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Chinese Idioms 成 语

Lesson 11
Huà lóng diăn jīng
【画 龙 点 睛】
To bring a painted dragon to life by drawing in the pupils of its eyes

During the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period (420-589), there was a Chinese painter called Zhang Sengyao. Once, he visited a temple and painted four dragons on the wall, but he gave none of them eyes. Onlookers thought this odd, and asked why he hadn't painted in the eyes. He answered: "Eyes are crucial for dragons. With the eyes painted in, the dragons would fly away." Nobody believed this, so Zhang Sengyao took up his brush and added eyes to two of the dragons. No sooner had he finished than the two dragons flew into the sky amid a thunderstorm. The two without eyes remained paintings on the wall.

This idiom is used to describe how, when painting, writing or speaking, the addition of just one or two key brushstrokes, sentences, words or phrases could enhance the content.

léi tíng
To be furious; to fly into a rage
dāo kuò
Bold and resolute; drastic and radical
Xiăo jiā
A pretty girl of humble origins; the daughter of a humble family
Xiăo shì fēng máng
To display only a small part of one's talent; to manifest a little of one's skill