Chinese New Year "Snake" vocabulary and phrases from FluentU

Here is a list of 6 Snake Phrases for the Year of the Snake created by FluentU's Christina:   

Christina of FluentU has prepared you a list with all the jargon you’ll need for the Chinese New Year Holiday.  See list here:

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Comment by Thomas Doherty on February 12, 2013 at 1:38am

I have at least one question on each one of these examples.

  1. Does 追逐到 means “chasing after” in English? So 卡车追逐到人蛇 means “The truck is chasing after the illegal immigrants (snake people)”. (I have seen “snake people” used in Chinese movie subtitles for illegal aliens). It is also well known that Andy Lau's song “我和我追逐的夢” ( Wǒ hé wǒ zhuīzhú de mèng ) is translated as “Chasing My Dream”. Also, how can a truck actually catch a person ?

  2. Does 蛇纹或者蛇形新品 means “a snake line or maybe a serpentine new product” ?

  3. It could be added that (shuǐ shé yāo) means “water snake waist” in English. (minor addition)

  4. Are the 2 phrases 他把车停了下来 and 他停了车 equivalent ? I think that both mean “He parked the car.

  5. 画蛇添足 (huà shé tiān zú ) in English means “drawing a snake, adding legs” which has a slightly different meaning to English speakers than “gild( cover with a thin layer of gold leaf) the lily” (unnecessarily adding something superfluous or to change something unnecessarily with no (or even negative) resultant improvement). “drawing a snake, adding legs” means actually “unnecessarily adding something that makes the object wrong” such as for example a chocolate teapot or a straw firewall.

  6. 虎头蛇尾 tóu shé wěi tiger's head, snake's tail means “good start but bad finish” or the sorry history of most of the engineering projects I was ever on during my career. I am wondering if (zhuā) to grab should really be (zhuā jǐn) “to grasp firmly”. The translation of the example would then be “Grasp firmly a style of work that is constructive to prevent a good start but bad finish (or “an anticlimactic work situation”).


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