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Chinese allegories Lesson 1
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Chinese allegories

Two-part allegorical saying (of which the first part, always stated, is descriptive, while the second part, often unstated, carries the message)

 xiǎo cōng bàn dòu fu – yī qīng èr bái
小葱拌豆腐 – 一清二白
White bean curd and green scallions – as clear as daylight

gǒu ná hào zi – duō guǎn xián shì
狗拿耗子 – 多管闲事
Dog trying to catch mice – meddling in other people's business

yǎ ba chī huáng lián – yǒu kǔ shuō bù chū
哑巴吃黄连 – 有苦说不出
A dump person tasting bitter herbs – unable to express one's discomfort

qiū hòu de mà zha – bèng da bù liǎo jǐ tiān
秋后的蚂蚱 – 蹦跶不了几天
A grasshopper in late autumn – nearing one's end

ní pú sa guò hé – zì shēn nán bǎo
泥菩萨过河 – 自身难保
The clay idol crosses a river – one is hardly able to save oneself, let alone assist others

zhú lán dǎ shuǐ – yī chǎng kōng
竹篮打水 – 一场空
Draw water with a bamboo basket – achieving nothing; fruitless labor

gǎn miàn zhàng chuī huǒ – yí qiào bù tōng
擀面杖吹火 – 一窍不通
Try to blow the fire with a rolling pin – be completely ignorant or irrelevant

jiāng tài gōng diào yú – yuàn zhě shang gōu
姜太公钓鱼 – 愿者上钩
Fish like Jiang Taigong (prime minister of Zhou Dynasty in Chinese history) , who cast a hook-less and bait-less line for the fish that wants to be caught – ask for willing victim or collaborator

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