24 episodes

Emily explains all the Chinese idioms in the world

EASY CHINESE IDIOMS! With Emily Tangerine Emily Tangerine

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Emily explains all the Chinese idioms in the world

    EPISODE 23: The Story Of The Pig & The Crow

    EPISODE 23: The Story Of The Pig & The Crow

    Once upon a time, there was a crow chilling on a tree branch. He looked below and saw a black pig and said out loud:
    HAHA! Look at this pig, he looks dirty.
    The pig looked around and finally realized it was an equally black crow who was poking fun at him. He responds:
    Oh, it’s just a pathetic filthy little crow.
    The crow became offended and shouts:
    Who are you calling filthy? Have you taken a look at yourself?
    The pig clapped back:
    Have you?!
    After a string of arguing back and forth. They walked over to the nearest pond to see determine who was the lesser attractive animal. They stared at their reflection, looked at each other in detail and remained silent for a while. Then the crow happily spoke up and said:
    There’s nothing wrong with having a dark coat!
    The pig happily agreed:
    Yeah I think black is a good look!
    Moral of the idiom: Don’t judge someone else before taking a good look at yourself. Additionally, just because someone has similar traits to you, does not also mean it’s a good thing.




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    EPISODE 22: Funny Man From Zheng Went To Buy Shoes 郑人买履

    EPISODE 22: Funny Man From Zheng Went To Buy Shoes 郑人买履

    In the 800 BC, during the Zhou dynasty, there was a man from the country of Zheng. (Modern day center of China). 
    One day, he was working so hard he ripped his shoes. He says: oh no! I'll have to run into town and buy myself a few pair of shoes. 
    He carefully measured his feet with a string and head out to the marketplace.
    When he arrived at a shoe merchant, he saw plenty of options but noticed he left his measuring string back at home. He tells the merchant he'll be right back, and frantically runs back to his home.
    He goes back home, retrieves the string and heads back to the marketplace. Unfortunately, he wasted so much time running back and forth that the merchants have all started to close up shop. The poor man did not get to buy a new pair of shoes.
    Depressed, he sits down and laments. Villagers came up to him and asked him why he didn't just try on the new shoes on the spot. He responds: the string is more accurate measurement of my feet, I am sure of it. My feet are unreliable. 
    That is the end of the story.
    Moral of this idiom: do not be so rigid and stick to conventional thinking while ignoring the reality





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    EPISODE 21: 呆若木鸡 Dumb Like A Wooden Chicken

    EPISODE 21: 呆若木鸡 Dumb Like A Wooden Chicken

    This story took place during the warring states in the country of Qi. The leader of Qi was Qi Xuan Wang. We can call him King Qi for short. He enjoyed raising roosters for cock fights. Terrible sport, but that's because there were no street racing, boxing or other competitions for him back then.
    He hired a cock-fighting expert named Ji Sheng Zi to train his pet roosters. But King Qi was an impatient dude so a few days after training began, he went to bother Ji Sheng Zi. The trainer said "No, this rooster is not ready."
    King Qi returned a few days later to check on his roosters hoping that they'd be ready for fighting. He bothers Ji Sheng Zi again who responded, "This rooster is still not quite ready, he's easily angered and still needs more training."
    King Qi's patience grew weary and he returned a few days later to ask the trainer. This time, he was surprised that Ji Sheng Zi said "Yes! This rooster is mature enough to fight!"
    Finally, King Qi was able to bring his prized rooster to the fighting pits. 
    Fighting between roosters is more than just aggressively attacking each other. There's also a mental aspect. You can't tell but the roosters are silently insulting each other and playing psychological mind games with each other. 
    This particular rooster was so well-trained that he would maintain his composure no matter how much the opposing rooster would instigate it. King Qi's rooster would stay so still that it looked like a wooden chicken! The opposing roosters would stare at King Qi's chicken and be confused at its wood-like demeanor and all be too afraid to fight. That's how King Qi's rooster would go on to win numerous victories. Thus, the story behind "Dumb Like A Wooden Chicken."
    Moral of the Idioms: Just because something looks dumb does not mean you should neglect its potential




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    Episode 20: 东施效颦 Dong Shi Imitates Frown

