The Comparison between Chinese Proverbs and Chinese Idioms

By Sujanti Djuanda – LingoLearn Chinese Teacher

I. Chinese Proverb (谚语(yàn​yǔ)) is usually like a phrase about knowledge or wisdom of life, death and love. They are originated from literature, families, street vendors, or daily common senses.

1. 授人以鱼(shòurényǐyú), 不如授之以渔(bùrúshòuyǐyú)  It means :”To teach fishing is better than to fish.”



2.人比人(rénbǐrén),气死人 (qìsǐrén). It means “Constantly comparing oneself to others will only make one angry.”



II. Compared with more than four characters Chinese Idioms (a rare case)

1. 路遥知马力(lùyáozhīmǎlì),日久见人心(rìjiǔjiànrénxīn) It means: “Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse, over a long time, you learn about the true heart of someone.”


起初(qǐchū) 我(wǒ)觉得(juéde)他(tā)很(hěn)花心(huāxīn)后来(hòulái)过(guò)了(le)一(yī)段(duàn)时间(shíjiān)才(cái)知道(zhīdào)他(tā)忠心耿耿(zhōngxīngěnggěng)。路遥知马力(lùyáozhīmǎlì),日久见人心(rìjiǔjiànrénxīn)。只有(zhǐyǒu)相处(xiāngchǔ)久(jiǔ)了(le), 才能(cáinéng)了解(liǎojiě)他(tā)的(de)内心世界(nèixīnshìjiè)。

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