Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chinese Idiom "塞翁失马" (Saiwengshima; The Old Man from the Great Wall Lost His Horse)


February 13, 2010

馬系列成語 (马 系列 成语,
Mǎ Xìliè Chéngyǔ, Horse Series Idioms) 3:

塞翁失馬
(塞翁失马, Sàiwēngshīmǎ , The Old Man from the Great Wall Lost His Horse). It means when someone lost something, it may not be a bad thing and vice versa. Requested by Bananaz.
There's another version for "
塞" Sài is "frontier" or "fortress". The Great Wall was also a border during some period of time in ancient China.

馬系列成語 1: 老馬識途 (老马识途,
Lǎomǎshìtú, an old horse knows the way). Click Here.
馬系列成語 2: 指鹿為馬 (指鹿为马,
Zhǐlùwéimǎ, point to a deer,call it a horse). Click Here.




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

塞翁失马, Sàiwēngshīmǎ , The Old Man from the Great Wall Lost His Horse.

从前, 有 一位 老翁,
Cóngqián, yǒu yī wèi lǎowēng,
Once upon a time, there was an old man,
因为 是 住 在 长城 脚 下
,
yīnwèi shì zhù zài Chángchéng jiǎo xià,
because was living at the Great Wall foot down,
(because he was living near the Great Wall base,)

人们 叫 他 "塞上老翁
".
rénmen jiào tā "sài shàng lǎo wēng".
people called him "Saishanglaoweng". (Saiweng in short)

一般 所谓 "塞 上",

Yībān suǒwèi "sài shàng",
Generally so-called "sai shang",

都 是 指 "长城" 而 言
.
dōu shì zhǐ "Chángchéng" ér yán.
all were referring to "the Great Wall" to speak.

一天, 塞翁 养 的 一 匹 马 不见 了.
Yī tiān, Sàiwēng yǎng de yī pī mǎ bú jiàn le.
One day, Saiweng raised a horse disappeared. (One of Saiweng's horse disappeared.)
*
le: Completed action marker.

"噢...枣红 马 没有 了, 看样子 是 走失 了,"

"Ō ...zǎohóng mǎ méiyǒu le , kànyàngzi shì zǒushī le,"
"Oh...claret horse is gone, it looks as if is got lost," (it's got lost)

附近 的 乡亲 知道 了 这 件 事
,
Fù jìn de xiāng qīn zhī dào le zhè jiàn shì,
The nearby villagers awared of this matter,

都 来 到 他 家
.
dōu lái dào tā jiā.
all came to his house.

"塞翁, 你的 马 走失 了,

"Sàiwēng, nǐde mǎ zǒushī le,
"Saiweng, your horse got lost,

可 真是 不幸 啊!"

kě zhēnshì búxìng a!"
very truly unfortunate!"
*
a: modal particle ending sentence.

"是啊!"

"Shì a!"
"Yeah!"

"塞翁, 请 您 不要 为 这 件 事 太 烦恼."

"Sàiwēng, qǐng nín búyào wèi zhè jiàn shì tài fánnǎo."
"Saiweng, please you don't for this matter too worry." (please don't worry about this matter)

"啊...走失 一 匹 马,
"Ā ...zǒushī yì pī mǎ,
"Ah...lost a horse,
* a: Interjection of surprise or doubt.

也许 正是 好 事."
yěxǔ zhèngshì hǎo shì."
maybe exactly is good thing."

过了 不久 他的 马 自己 回来 了.
Guò le bù jiǔ tā de mǎ zì jǐ huí lái le.
After not long, his horse itself got back.

"啊...枣红 马 回来 了,
"Ā ...zǎohóng mǎ huílái le,
"Ah...claret horse returned,

还 带 回来 了 一 匹 好 马."
hái dài huílái le yī pī hǎo mǎ."
also brought back a good horse."

乡亲们 听说 後,
Xiāngqīnmen tīngshuō hòu,
The villagers heard after, (After the villagers heard that)

纷纷 来 向 塞翁 道贺.
fēnfēn lái xiàng Sàiwēng dàohè.
one after another came to Saiweng congratulate. ( came to congratulate Saiweng)

"啊! 恭禧 您 啊! 塞翁!
"Ā! Gōngxǐ nín ā! Sàiwēng!
"Ah! Congratulations you! Saiweng!"

