Chinese Proverbs

Chinese Proverbs
Browse Dozens of Proverbs


  1. " A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river."

  2. "A book holds a house of gold."

  3. "A crane standing amidst a flock of chickens;"

  4. "A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections."

  5. "A dog in a kennel barks at his fleas; a dog hunting does not notice them."

  6. "A fall into a ditch makes you wiser."

  7. "A flea on the top of a bald head."

  8. "A frog in a well shaft seeing the sky."

  9. "A heart in love with beauty never grows old;"

  10. "A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home."

  11. "A little pot boils easily;"

  12. "A man without a smiling face must not open shop."

  13. "A murder may be forgiven, an affront never."

  14. "A needle is not sharp at both ends."

  15. "A tiger never returns to his prey he did not finish off."

  16. "A tree never hits an automobile except in self defense;"

  17. "A young branch takes on all the bends that one gives it."

  18. "Add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it."

  19. "After victory, tighten your helmet chord;"

  20. "An ant may well destroy a whole dam;"

  21. "An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold. "

  22. " Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still."

  23. "Be on your guard against a silent dog and still water;"

  24. "Before dinner, let us explore the southern plains and climb the northern mountains. After dinner, there are snakes in the southern plains and tiger in the northern mountains."

  25. "Below the navel there is neither religion nor truth;"

  26. "Better be quarreling than lonesome;"

  27. "Blessings do not come in pairs; misfortunes never come singly."

  28. "Butcher the donkey after it finished his job on the mill."

  29. "By asking for the impossible, obtain the best possible;"

  30. "Catch a Cub in Its Den;"

  31. "Complain to one who can help you;"

  32. "Do not lengthen the quarrel while there is an opportunity of escaping;"

  33. "Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet."

  34. "Donkey's lips do not fit onto a horse's mouth;"

  35. "Even a clock that does not work is right twice a day;"

  36. "Even a hare will bite when it is cornered."

  37. "Every day cannot be a feast of lanterns."

  38. "Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald."

  39. "Fail to steal the chicken while it ate up your bait grain."

  40. "Fight a wolf with a flex stalk."

  41. "Flies never visit an egg that has no crack."

  42. "Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites."

  43. "From a fallen tree, all make kindling;"

  44. "Give a man a fish, and you feed him a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

  45. "Govern a family as you would cook a small fish - very gently."

  46. "Govern a small family as you would cook a small fish, very gently. "

  47. " He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."

  48. "He who builds by the roadside has many surveyors;"

  49. "He who governs by his moral excellence may be compared to the Pole star which abides in its place while all other stars bow towards it."

  50. "He who is not impatient is not in love;"

  51. "He who rides the tiger can never dismount."

  52. "He who would rise in the world should veil his ambition with the forms of humanity."

  53. "I dreamed a thousand new paths... I woke and walked my old one."

  54. "I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet."

  55. "If a son is uneducated, his dad is to blame."

  56. "If luck comes, who comes not? If luck comes not, who comes?;"

  57. "If you bow at all, bow low;"

  58. "If you do not study hard when young you'll end up bewailing your failures as you grow up."

  59. "If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees;"

  60. "If you want to be respected, you must respect yourself;"

  61. "If your head is wax, don't walk in the sun;"

  62. "In times of prosperity friends will be plenty, in times of adversity not one in twenty;"

  63. "It is not necessary to light a candle to the sun."

  64. "It is not the knowing that is difficult, but the doing."

  65. "Judge not the horse by his saddle;"

  66. "Keep your broken arm inside your sleeve;"

  67. "Kill a chicken before a monkey."

  68. "Kill one to warn a hundred; "

  69. " L'amour faite passer les temps. Les temps faite passer l'amour. (Love makes time pass. Time makes love pass."

  70. "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."

  71. "Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends whom we choose."

  72. "Lift a stone only to drop on your own feet."

  73. "Like ants eating a bone;"

  74. "Looking for the ass on its very back."

  75. "Make sure to be in with your equals if you're going to fall out with your superiors;"

  76. "Many men know how to flatter, few men know how to praise."

  77. "Men in the game are blind to what men looking on see clearly."

  78. "Men trip not on mountains they trip on molehills."

  79. "Mend the pen only after the sheep are all gone."

  80. "Never draw your dirk when a blow will do it;"

  81. "Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you;"

  82. "No Rice, No Wife to Cook;"

  83. "No wind, no waves."

  84. "Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow. "

  85. " One man will carry two buckets of water for his own use, Two men will carry one for their joint use; Three men will carry none for anybody's use."

  86. "Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep."

  87. "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun;"

  88. "Play a harp before a cow."

  89. "Prepare for calamity not yet in bud."

  90. "Small men think they are small; great men never know they are great."

  91. "The best soldiers are not warlike."

  92. "The first time it is a favour, the second time a rule."

  93. "The Gods cannot help those who do not seize opportunities."

  94. "The longer the night lasts, the more our dreams will be."

  95. "The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out."

  96. "The old horse may die in someone's keeping."

  97. "The one legged never stumble."

  98. "The sinning is the best part of repentance;"

  99. "The unlucky doctor treats the head of a disease, the lucky doctor its tail."

  100. "The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher."

  101. "There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same."

  102. "There is no one to sweep a common hall."

  103. "Those who sleep with dogs will rise with fleas;"

  104. "To change and change for the better are two different things;"

  105. "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."

  106. "To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art. "

  107. " Use soft words and hard arguments;"

  108. "Virtue never dwells alone; it always has neighbours."

  109. "Waiting for a rabbit to hit upon a tree and be killed in order to catch it."

  110. "Want a thing long enough and you don't;"

  111. "We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt."

  112. "When a finger points at the moon, the imbecile looks at the finger."

  113. "When friends ask, there is no tomorrow;"

  114. "When the butcher dies, do you think we shall eat our pork with the bristles on?;"

  115. "When you bow, bow low."

  116. "When you throw dirt, you lose ground;"

  117. "Where God has his church the Devil will have his chapel;"

  118. "While one milks the ram, the other holds under the sieve."

  119. "With money you are a dragon; with no money, a worm. "

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