If you read my post: 8 Most Famous Confucius Quotes in English and Chinese , I hope Confucius’s wisdom will give you some inspiration.
Chinese culture has 5000 years long history. There are a lot of thoughtful sayings that we Chinese take as life guides.
In this post, we will learn 8 Chinese sayings that represent Chinese culture and wisdom. Maybe some of them might change your life.
1, 少壮不努力，老大徒伤悲 ( shào zhuàng bù nǔ lì，lǎo dà tú shāng bēi) .
少: young, 壮: strong, 不: not, 努力: work hard，老大: get old, 徒: in vain, 伤悲: regret.
This saying says: If you don’t work hard when you are young, when you get old and feel regret, it is too late.
2, 书中自有黄金屋 ( shū zhōng zì yǒu huáng jīn wū ).
书: book, 中:in, 自: naturally, 有: has, there is, 黄金: golden, 屋: house.
It means: A book holds a house of gold.
Actually, there is another part of saying: 书中自有颜如玉 ( shū zhōng zì yǒu yán rú yù ).
颜: color, face, 如: look like, 玉: jade. Here 颜如玉 means a beauty.
Imagine this: a woman with flawless jade like light skin, she must be a big beauty.
This saying was used to encourage young people, obviously young men, to study hard for a bright future and great life: A lot of money and a big beauty.
In a word, education has the power to bring you everything.
3, 一寸光阴一寸金（yī cùn guāng yīn yī cùn jīn）寸金难买寸光阴 ( cùn jīn nán mǎi cùn guāng yīn ).
一: one, 寸: measure word, inch, 光阴: time, 金: golden, 寸金: one inch golden, 难: hard, 买: buy, 寸光阴: one inch time.
This saying tells people how precious the time is. Time is priceless, even the golden can’t buy the time. So we have to cherish our time.
4, 吃一堑，长一智 ( chī yí qiàn, zhǎng yí zhì ).
吃: eat, 一: one, 堑: ditch，长: grow,智: wisdom.
A falling into a ditch makes you wiser. A bad experience is not a bad thing, it might give you a good lesson.
5, 小不忍则乱大谋 (xiǎo bú rěn zé luàn dà móu ).
小: little, small 不: not, 忍: stand, 则: then, 乱: mess up, 大: big, 谋: plan.
A little impatience will spoil great plans.
This saying tells us: Sometimes we have to be patient and ignore some small noises, or our big plan will be messed up.
So it is very important to keep calm while something unfavorable happened.
6, 千里之行，始于足下 ( qiān lǐ zhī xínɡ , shǐ yú zú xià ).
千: thousand, 里: Chinese mile, 之: modal particle, 行: walk，始: start, 于: at, 足: foot, 下: under.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If you need do something, the most important thing is getting start.
7. 笑一笑，十年少 (xiào yī xiào, shí nián shào).
笑: smile, 十年: ten years, 少: younger.
A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
This saying tells us how important it is to keep a happy mood and positive life attitude.
8, 和气生财 ( hé qì shēng cái ).
和气: Being friendly, courteous. 生: grow, 财: fortune, wealth, money.
It means: Being friendly will bring you fortune.
It is very true. No people like a rude person. If people like you, they will try to help you and give your opportunities when you need.
If you have your own business, being courteous with your customers to satisfy their needs will gain their trust, as a result, they will bring you more business.
Chinese people believe in the power of peace, friendliness and harmony.
There is another saying: 和为贵 ( hé wéi guì ). 和: friendliness, 为: is, 贵: expensive, here it means: important.
This saying tells us: Being peaceful and friendly with each other is very important.
From above 8 Chinese sayings, I hope you learned something.
By understanding these sayings, you will better understand Chinese people and culture.