ate up your bait grain.
A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.
Fight a wolf with a flex stalk.
A flea on the top of a bald head.
Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites.
A frog in a well shaft seeing the sky.
Flies never visit an egg that has no crack.
A good fortune may forbode a bad luck, which may in turn disguise a good fortune.
Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger but a heart as soft as tofu.
Have one's ears pierced only before the wedding ceremony starts.
A horse cannot gain weight if not fed with extra fodder during the night; a man cannot become wealthy without earnings apart from his regular salaries.
How can you expect to find ivory in a dog's mouth?
How can you put out a fire set on a cart-load of firewood with only a cup of water?
If you do not study hard when young you'll end up bewailing your failures as you grow up.
If a son is uneducated, his dad is to blame.
If you have never done anything evil, you should not be worrying about devils to knock at your door.
An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.
It is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind.
A Jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated.
Kill a chicken before a monkey.
Kill one to warn a hundred.
Like ants eating a bone.
Looking for the ass on its very back.
Lift a stone only to drop on your own feet.
The longer the night lasts, the more our dreams will be.
Mend the pen only after the sheep are all gone.
No wind, no waves.
Of all the strategems, to know when to quit is the best.
Once bitten by a snake, he/she is scared all his/her life at the mere sight of a rope.
Once on a tiger's back, it is hard to alight.
One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of being choked.
One monk shoulders water by himself; two can still share the labor among them. When it comes to three, they have to go thirsty.
Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.
An overcrowded chicken farm produce fewer eggs.
Pick up a sesame seed but lose sight of a watermelon.
Play a harp before a cow.
Paper can't wrap up a fire.
Reshape one's foot to try to fit into a new shoe.
Regular feet can't be affected by irregular shoes.
Shed no tears until seeing the coffin.
A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den.
Some prefer carrot while others like cabbage.
Steal a bell with one's ears covered.
Three humble shoemakers brainstorming will make a great statesman.
There are always ears on the other side of the wall.
There is no silver here: three hundred taels.
A tiger never returns to his prey he did not finish off.
Vicious as a tigeress can be, she never eats her own cubs.
Waiting for a rabbit to hit upon a tree and be killed in order to catch it.
We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt.
A weasel comes to say Happy New Year to the chickens.
When you are poor, neighbors close by will not come; once you become rich, you'll be surprised by visits from (alleged) relatives afar.
Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.
You can't catch a cub without going into the tiger's den.
You think you lost your horse? Who knows, he may bring a whole herd back to you someday.
You won't help shoots grow by pulling them up higher.
You can't expect both ends of a sugar cane are as sweet.
Your fingers can't be of the same length.
Age and time do not wait for people.
Attack is the best defence.
Bad things never walk alone.
A bird in your hand is worth more than 100 in the forest.
The death of the heart is the saddest thing that can happen to you.
Different flowers look good to different people.
Giving your son a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold.
A great man can bend and stretch.
Once you pour the water out of the bucket it's hard to get it back in it.
Once a word leaves your mouth, you cannot chase it back even with the swiftest horse.
Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.
The soldier who retreats 50 paces jeers at the one who retreats 100 paces.
To cultivate trees, you need 10 years. To cultivate people, you need 100 years.


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