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Animal Proverbs: Can't get both fish and a bear's paw
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IN THIS LESSON
ID: 4265 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 fish. They can be directly translated to "You cannot get both the fish and a bear's paw", "Either the fish dies or the net breaks", and "Fish helps water, and water helps fish". Do you know what they actually mean? Check out these proverbs and learn how to apply them to daily life!
Tue Dec 17 2019 | Joshua, Joy
Our lessons contain natural communication in Chinese in video and audio format. We have have lessons focused on video or a podcast format and our lessons have transcripts of Lesson Dialogues, Important Vocabulary, Expanded Materials for a deep dive into the lesson topic and Exercises focused on testing your retention.
Each lesson has it's unique vocabulary and will provide you with definitions and recordings so you can practice the pronunciation. You will also be able to grasp the core material of a lesson at a glance. Here we're showing you the Simplified Chinese version.
|靠...维生||kào...wéishēng||to make a living (by)|
|鱼与熊掌不可兼得||yúyǔxióngzhǎngbùkějiāndé||lit. the fish and the bear's paw, you can't have both at the same time (idiom, from Mencius); fig. you must choose one or the other; you can't always get everything you want|
|赶走||gǎnzǒu||to drive out|
|同时||tóngshí||at the same time|
zài gǔdài de Zhōngguó yǒu hěnduō rén kào bǔyú wéishēng ，suǒyǐ bǔ duō yìdiǎn de yú dàibiǎo duō yìdiǎn de cáifù 。
In ancient China, many people fish for a living. So, more fish represent more money.
yú yǔ xióng zhǎng bù kě jiān dé
You cannot have it both ways.
yī zhī xióng zài hébiān chī yú ，lièrén kàndào zhīhòu xiǎngyào dédào xióngzhǎng ，yě xiǎngyào dédào yú 。
There’s a bear eating fish by the riverside. A hunter sees it. He wants both the bear’s paw and the fish.
kěshì zhuā xióng de shíhou ，yào zài xióng chī yú de shíhou gōngjī tā 。zhuā yú de shíhou ，què yào bǎ xióng gǎnzǒu cái zhuā de dào yú 。liǎng jiàn shìqing méi bànfǎ tóngshí zuòdào 。
When catching a bear, you should attack it when it’s eating a fish. But when catching a fish, you have to chase the bear away. These two things can’t be done at the same time.
Each lesson is centered around a natural dialogue with key vocabulary directly prepared and translated for your use. You can also listen to each sentence as an individual recording to improve your listening and comprehension skills.
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