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Chinese allegories Lesson 20
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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)

lú gōu qiáo de shí shī zi – shǔ bù qīng
卢沟桥的石狮子 – 数不清
There are numerous stone lions on Lugou Bridge. (Lugou Bridge, also known as Macro Polo Bridge, was first built in 1187 to the southwest of today's Beijing.) – a large amount

èr wàn wǔ qiān lǐ cháng zhēng – rèn zhòng dào yuăn
二万五千里长征 – 任重道远
Long March of 25,000 li, or 12,500 kilometers (made by the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, 1934-1935) – the task is arduous and the road ahead is long; shoulder heavy responsibilities in years to come

bàn tiān kōng li guà kŏu dài – zhuāng fēng (fēng)
半天空里挂口袋 – 装疯(风)
Hanging a bag in mid-air – Literally, "装风" means "holding the wind". As its pun, "装疯" is hence implied to refer to "feigning madness".

bàn yè lǐ tōu táo chī – zhăo ruăn de niē
半夜里偷桃吃 – 找软的捏
Steal peaches at midnight – pick only the soft ones; figuratively, bully the weak and cringe before bullies

páng xiè jiā wān dòu – lián pá dài gǔn
螃蟹夹豌豆 – 连爬带滚
A crab carrying a pea – crawling and rolling. This saying is often used to describe those who flee in a panic after being defeated.

wén zi dīng pú sà – rèn cuò rén le
蚊子叮菩萨 – 认错人了
A mosquito bites a clay idol. – mistaken identity; wrong identification of someone

xiā zi dài yăn jìng – duō cǐ yī jǔ
瞎子戴眼镜 – 多此一举
A blind man putting on glasses – an unnecessary action

dà rè tiān chuān mián ăo – bù shì shí hou
大热天穿棉袄 – 不是时候
Wearing a padded coat on a hot day – out of season

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