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Animal Proverbs: A blind cat meets a dead mouse

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IN THIS LESSON
ID: 4278 Intermediate
Animal metaphors are prevalent in almost every language, but people from different cultures may regard the same animal differently. In Chinese proverbs, you will see a lot of animal metaphors to symbolize human actions. In this lesson, we're showing you three common proverbs related to mice. They can be directly translated to "A cat that can catch mice doesn't purr", "A blind cat meets a dead mouse", and "When a rat crosses the streets, everyone yell 'Hit it!" Do you know what they actually mean? Check out these proverbs and learn how to apply them to daily life!
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SIMPLIFIED PINYIN ENGLISH  
实力 shílì strength
卖弄 màinong to show off
能力 nénglì ability
会捉老鼠的猫不叫 huìzhuōlǎoshǔdemāobùjiào lit. a cat that can catch mice doesn’t purr (idiom); fig. still waters run deep
在东方文化中,老鼠是一个不好的象征。例如,我们会说一个人胆小如鼠。
zài Dōngfāng wénhuà zhōng ,lǎoshǔ shì yī ge bùhǎo de xiàngzhēng 。lìrú ,wǒmen huì shuō yī ge rén dǎnxiǎorúshǔ 。
In Eastern culture, mice is not a good symbol. For example, we can say a person is timid as a rat.
老鼠都会躲在暗处,所以都不会做一些光明正大的事情。
lǎoshǔ dōu huì duǒ zài àn chù ,suǒyǐ dōu bùhuì zuò yīxiē guāngmíngzhèngdà de shìqing 。
Mice always hide in the dark, so they don’t play fair and square.
会捉老鼠的猫不叫
huì zhuō lǎoshǔ de māo bù jiào
Still waters run deep.
在中国文化中,谦虚是一种美德,所以有实力的人通常不会卖弄自己,但是能力不好的人,却常常把自己讲得很好。
zài Zhōngguó wénhuà zhōng ,qiānxū shì yīzhǒng měidé ,suǒyǐ yǒu shílì de rén tōngcháng bùhuì màinong zìjǐ ,dànshì nénglì bùhǎo de rén ,què chángcháng bǎ zìjǐ jiǎng de hěn hǎo 。
In Chinese culture, people regard modesty as one of the virtues, so usually competent people don’t show off; however, incompetent people would often brag about how good they are.
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