I’m in a class now that teaches Chinese idioms, and it’s so fun! Here’s a little quiz. See if you can you guess the intended meaning behind these phrases. (and for my Chinese friends, see if you can recognize my English translations. Any suggestions?) Answers are below:
1. Don’t give me a tall hat.
2. Big eyes stare at small eyes.
3. Speak of a thousand to ten thousand
4. Eat tasty and drink spicy
5. Take a good heart for a donkey’s liver
6. Anger pail
7. Go fishing for three days and dry the nets for two
8. I’ll give you some color to see
9. Well water doesn’t intrude into river water
10. A blind cat caught a dead rat.
a. I’ll teach you a lesson!
b. No matter what
d. Don’t flatter me
e. by chance, by accident
f. Live the good life
g. I mind my business, you mind yours.
h. to do work lazily, lacking perseverance
i. misunderstand good will for evil intent
j. To look at each other in surprise or fear.
1.d 2.j 3.b 4.f 5.i 6.c 7.h 8.a 9.g 10e.
But I think my favorite is this: In English we say "laugh your head off" . . . in Chinese it’s: "laugh your teeth out" — I love it.