    Episode 20: 东施效颦 Dong Shi Imitates Frown

    Dong Shi Xiao Pin
























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    说春秋时候,越国有个名叫西施的姑娘,她非常美丽、漂亮,一举一动也很动人。她有心口疼的疾病,犯病时总是用手按住胸口,紧皱眉头。因为人们喜欢她,所以她这副病态,在人们眼里也妩媚可爱,楚楚动人。 西施的邻村有个丑姑娘叫东施,总是想方设法打扮自己。有一次在路上碰到西施,见西施手捂胸口,紧皱眉头,显得异常美丽。她想难怪人们说她漂亮,原来是做出这种样子。如果我也做这个姿势,肯定就变漂亮了。于是她模仿西施的病态。结果人们见了原来就丑的她,现在变成这种疯疯癫癫的样子,象见了鬼一样,赶紧把门关上。
    During the Spring and Autumn period, there was a beautiful girl who lived in the country of Yue. Her name was Xi Shi, one of the 4 beauties in Chinese history. She was so freakin' beautiful that everything she did was perceived to be beautiful. Even when she winces from her chest pain she looked gorgeous...painfully gorgeous. Because everyone in the village loved her so much, whenever she was in pain and grabbed her chest, people thought it was rather adorable. 
    A few houses away, there lived her girl named Dong Shi. She was on the entire opposite spectrum as Xi Shi. Dong Shi was not very beautiful to begin with, but was someone who kept trying to improve her outer beauty. One day, Dong Shi saw Xi Shi grab her chest on the street, and assumed that it was something "beautiful" people do. So, Dong Shi began to grab her chest for no reason at all. Instead of people perceiving Dong Shi as beautiful, people only saw her as crazy. Whenever they saw Dong Shi running around the street, they'd run inside their homes and shut the front door.
    MORAL OF THE IDIOM: Improper imitation CAN have the reverse effect than what you're trying to achieve

    Episode 19: 鸡毛蒜皮 Chicken Feathers And Garlic Peel

    Episode 19: 鸡毛蒜皮 Chicken Feathers And Garlic Peel

    JI MAO SUAN PI
























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    Once upon a time, in China (obviously), there were two neighboring families. One family slaughtered chickens for a living, and the other ran a restaurant...a very garlicky restaurant.
    The family who slaughtered chickens had to pluck the chicken feathers every morning and would leave their floors a mess. The family with the restaurant would peel garlic and leave the shavings all over their floors. This mess took place almost every day. 
    Now, when the wind blows, sometimes the chicken feathers would fly over to the garlic side. And other times, the garlic peel would find itself being blown over to the chicken feather side. Both families would get upset and blamed the other party for the mess. Even though both are technically responsible.
    They brought this issue up to the magistrate who immediately dismissed the problem as soon as he read: chicken feathers and garlic peel. 
    Ever since then, the Chinese would refer to trivial matters as "chicken feathers and garlic peel."
    Moral of the idiom: don't wait for small things to turn into something big
    ORIGINAL IDIOM: 鸡毛蒜皮
    很早以前,有两家邻居。两家生活很艰苦,卖鸡的要早起拔鸡毛,弄的满地全是毛。卖蒜的要早起剥蒜皮,弄的满地都是蒜皮。
    本来两家相安无事,但一刮风就出事了。刮东风时,鸡毛会吹到卖蒜的家院子里。刮西风时,蒜皮会吹进卖鸡家的院子里。两家会经常为这些事争吵。
    有一次,两家矛盾升级了。卖鸡的和卖蒜的打起来了,双双负伤,最后对簿公堂。县官一看是为了 “鸡毛” 和 “蒜皮” 这样的小事,便说 “这等鸡毛和蒜皮的小事也来对簿公堂!每人十大板,回去反省吧!“ 后来,鸡毛蒜皮便传开了。人们渐渐用来形容那些琐碎,不起眼的事,或价值很小的东西。

    Episode 18: 按图索骥 Using A Book To Find A Horse

    Episode 18: 按图索骥 Using A Book To Find A Horse

    按图索骥:AN TU SUO JI
























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    This is a funny idiom about the most famous horse expert in China...Bo Le. He was a resident from the country of Qin. He recorded everything he knew about horses in an anthology of books called "Shiang Ma Jing." Which was like an encyclopedia on thorough bred horses. His writings could be used to find the fastest, strongest horse...mostly for military/sporting purposes. 
    Bo Le had a little son who was obsessed with finding the finest horse on his own. The little boy had thoroughly read the "Shiang Ma Jing" over and over, inside and out. One day he went off to look for a horse on his own. Shortly after running outside, he was SO sure he found a horse that matched the description in his father's books. The boy threw the horse into a sack and excitedly ran to show it off to his father.
    Bo Le's son took the horse out of the sack and waited for his father's validation. Turns out, the horse in the sack...was a huge toad! Bo Le laughed and joked to his son: "This horse of yours sure likes to jump, but I don't think anyone can ride it!"
    Moral of this idiom: don't always stick by the book (or the rules) also, get your information from multiple sources before coming to a conclusion
    ORIGINAL IDIOM: 按图索骥
    伯乐是春秋时最会相马的人,他总结自己多年相马的经验,写成一本书,叫 “相马经。” 他的儿子把 “相马经” 背得滚瓜烂熟,准备 “按图索骥” 照书上的标准,去寻找千里马。
    几天后,他儿子高高兴兴地回来了,对伯乐说:我找到千里马了!这马和 “相马经” 讲的差不多,就是蹄子不大像。说完,他从布袋里倒出一只大癞蛤蟆来。
    伯乐苦笑着说:你找来的这匹马,喜欢蹦跳,可驾不了车呀!

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

claudiechen777 ,

Im chinese and i approve

I cant believe i actually never knew some of these stories before!

emilytangerine ,

The cat is adorable

I don't know who Emperor Meow thinks she is!

RamboCat1 ,

need to post more

need to post more, Chairman Meow

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