Today we bring you a collection of Chinese Proverbs that have to do with different aspects of life , especially about wisdom and love.
Chinese civilization has always been oppressed for different reasons. For their class culture, for political dictators… But they have always found a way to create a strong culture around their country, which makes a difference and which we often underestimate from the West. Dedication, effort and moral values are distinctive features of the Chinese idiosyncrasy.
Short Chinese Proverbs
Without further ado, let’s look at some of the best known Chinese proverbs and their meanings .
1. People fix their hair every day. Why not their heart?
A reflection on our way of life: we are too obsessed with our image and not enough with our feelings.
2. Great souls have wills; weak ones have only desires.
If you want to grow in life, your will must come first.
3. You can’t stop the bird of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can stop it from nesting in your hair.
About sadness and how to drive it away.
4. When you drink water, remember the fountain.
How do you interpret this Chinese phrase?
5. He who fears suffering already suffers from fear.
Phobophobia has already been contemplated by the ancient Eastern generations.
6. It is easier to vary the course of a river than the character of a man.
The personality of some individuals is truly complicated to change.
7. If you don’t want it to get out, don’t.
…because sooner or later someone will realize you’re hiding something.
8. The best closed door is the one that can be left open.
When nothing is feared, there is no place to be worried.
9. It’s easy to dodge the spear, but not the hidden dagger.
A phrase to guard against enemies posing as friends.
10. Dig the well before you get thirsty.
Prevention is a good idea.
11. The wise do not say what they know, and the foolish do not know what they say.
Interesting reflection on intelligence and cunning.
12. All rivers go to the sea, but the sea does not overflow.
Another sentence to be freely interpreted.
13. Doberman, frying pan on the snout.
A bit of a crude phrase that won’t please animal lovers.
14. There is no delicacy that does not impale, nor vice that does not anger.
Everything is good in its right measure, but when we exceed it we will have to pay the consequences.
15. Ask the man with experience, not the man with studies.
Having read thousands of books doesn’t mean much.
16. If you don’t want it to get out, don’t.
-A journey of 10,000 kilometers begins with a single step.
17. Enjoy only the pleasures of the moment.
Thinking about the future and its honeys can be a double-edged sword…
18. Love doesn’t beg, it deserves.
Clearer than water.
Chinese Proverbs on Wisdom
We will continue with more sayings, this time focused on wisdom and knowledge .
19. Before you can be a dragon, you have to suffer like an ant.
You always start at the bottom.
20. When three march together there has to be one who commands.
Without a leader, no project can come to fruition.
21. Water floats the boat, but it can also sink it.
Nothing is inherently bad or good, depending on how we use it.
22. The immobile dragon in the deep waters becomes the prey of the crabs.
Even if you’re very big, if you don’t move you can end up being easy prey.
23. He who does the good of others does his own.
There is not much more to add. If you do good, I’m sure life will bring back positive things.
24. Time flows like the river: it does not return.
A maxim similar to that of the Greek Heraclitus.
25. Medicine can only cure curable diseases.
Science doesn’t work miracles.
Chinese proverbs about love
Although they have a great reputation for insatiable and thrifty workers, the Chinese have also written rivers of ink about love .
Below we will enjoy several traditional phrases that refer to this laudable feeling.
26. The one who has moved the mountain is the one who started by removing the small stones.
The constant effort pays off, even if it takes time.
27. He who is not keen in youth, when he is old in vain, will lament.
Whatever you can do when you’re young, don’t put it off!
28. So to speak, Pascuala with Pascual.
The members of each couple often look very much like each other.
29. A momentary mistake becomes a complete regret.
A miscalculation can leave us touched for a long time.
30. Not seeing what’s important because your eyesight is obstructed by the trivial.
A sentence analogous to the Spanish one: “Ver la paja en el ojo ajeno”
31. Scalded cat, from cold water he flees.
Bad experiences serve us to be forewarned in the future.
32. Spring is the key season of the year.
Why is it that spring marks us so much?
33. Poorer than rats; having nowhere to drop dead.
Sayings that we have adapted to Spanish but that come from the Chinese popular culture.
