Chinese proverbs lacking effort and drive
Proverbs aimed at encouraging people to snap out of idleness and laziness.
thick branch big leaf
A large branch with large leaves. Unable to draw in fine detail
Lack of attention to detail
Journey to the West
This famous book also known as 'monkey' was written by Wu Cheng'en in c.1580CE. It tells of the journey of the monk Xuanzang
who traveled west from China to India to bring them back Buddhist scriptures. The monk's most famous companion is 'monkey' an impish creature of great strength and courage. Read More
this day task, this day complete
Today's task, today's job to complete
Finish the current job before doing anything new
Don't put off until tomorrow what can be done today
disobey arrive obey receive
Do not block but welcome arrival
Deal with things as they happen; do not put them off
lose sheep mend pen
Mend the pen after the sheep are lost
Can mean taking action too late or to protect against a future repeat of misfortune
Mend the stable door after the horse has bolted
50 pace smile 100 pace
Fifty steps laugh at a hundred steps
Being complacent about the future. Believing a job done when only half done.
Pride cometh before a fall
sleeve hand side observe
To look on with folded arms
To look on without offering any help or showing concern
precipice rein in horse
Rein in the horse at the cliff edge
Realize danger at the last moment
also want horse good, also want horse not eat grass
Want the horse to prosper, but not want the horse to eat grass
To prosper you must make compromises, you can not have it all your own way
You can't have your cake and eat it
one stride reach heaven
Approach heaven with a single stride
An attempt to achieve a goal all in one go without hard work
Rome was not built in a day
far water rescued not near fire
Distant water will not extinguish the nearby fire
There is no point in waiting for far off help. Get to it and solve the problem now
aspiration not can slow, time not can lose
Do not let your aspirations weaken; do not waste time
Keep hold of your hopes and dreams, waste no time in achieving them
Don't change horses in midstream
walk horse look flower
Looking at the flowers while riding a horse
To take a cursory look at something. Smug
Our proverbs come with lots of information. The modern Chinese characters
are followed by the proverb in pinyin
. Next, there is a crude character by character transliteration into English, followed by a more accurate English translation. If this is a Chinese proverb alluding to history the meaning may still not be clear in English, so the general meaning follows. Finally some proverbs have fairly direct English equivalents, if so the English proverb is included at the end.
Our translations need improving, so please let us know
if you can help.
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Citation information: Chinasage, 'Chinese Proverbs about idleness and laziness', last updated 3 Dec 2016, Web, http://www.chinasage.info/proverblazy.htm.
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