Bridge for Faith

A Collection of Chinese Proverbs

In 2002, I was privileged to lead a team of students from Dallas Baptist University in teaching an English seminar in Beijing, China. One day I asked the seminar’s Chinese participants to share some of their country’s proverbs, and these are the fifteen delightful words of wisdom that they shared.

Among the blind, the one-eyed man can be king.

Don’t laugh at people who fled 100 steps away in a war if you just fled 50 steps.

Knowledge can change one’s life.

Among the three, there must be one who can be my teacher.

If three people discuss something together, it is as a wise man.

If the mountain exists, you don’t have to worry about the lack of firewood. (The participant explained this to mean that while there is life, there is hope.)

Modesty will promote you.

Beat iron while it’s hot.

The dog you have raised may bite you.

It’s no use blowing on hot soup in a large vat in order to cool it. It would be better to take away the firewood under the soup. (My guess: Deal with the root of the problem.)

He who has never visited the Great Wall is not a true man.

You carried a stone and dropped it on your own foot.

It takes 10 years for a young tree to grow and 100 years to educate a generation.

When you revise, you gain a new thing.

Smelly fish and smelly shrimp are found together.

If you know another Chinese proverb that is often used, please share it in the comment area.

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4 Responses to A Collection of Chinese Proverbs

  1. Valley September 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    A one-thousand-mile trip starts with the first step one makes.

    • Elizabeth Ann Boyles September 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      Thank you, Valley. A good reminder for not only students but also teachers.

  2. Jenni July 17, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Teachers are candles who light other people’s lives, yet burn themselves at the same time.

    • Elizabeth Ann Boyles July 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Beautiful, Jenni. Thanks for adding the proverb.

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