Monday, November 23, 2009

Chinese Idiom "老馬識途" (Laomashitu, An Old Horse Knows the Way)


November 23, 2009

This Chinese idiom is requested by Bananaz.



Traditional Chinese: 老馬識途,
Lǎomǎshìtú or 識途老馬 Shìtúlǎomǎ.
Simplified Chinese: 老马识途, Lǎomǎshítú or 识途老马, Shítúlǎomǎ.

Translation: An old horse knows the way. Today, a person who is very experienced at any given thing may be referred as "the old horse who knows the way".

I've found some videos about the idiom story. I'm using this one from YouTube as it has Chinese subtitle and for practicing purpose. You may find the story is a bit different from what you may already knew. Both versions are used today.







Script in pinyin, simplified characters and translations:

Lǎomǎshítú
老马识途 ( An Old Horse Knows the Way )

Chūnqiū shí, Qí Huán Gōng hé xiàngguó Guǎn Zhòng fá Shānróng
guó,
春秋 时, 齐 桓公 和 相国 管仲 伐 山戎 国,
In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), Duke Huan and the minister Guan Zhong of the state of Qi attacked the state of Shanrong.

Shānróng guówáng dài zhe jiājuàn cáiwù táowáng dào Gūzhú guó qù.山戎 国王 带 著 家眷 财物 逃亡 到 孤竹 国 去。
The king of Shanrong took his family and belongings to flee to the state of Guzhu.

Qí jūn yīlù zhuīshā ér lái,齐 军 一路 追杀 而来,
The Qi army chased and killed all the way and arrived,

Gūzhú guówáng shèjì jiào Huáng Huā yuánshuài xiàng Qí Huán Gōng tóuxiáng:孤竹 国王 设计 叫 黄花 元帅 向 齐 桓公 投降:
The king of Guzhu set a plan up and ordered his marshal Huang Hua to surrender to Duke Huan of Qi:

"Qí jūn yǐjīng zhuī guòlái le, nǐmen jiǎzhuāng tóuxiáng, ránhòu..."
"齐 军 已经 追 过来 了, 你们 假装 投降, 然后..."
"The Qi army has arrived, you pretend to surrender and then..."

"Dàwáng gāojiàn!""大王 高见!"
"Your majesty brilliant idea!"

Huáng Huā yuánshuài zài shān kǒu jié zhù le Qí Huán Gōng:黄花 元帅 在 山 口 截 住 了 齐桓公:
Marshal Huang Hua stopped Duke Huan of Qi at the mountain:

"J
iǔyǎng Qí wáng dàmíng! Wǒ Huáng Huā yuàn wèi Qí wáng xiàoláo, wèi dàjūn dài lù."
"久仰 齐王 大名! 我 黄花 愿 为 齐王 效劳, 为 大军 带路。"
"I've been looking forward to meeting you, your majesty of Qi! I, Huang Hua, am willing to serve Your majesty of Qi and lead the way for the army."

"ā... tài hǎo le! Hā...
"啊...太 好 了! 哈...
"Ah...Very good! Ha...

Huáng Huā yuánshuài, nǐ zài qiánmiàn lǐnglù dào Gūzhú guó shǒudōu qù.
"黄花 元帅, 你 在 前面 领路 到 孤竹 国 首都 去。
Marshal Huang Hua, go ahead and lead the way to the capital of the state of Guzhu."

"Hǎo ba! Nà wǒmen jiù gǎnkuài shànglù ba!""好吧! 那 我们 就 赶快 上路 吧!"
"All right! Let's hit the road!"

Qí jūn zǒurù le mí gǔ Hànhǎi,齐 军 走入 了 迷谷 瀚海,
The Qi army went into a valley Hanhai,

Nàlǐ shì yīpiàn shāmò, huāngwú rényān, fēng dà tiān lěng.那里 是 一片 沙漠, 荒芜 人烟, 风 大 天 冷。
It was a desert, deserted, windy and cold.

Tiān hēi le, tāmen mí le lù.天 黑 了, 他们 迷 了 路。
The sky went dark, they lost their way.

"Huáng Huā nǎlǐ qù le?""黄花 哪里 去了?"
"Where's Huang Hua?"

"B
ú zhīdào wa!""不 知道 哇!"
"Don't know!"

"Nà wǒmen shàngdàng le! Tā yīdìng shì jiānxì!""那 我们 上当 了! 他 一定 是 奸细!"
"Then we are fooled! He must be a spy!"

"D
àjiā bié huāng! Bùfáng ràng jǐ pǐ lǎo mǎ shìzhe dàilù!""大家 别 慌! 不妨 让 几 匹 老 马 试著 带路!"
"Everyone do not panic! Might as well let some old horses to try to lead the way!"

Guǒrán lǎomǎshítú,果然 老马识途,
Sure enough, the old horses knew the way,

Tāmen bǎ qí jūn dài chū le mí gǔ.他们 把 齐 军 带出了迷谷。
They led the Qi army out of the valley.

Chéngyǔ Lǎomǎshítú,成语 老马识途,
The idiom Laomashitu,

Shì yònglái chēngzàn jīngyàn fēngfù, qíngkuàng shúxī, néng qǐ yǐndǎo zuòyòng de rén.
是 用来 称赞 经验 丰富, 情况 熟悉, 能 起 引导 作用 的 人。
Is used to praise a person who is very experienced and can play a guiding role.


Fun thing to do:
1. Gather family or friends and play the roles.
2. Practice writing. CLICK HERE and hit the brushes next to each character to see the stroke orders. Grab a piece of paper and write them down.




I hope you enjoy my first idiom post. Please comment => CLICK HERE.






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