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Chinese Idioms 成 语

Lesson 8
Hán dān xué bù
【邯 郸 学 步】
Learn to Walk in Handan
During the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), Handan, the capital of the State of Zhao, was famous for people's walking style. They walked in vigorous elegant strides. People in other places admired them very much. They thought the Handanners' way of walking was the best under the heaven. Several young lads from the State of Yan even wanted to copy the elegant walking style of the Handanners. So they traveled a long way to Handan to learn how to walk.
While in Handan, these young lads watched the local people carefully, eager to find out how they walked. But however they tried, they just couldn't walk the way the Handanners did. To make things worse, when they decide to give up and go home, they found they had forgotten their own way of walking. They had to crawl all the way back.
People use this idiom to describe someone who imitates others blindly only to lose his own individuality.
Chéng jiā
Get married and start one's career
Chéng rén zhī měi
Help somebody to fulfill his (her) wish; help somebody in doing a good deed or achieving something desirable
Chéng xīn chéng
Earnestly and sincerely; in all sincerity
Chéng huāng chéng kǒng
In fear and trepidation; to act with the utmost caution