Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chinese Idiom "指鹿為馬" (Zhiluweima; Point to a Deer, Call It a Horse)


December 30, 2009

Since I posted a 成語 (成语, chéngyǔ, idiom) about (马, mǎ, horse), I'm going to post more 成語 related to .
I'm going to call them 馬系列成語 (马 系列 成语, Mǎ Xìliè Chéngyǔ, Horse Series Idioms). :D

CLICK HERE for 馬系列成語 1: 老馬識途 ( Lǎomǎshìtú, an old horse knows the way).

Here's 馬系列成語 2 for you: 指鹿為馬 (指鹿为马, Zhǐlùwéimǎ, point to a deer,call it a horse), means deliberately misrepresent, call a stag a horse, call white black, deliberate deception or distort facts. The script in the video is traditional Chinese.




Script in simplified characters, pinyin and translations, the translations are done by the Chinese characters order so the grammar may not be proper:

指鹿为马, Zhǐlùwéimǎ, Point to a Deer, Call It a Horse

秦 二 世 时, 丞相 赵高 独揽 大权,
Qín èr shì shí, chéngxiàng Zhào Gāo dúlǎn dàquán,
Qin second emperor period (210 BC - 207 BC), prime minister Zhao Gao monopolized power.

但 他的 野心 并 没有 满足, 一 心 想 登上 帝位。
Dàn tāde yěxīn bìng méiyǒu mǎnzú, yī xīn xiǎng dēngshàng dìwèi。
However his ambition at all not has satisfied, entire heart wanted ascend the throne.

"嗯! 我 想 当 皇帝, 有些 大臣 一定 会 反对 的。
"En! Wǒ xiǎng dāng huángdì, yǒuxiē dàchén yīdìng huì fǎnduì de。
Hum! I want to be the emperor, some ministers must will oppose.

嗯, 有 *了!
En ,yǒu le!
Ah, have! ( I have an idea!)
*了 le: completed action marker.

我 得 试试 他们, 然后 *把 他们 提前 铲除。"
Wǒ dě shìshì tāmen, ránhòu bǎ tāmen tíqián chǎnchú。"
I have to try them, then get them in advance eliminated (then get rid of them in advance).
*把 : particle marking the following noun as a direct object.

于是 赵高 牵 了 一 *头 鹿 来 上 早朝。
Yúshì Zhào Gāo qiān le yī tóu lù lái shàng zǎocháo。
Hence Zhao Gao pulled a dear came to the morning court.
*头 tóu: head or classifier for some animals.

大臣们 觉得 很 奇怪, 都 不 明白 赵高 想要 干 什么。
Dàchénmen jdé hěn qíguài, dōu bù míngbái Zhào Gāo xiǎngyào gàn shíme。
Ministers felt very strange, all not understood Zhao Gao wanted to do what.

"*臣 有 一 *匹 千里马, 特 敬献 给 皇帝 陛下。"
"Chén yǒu yī pī qiānlǐmǎ, tè jìngxiàn gěi huángdì bìxià。"
"I have a fine steed, special offer to emperor Your Majesty."
*臣 chén: when talking to the emperor, the ministers say 臣 instead of 我 (, I).
*匹 : classifier for horses.

"哈 哈 哈! 丞相 你 说 错 了,
Hā hā hā! Chéngxiàng nǐ shuō cuò le,
"Hahaha! Prime minister you spoke wrong,

这 明明 是 鹿, 怎么 会 是 马 *呢?"
Zhè míngmíng shì lù, zěnme huì shì mǎ ne?"
This obviously is deer, how will be horse?"
*呢 ne: question particle.

"哼!
"Hèng!
"Humph!

众 大臣 你们 说说, 这 究竟 是 马 还是 鹿 呢? 你们 说!"
Zhòng dàchén nǐmen shuōshuō, zhè jiūjìng shì mǎ háishì lù ne? Nǐmen shuō!"
All ministers you say, this actually is a horse or a deer? You say!"

"阿, 这 是 马!"
"ā, zhè shì mǎ!"
"Ah, this is horse!"

赵高的 亲信 为了 讨好 赵高, 睁著 眼睛 瞎说。
Zhào Gāode qīnxìn wèile tǎohǎo Zhào Gāo, zhēngzhe yǎnjīng xiāshuō。
Zhao Gao's trusted aides in order to fawn on Zhao Gao, opened eyes spoke nonsense.

"这 是 鹿, 这 不 是 马! 不 是 马!"
"Zhè shì lù, zhè bú shì mǎ ! Bú shì mǎ!"
"This is deer, this not is horse! Not is horse!"

耿直的 大臣 也 不 含糊。
Gěngzhíde dàchén yě bù hánhú。
Upright ministers also not vague.

"哼! 咱们 走著瞧!"
"Hèng! Zánmen zǒuzheqiáo!"
"Humph! Let's walk and see (Let's wait and see)!

赵高 暗暗 记下 了 这些 忠 臣 的 名字,
Zhào Gāo ànàn jìxià le zhèxiē zhōng chén de míngzì,
Zhao Gao inwardly recorded down these loyal ministers' names,

后来 藉 故 把 他们 都 杀 了。
Hòulái jiè gù bǎ tāmen dōu shā le。
Later found excuses them all killed (Later found some excuses and killed them all).

成语 指鹿为马 由此 而 来。
Chéngyǔ Zhǐlùwéimǎ yóucǐ ér lái。
Idiom Zhiluweima from this and come (The idiom Zhiluweima is from this story).


