A line of Chinese wisdom - Let's take a quick meal of knowledge - plus movie recommendations :-)

A line of wisdom in Chinese is like a quick meal of knowledge that could easily fit into your busy schedule.

Let's spend about 15 minutes to sip up some wisdom soup in Chinese language into your hungry stomach. :-)

 

Read without checking its English translation first, I've broken down the sentence word by word.

 

使 你 疲倦的 不是 前面的 高山,而是 你 鞋里的 一粒 沙子.

 

How much you could understand?

 

Not much? No worries, let's try again with pinyin, at least you can more or less figure out how it sounds like...

 

shǐ  píjuànde bùshì qiánmiànde gāoshān érshì  xiélǐde yīlì shāzi.

使 你 疲倦的 不是 前面的 高山,而是 你 鞋里的 一粒 沙子.

 

Now I'll help you with some keywords:

 

使 shǐ (let, make) 疲倦 píjuàn (tired) 前面qiánmiàn (front, ahead) 高山 gāoshān (high mountain) 而是érshì (but) xié (shoe) 沙子shāzi (sand)

 

You can figure it out better now? Then, compare what you've understand with the actual English translation.

 

It is not the high mountain in front of you that makes you feel tired, but the tiny little sand inside your shoes.

 

Final version with no annotation. See if you can totally understand the wisdom line?

 

使 你 疲倦的 不是 前面的 高山,而是 你 鞋里的 一粒 沙子.

 

Now memorize it if you will, so next time you can use the same pattern to create your own expressions.

 

Well done, my friends!

 

Ps: for those that can understand the sentences at first or second read, you're already on a good level of Chinese. If you like, you can watch the following two movies that I recommended on my blog lately. They both have Chinese and English subtitles that can be good materials for you to learn and enjoy:

Learn Mandarin through a Chinese fairy tale – Movie 白蛇传说 (Legend of...

What’s for tonight: Suspense Movie “门” + Learn Mandarin!


For those that still feel it's difficult to understand the line without help, take a break and treat yourself with a good movie on Chinese culture “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman”, the one on my blog only has English subtitle. Jason recommended another link with Chinese subtitles only in his comment:

 

A classic Chinese movie about family, life and love – 饮食男女 (Eat Dri...


This post was originally published on Study More Chinese where you can study Mandarin online


(photo credit mahiro1322)

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Top Member
Comment by Thomas Doherty on May 25, 2012 at 4:58am

Grace       I have not yet tried to watch  饮食男女 without subtitles.   I would say I understood 40% of  Jackie Chan's Little Big Soldier I had trouble watching " Bodyguards and Assassins " and " 14 Blades " in Mandarin with maybe less than 20% understanding.  Which was probably my understanding of "CJ7 " in Cantonese the first time I saw that movie but having an 8 year old that was tri-lingual ( Cantonese, Mandarin, English ) sitting next to me really increased my understanding.  I will try soon to watch  饮食男女 and I will tell you about how much of the movie I could understand.


Teacher
Comment by Grace on May 25, 2012 at 1:01am

Wow Thomas, you're advanced on the movie spec :-) Guess your language level is also advanced...

I love 饮食男女 too, I've watched it twice and still love it. May I know how much you could catch and understand the conversations in the movie in terms of percentage?

For a movie like Jackie Chan's Little Big Soldier, if you can follow it along without English subtitle, it's still a very good practice.

I still remember the excitement I felt the first time I watched a whole English movie without looking at the subtitle. It was such an accomplishment ... :-)


Top Member
Comment by Thomas Doherty on May 24, 2012 at 9:57pm

 I have watched "白蛇传说 bái shé chuánshuō (Legend of White Snake)" and  “门 mén (The door)“.   They are both good movies.  The 1990s movie "饮食男女 yǐn shí nán nǚ (Eat Drink Man Woman)" I have seen many times and I have had to buy the DVD a few times since it is so good some people have forgotten to give it back to me.  ( I still have a VCR version with hardwired English Subtitles).  I found that I could watch Jackie Chan's Little Big Soldier ( 大兵小将 ) with only Chinese Subtitles since there was plenty of action, simple dialog and simple plot ( plus I only had a verion that had no English Subtitles so it was necessary ).

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