Chinese proverbs about work
We have all noticed that Chinese people are very professional and put in amazing efforts in every working day. Whether it is a topic or not, many of their proverbs abound on this issue: work .
34. The work of thought is similar to the drilling of a well: the water is cloudy at first, but then it becomes clearer.
A metaphor for how we reach accurate conclusions.
35. You have to climb the mountain like an old man to get there like a young man.
Another phrase that can be interpreted in different ways.
36. The tongue resists because it is soft; the teeth break because they are hard.
Toughness is just an appearance. It’s adaptable people who survive any circumstance.
37. Beautiful roads don’t lead far.
Normally, the roads are narrow. Flat roads usually lead to mediocre destinations.
38. To die without perishing is an eternal presence.
We all leave an indelible trail.
39. Nothing feels better to the body than the growth of the spirit.
Personal growth helps us to be better day by day.
40. He who gives way widens the path.
Kindness has an overall reward.
41. He who treads softly goes far.
Without making much noise and with constancy you can reach much further and with less obstacles.
42. If you plan for a year, plant rice. If you plan for two years, plant trees. If you plan for a lifetime, educate a person.
A precious reflection for life.
43. If you give me fish, I will eat today, if you teach me to fish I can eat tomorrow.
Moral: don’t live off others, learn to generate your own resources.
44. No one bathes twice in the same river, for it is always another river and another person.
Taking Heraclitus’ teachings to the extreme.
45. There’s no better godfather than a good neighbor.
Whoever has a close person as a friend, has a real treasure.
46.The innocence of a mouse can move an elephant.
A reflection on innocence.
47.Beautiful roads don’t lead far.
We have to get out of the comfort zone.
48.Blessings never come in pairs, and misfortunes never come alone.
Proverb with pessimistic overtones.
49.The first time is a grace, the second time is a rule.
Repetition indicates a trend.
50. Never kill a fly on a tiger’s head.
The indirect consequences of what we do can be unpredictable.
51.For those who do not know where they want to go, all roads are good.
Uncertainty makes us make rash decisions.
52.Whoever has tied a knot has to undo it.
A sentence about responsibility.
53.A snowflake never falls in the wrong place.
Chance is created by opportunity.
54.If you want to enlarge the fields of happiness, begin by leveling your heart.
Putting one’s life in order is necessary to be happy.
55. Defeat the enemy without staining the sword.
The psychological struggle is the most important.
56. Don’t be afraid to be slow, be afraid only to stop.
Permanent stops are like a trap.
57. Don’t promise anything when you feel euphoric
The emotional can become too biased.
58. Out of the blackest clouds falls water that is clean and fertile.
There are opportunities in the darkest moments.
59.Poverty makes thieves and love poets.
An interesting aphorism about how the context changes us.
60.It’s easier to know how to do one thing than to do it.
Practice is always easier than theory.
61.Don’t put the pot on the fire if the deer is still running in the woods.
You don’t have to anticipate the best possible scenarios.
62.A man is the age of the woman he loves.
An aphorism about traditional couples.
63. Nothing is lacking in the funerals of the rich, except someone who feels his death.
A phrase based on black humor.
64.The man who can’t smile shouldn’t open the store.
Image counts in the business world.
65.Correct your mistakes, if you have made them, and beware of them if you have made none.
Mistakes make us stronger.
66.Water that is too pure has no fish.
Perfection has no nuances.
67.Jade needs to be carved to be a gem.
You have to work the talents to make them look good.
68.He who studies ten years in darkness will be universally known as he wishes.
Effort brings excellence.
69. To win a process is to acquire a chicken and lose a cow.
A mockery of the mechanisms of justice.
70.Wisdom consists in knowing that one knows what one knows and knowing that one does not know what one does not know.
An aphorism about wisdom.
I hope you liked the collection of Chinese proverbs. I wanted to highlight the main characteristics of different thinkers like Confucius, so if you think you can contribute some proverb that is not in the list, I am open to it .
In any case, I hope you like them and share them. Greetings!