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5 Chinese Common Saying

“不到长城非好汉”    “Bú dào zhǎng chéng fēi hǎo hàn ” 

He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man.



In the saying “不到长城非好汉”, “非” means “not”, and “好汉” means“awesome person” or”hero”. The saying means that a person who has never been to the Great Wall is not a hero. As a metaphor for positive spirit, it defines a hero as one who tries hard and works out the problems he faces.



“早睡早起身体好” “Zǎo shuì zǎo qǐ shēn tǐ hǎo ”

Keeping early hours is good for your health.



“早睡早起身体好” literally means one will become healthy if he/she sleeps early at night and gets up early in the morning. It tells us that keeping a proper work-rest schedule is good for our health.



“饭后百步走,活到九十九”  “Fàn hòu bǎi bù zǒu ,huó dào jiǔ shí jiǔ “

  A walk after dinner makes one live to 99.



The literal meaning of this saying “饭后百步走,活到九十九” is that a walk of 100 steps after each meal every day makes one live to 99 years old. Now it means it is good for health to do some exercise after a meal.



 “茶好客常来”    Chá hǎo kè cháng lái  

Good tea attracts frequenters.



“茶好客常来” means “if the tea is good guests will often come”, used metaphorically to indicate that good stuff will surely be liked by customers.



“五十步笑百步”    Wǔ shí bù xiào bǎi bù  

The one who retreated 50 steps laughs at the one who retreated 100.



“五十步笑百步” originates from a story of ancient China. There were two soldiers who fled from a lost battle. One had run 50 steps backward, and the other 100 steps. The one who had retreated 50 steps laughed at the one who had retreated 100 steps, saying he was a coward. The truth is both of them were running away, the only difference lies in how far they’d run. “五十步笑百步”  is now used metaphorically to criticize people who have the same problems as those they laugh at, only to a lesser degree.


Chinese is very easy to learn, Want to know more, check out on our other posts to learn more.

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