Example sentences:

1. 赵高 明明 是 指鹿为马,你们 为什麽 要 附和 他?
Zhào Gāo míngmíng shì zhǐlùwéimǎ ,nǐmen wèishíme yào fùhè tā?
Zhao Gao obviously is zhiluweima, you why must parrot him?

2. 你 指鹿为马, 休想 我 会 支持 你!
Nǐ zhǐlùwéimǎ , xiūxiǎng wǒ huì zhīchí nǐ!
You zhiluweima, don't think I will support you!


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.




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24 comments:

இ Baŋäŋaz இ said...

Dear Jeannie, Oh great something about horses then I have thought of another idiom - Sai Weng Shi Ma { 塞翁失马 焉知非福 } for your next entry please.

Did Zhao Gao manage to get all his ministers killed, and snatch the throne?

Would appreciate it very much if you could kindly state some examples how this idiom can be applied.

Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

This is great and come in at right time. It reminds us to speak the truth, so as to avoid scandal, which wipe off income from masses, from happening.

CheaHSan said...

My first time hearing this idiom (what to expect from a banana haha). The Prime Minister, Zhao Gao was a wicked man just like the current corrupt cases and scandals of some PM? Thanks.

Kelvin said...

I like the video^^

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

Bananaz,

No problem, I'll post Sai Weng Shi Ma {塞翁失马) the next time when I post idiom. My posting will be like 1 Kid Song -> 1 Idiom -> 1 Pop Song or Love song and Something else in between (if any).

Zhao Gao did manage to get tons of people killed including 秦二世 but he got himself killed not long later. It's called "惡有惡報", ha!

I'll add some example sentences in the post. Sorry...forgot about it.

Happy New Year~~~

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

James, appreciate your great input!

Cheah,
I'm sorry...what's "PM"?

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

Thanks, Kelvin!

foongpc said...

Interesting video!

I don't seem to understand when to use the word 把

As in 然后 把 他们 提前 铲除
ránhòu bǎ tāmen tíqián chǎnchú

Would it sound wrong to leave out the 把 in the above sentence?

Can you please give me more examples or sentences using 把 ?

Thanks, Jeannie : )

foongpc said...

Wow! I love this widget that you have here! The one that reads out the sentence you paste on it. And it can read out in both Mandarin and Cantonese! Although I think the Cantonese sounded a bit funny. In any case, it's an excellent tool! Thanks!! : )

CheaHSan said...

PM is Prime Minister:P Thanks

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

Foongpc,

No, if you leave out the "把" in "然后 把 他们 提前 铲除", it will be wrong and uncompleted.

To make the sentence easier, let's leave out the "然后" (then) & "提前" (in advance)=> 把 他們 铲除 (get them killed).
In this case, "them" means the ministers. Zhao Gao wants to get the ministers killed.
If we leave out the "把", it'll become 他們 铲除 (they kill), the ministers kill something. But that's not the case and it becomes an uncompleted sentence.

"把 他們 铲除" we can also say "铲除 他們" (verb + object).
When use '把', we take the object after '把' => 把 + object + verb => "把 他們 铲除" in order to emphasize the object.

Here are some examples:
1. 打開 門(verb + object), dǎkāi mén, open the door .
Use '把': 把 + object + verb => 把 門 打開.
2. 脫掉 衣服(verb + object), tuōdiào yīfú, take off the clothes.
Use '把': 把 + object + verb => 把 衣服 脫掉.

把 sentences are very complicated and there are many ways to use 把. This is just one of them.

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

I knew you would love the reading widget in my side bar...lol.
When I saw that widget, I went...wow this is awesome, got to have it!

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

CheaHS@n,

Yeah~~~ 小人 (wicked men) like Zhao Gao could be anytime and everywhere, ancient times and today, Chinese and foreign. :)
Xiexie.

இ Baŋäŋaz இ said...

Yup the CU vocal widget is cool love it, now learning Cantonese dialect in depth haha. Xiexie

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

Glad you love it too, Bananaz!

இ Baŋäŋaz இ said...

I have got the widget for the Chinese calendar 日历 & the 'CU Vocal' in my blog too. Xiexie

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

I saw them, Bananaz! Well done. Glad your side bar is wide enough for the CU Voval. I'll have to find other template.

I really like the template I'm using now but it's kind of limited. I tried to adjust the side bar width but not successful. This template has a back ground and it's complicated for me.
I also tried to adjust the widget width smaller but then the "Read" button would not appear right. Sigh~

Anonymous said...

給你一個鼓勵 ..................................................

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

安室, 感謝您的鼓勵.
您們大家的鼓勵是我的動力. 請繼續多多指教喔! ^_^

sweetromance2 said...

This is a fascinating story that shows what happens when power falls into the wrong hands.

Sweetromance2 said...

Hey there! It's good to see you back online. I missed you.

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

Sweetromance2,

You are absolutely right about the power falls into the wrong hands.
I missed you too!

foongpc said...

Oh! Thanks for the explanation. I'm getting to understand the usage of 把 better now.

So if I use 把,it has to be followed by the noun/object then only the verb.

I hope you will be able to point out other uses of 把 in future posts. Thanks!! : )

Jeannie@ Learn Chinese Songs said...

foongpc, yes and that's one of the ways to use it. I will explain other uses of 把 in my future posts if there's that character in the posts.