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Chinlingo Chinese character: 马

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"马" (mǎ) is a pictographic character, looking like a horse with its hind legs grounded, forelegs jumping up, and head and tail raised. 


"马" is one of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. It plays a significant role in Chinese culture. As a symbol of ability, wisdom, talent and achievement, it has been associated with many beautiful stories. For example, in one of the four great classical novels of China, Journey to the West, a white horse, who used to be the White Dragon King, serves as an important vehicle for monk Xuanzang and his disciples in their pilgrimage to the west for Buddhist scriptures. In addition, "龙马 (lónɡ mǎ)", the hybrid of "马" and the Chinese noblest totem "龙" (lónɡ or dragon), is even considered by Chinese people as "神马" (shén mǎ, divine horse). The spirit of "龙马" is called "龙马精神 (lónɡ mǎ jīnɡ shen, vigorous spirit)", which symbolizes the strong and vigorous power. It is regarded as the supreme national spirit by Chinese people to encourage their descendents to advance courageously and constantly as "神马". 

"马(mǎ)"是十二生肖之一,它在中国民族文化中的地位极高。它是能力、智慧、才干与成就的象征。中国人赋予马许多美好的故事。比如,中国四大名著之一《西游记》中就有一匹由白龙王变成的"白马",化为唐玄奘师徒赴西天取经的重要运输工具。中国民间,更是把最高贵的图腾"龙"与马相交之子"龙马"称作神马。而神马的精气神儿,"龙马精神"(lónɡ mǎ jīnɡ shen)则代表着体魄健旺、精力充沛的终极力量。汉民族更是把"龙马精神"奉之为民族至高的精神。鼓励后代像神马一样奋力拼搏、自强不息。

In modern Chinese, there is another idiom related to "马", "马到成功" (mǎ dào chénɡ ɡōnɡ). In ancient China, horses were the important forces in a war. "马到成功" literally means "a war will be probably be won upon the arrival of horses in the battlefield". Nowadays, it has been used as a metaphor for instant success. It is usually used as a congratulatory speech, wishing somebody to be smooth and successful in one's study, business or project. 

在现代汉语中,还有1例常用成语与马有关。 "马到成功(mǎ dào chénɡ ɡōnɡ)"。在古代中国,马是军事战争的重要工具,"马到成功(mǎ dào chénɡ ɡōnɡ)"意思是说战马一到站阵前,战争就大有胜利的希望。借此形容事情顺利,迅速取得成功。这个成语通常用在祝贺语中,通常用来预祝学业、事业、项目的进展顺利,最终大获全胜。

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