China is said to be the land of proverbs. Ancient China is famous all over the world for its Chinese Proverbs. The number of proverbs which are there in China is more than anywhere else in the world. Many of the proverbs owe their origin to China. But some of them have lost their origins in the mists of time.
Chinese proverbs were known as Yanyu and idioms were known as chengyu. The formulaic or social dialect, saying, Expression the historical stories are responsible for the development of the old Chinese proverbs and idioms. The four-plus character idioms also originated from it.
Ancient Chinese Proverbs
Some of the proverbs have been originated from a written source. They are known as literary proverbs. Others have been originated from different other origins.
In ancient China, many proverbs have been originated from the written sources and others from other sources. These other sources included families, street vendors, and other commoners. They have been developed from all walks of life.
Early English literature is not influenced by the Chinese proverbs. But because of the standardization and the interpretation which the Chinese proverbs have set, they are available to the rest of the world.
The Chinese proverb A drop of water shall be returned with a burst of spring. It means even if it was just a little help from others, you should return the favor with all you can when others are in need.
Another Chinese proverb If one person is not hungry, the whole family is not hungry means families will make sacrifices for individual members of the family. But people have a common misunderstanding regarding this proverb, i.e. If one person in the family is happy, the whole family is happy.
Some of the other Chinese proverbs are: the swiftest horse cant overtake a word once spoken, a sharp tongue or pen can kill without a knife, better lean and good than fat and evil, if you always give you will always have, honest scales and full measure hurt no one, neither fortunes nor flowers last forever.
Some known as slow work-fine work, don’t waste your hour-the sun sets soon, without sorrows no one becomes a saint, to know others know you first, easier to rule a nation than a child, to have principles first have courage, the wise listen to her mind a foolish to the mob etc.