Talk:Chinese proverbs

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I have copied some Chinese proverbs from en:List of Chinese proverbs. Some however are four-character idioms(成语) rather than proverbs. I am not sure if we shall keep them.--Formulax 07:38, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Wrong Moral?Edit

掩耳盗铃 Moral on the article is not what I believe it to mean. The literal is fair enough but the moral seems wide of the mark, as the common usage of it does not concur. Common usage I have seen and how I use it is when is self deceit (or ignoring/hiding from the facts) doesn't mean others won't see the facts. The reason why I query this, is the story behind the proverb is well known and I can not see how the given moral fits in. (Many chinese proverbs have stories behind them). - Ricky Wed Oct 19 12:28:18 BST 2005

It's been edited. Shawnc 14:46, 23 October 2005 (UTC)[]

不耻下问 (bù shǐ xià wèn) 耻 should be chǐ


I am going to attempt to standardize the grammar and usage of the introduction. 08:14, 6 April 2006 (UTC) Chotto sumimasen[]


It would be nice if some people who could speak chinese(mandarin) could put sound files with these, as 我 听见 我 记住。

Pinyin MethodEdit

I think that pinyinin it's normal form, used in Mainland China, should be used. The Ones now are mostly shi4, hua3, etc, instead of the sounds being accented. This was made by User:Richman271 not signed in. -- 00:14, 28 August 2006 (UTC)[]

I think accents do increasy readability.

Removed VandalismEdit

Blogboy101 10:45, 11 December 2006 (UTC) Removed "WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW" bleh[]

A single member of a family eats; the whole family will not be hungry.Edit

Uhm... in contrast to what this article says about the meaning of this proverb (what's that supposed to say anyway?) this is, I am told, more commonly used to discribe a single. Someone on his own, alone, which is not so bad, as you have to feed only one mouth.


Looking at the current page, I think someone has negatively affected the page. I am not sure how to roll back the changes, so could someone who does, please do?


"Engrish" translationsEdit

It seems that there are many "Engrish" translations as meaning/moral. Which is a question in itself: Why is it sometimes given as a "meaning" and sometimes as a "moral". Someone should thoroughly check and reedit this. 11:55, 16 October 2008 (UTC)[]

No need to delete this articleEdit

Some at least of these sayings are included in published anthologies of Chinese proverbs[for example Learn Chinese the Fun Way 1, Federal Press Singapore and The Stories behind 100 CHinese Idioms, Sinolingu]a. Anyway if they have been current for generations how could anyone find the original source to cite? Colin Hu4 21:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[]

Where the proverbs come from?Edit

Most of the Chinese proverbs I know come from some situation in history, or written in classical novel. For example, "Speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives" and "Brothers are like limbs, wives are like clothing" both come from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The later is first said by Liu Bei. If possible, I suggest that this page is provided with the information about it; where the proverbs come from, how was the situation, who said it first, what was the background, etc. Wisnuops 16:30, 27 December 2011 (UTC)[]

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever."

Is there a good source for it's cold at the top of a mountain?Edit

I saw this on TV tropes and was wondering if there's a better source. CensoredScribe (talk) 18:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)[]

  • 高处不胜寒
    • English equivalent: It's cold at the top of a mountain
    • Those in high positions of experience are lonely.

Rules for including quotes?Edit

What are the rules for including quotes on this page? At first blush, it seems that you need to include the quote written in Chinese which would pretty much exclude all non-Chinese literati. Is this so? I ask because there are hundreds of great Chinese proverbs that could be included but I certainly can't verify their written Chinese forms. Can anybody comment about this matter? If the purpose of this page is to list Chinese sayings then I can honestly think of no reason that one *must* include the original Chinese source -- no book of quotes does this -- they always just list the English translation. Thoughts? User:Eux2010

Ideally you would include the proverbs original source. Or at least its oldest mentioning. Otherwise I would as a minimum use an authentic Chinese source which can be found on for example Google Books. Spannerjam (talk) 15:37, 21 April 2019 (UTC)[]


  • A picture is a voiceless poem, a poem is a vocal picture.
  • When one goes seeking revenge, one should first dig two graves.

When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmillsEdit

I find few book sources for the proverb "When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills". Is it perhaps a false Chinese proverb? Spannerjam (talk) 05:31, 27 May 2020 (UTC)[]

He who commits wrongdoing repeatedly will come to no good endEdit

"He who commits wrongdoing repeatedly will come to no good end."

I found that saying in a Minghui article. I'm not sure what its original Chinese is. --Apisite (talk) 00:07, 2 August 2020 (UTC)[]


  • (fēng) (xiàng) (zhuàn) (biàn) (shí), (yǒu) (rén) (zhú) (qiáng), (yǒu) (rén) (zào) (fēng) (chē)
    • Transliteration (pinyin): Fēng xiàng zhuàn biàn shí, yǒu rén zhú qiáng, yǒu rén zào fēng chē.
      • Traditional: 風向轉變時,有人築牆,有人造風車
      • Simplified: 风向转变时,有人筑墙,有人造风车
    • When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills.
      • Meaning: Some will shut out change but others will adapt it to their benefit.
    • English equivalent: When one door closes another opens.
    • "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
      • Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854), chapter 18, p. 427. Spannerjam (talk) 11:09, 16 January 2021 (UTC)[]
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