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Chinese Idioms 成 语

Lesson 16
Qǐ sǐ huí shēng
【 起 死 回 生 】
(Of a doctor's skill) To bring the dying back to life

Long long ago, there was a famous doctor in China named Bian Que who usually traveled everywhere to collect medicine to cure patients.

One day, he heard about the sudden death of the prince of the State of Guo when he was passing through the country. He inquired about the case of the prince from an official. Then he decided the prince wasn't dead, but was suffering a strange illness. He told the official he could save the prince and bring him back to life. He asked the official to take him to the capital. At first, the official rejected. But he was so insistent that the official agreed to report it to the King. Since there was no any other way the King had to let Bian try. Bian used acupuncture therapy and the prince responded quickly. Then he continued to prescribe some medicine for a hot compress. Immediately, the prince sat up. Before he left, Bian gave 20 doses of medicine to the prince, and the prince recovered completely in 20 days.

Later, people used the idiom to praise the excellent skill of a doctor.

Jiāng jiù
Turn somebody's trick against him; beat somebody at his own game
Jiāng xīn xīn
Put oneself in another's place or shoes
Shùn chéng zhāng
(Of a statement, argument, etc.) logical; coherent
Shùn fēng shǐ duò
Trim one's sails to the wind; take one's cue from changing conditions
Miàn quán fēi
Be changed or distorted beyond recognition
Miàn xīn
Take on an entirely new look; present a completely new appearance