走失 的 马 失而复得,
Zǒushī de mǎ shīérfùdé,
The missing horse is found again,

而且 还 带回 一 匹 好 马 来."
érqiě hái dàihuí yī pī hǎo mǎ lái."
moreover even brought back a good horse."

"哦...这 不一定 是 好 事,
"O ...zhè bùyīdìng shì hǎo shì,
"Oh...This not necessarily is good thing,

也许 反倒 是 坏 事."
yěxǔ fǎndào shì huài shì."
maybe on the contrary is bad thing."

过 了 几 天,
Guò le jǐ tiān,
After several days,

果然 他的 儿子,
guǒrán tāde érzi,
sure enough his son,

因为 骑 那 匹 好 马,
yīnwèi qí nà pī hǎo mǎ,
because riding that good horse,

不小心 从 马 上 摔 下来,
bùxiǎoxīn cóng mǎ shàng shuāi xiàlái,
accidentally from horse fell down. (fell down from the horse)

把 腿 骨 摔断 了.
bǎ tuǐgǔ shuāiduàn le.
leg bone broke. (broke his leg bone)
*把 : Particle marking the following noun as a direct object. (把+noun+verb)

乡亲们 又 来到 塞翁 家,
Xiāngqīnmen yòu láidào Sàiwēng jiā,
The villagers again came to Saiweng's house

表示 安慰.
biǎoshì ānwèi.
to express comfort.

"啊! 真是 不幸 呀!
"Ā! zhēn shì bú xìng ya!
"Ah...It is truly unfortunate!
*呀 ya: modal particle ending sentence.

你的 儿子 把 腿 骨 摔断 了.
Nǐde érzi bǎ tuǐ gǔ shuāiduàn le.
Your son leg bone broke.

不过 会 慢慢 恢复 的.
Búguò huì mànmàn huīfù de.
But will gradually recover.

请 您 不要 太 伤心 啊!
Qǐng nín búyào tài shāngxīn ā!
Please you don't too sad! (Please do not be too sad)

您 别 太 着急."
Nín bié tài zhāojí."
You do not too worry.

"哦...这 件 事 说不定 会 给 我 带来 幸福 呢!"
"O ...zhè jiàn shì shuōbúdìng huì gěi wǒ dàilái xìngfú ne!"
"Oh...this incident maybe will give me bring happiness! (may bring me happiness)
*
ne: modal particle ending sentence.

乡亲们 听了 都 不 理解.
Xiāngqīnmen tīng le dōu bù lǐjiě.
The villagers heard (what he said), all did not understand.

不久 忽然 爆发 了 战争.
Bùjiǔ hūrán bàofā le zhànzhēng.
Not long (after), suddenly outbroke a war.

所有 青年人 全都 强 徵 入伍 去 了.
Suǒ yǒu qīng nián rén quán dōu qiáng zhēng rù wǔ qù le.
All young people all were forcibly conscripted to enter the army.

结果 十之八九 都 战 死 了.
Jiéguǒ shízhībājiǔ dōu zhàn sǐ le.
As a result almost all fought to death.

许多 人家 因此 妻离子散, 家破人亡.
Xǔduō rénjiā yīncǐ qīlízǐsàn, jiāpòrénwáng.
A lot of household thus wrenched apart, family broke people dead.

塞翁的 儿子 因为 瘸 了,
Sàiwēngde érzi yīnwèi qué le,
Saiweng's son because lame,

没办法 去 当兵.
méibànfǎ qù dāngbīng.
no way to go to the army.

塞翁 一家人 得 保 了 平安.
Sàiwēng yījiārén dé bǎo le píngān.
Saiweng whole family got to keep peace and safe.

这 件 事 说明 了 一 个 道理,
Zhè jiàn shì shuōmíng le yī gè dàolǐ,
This incident illustrates one principle,

就是 坏 事 能够 变成 好 事,
jiùshì huài shì néng gòu biàn chéng hǎo shì,that is bad thing could become good thing,

好 事 也 能 变成 坏 事.
hǎo shì yě néng biànchéng huài shì.good thing also could turn into bad thing.

"塞翁失马" 也 常 用 来
"Sàiwēngshīmǎ" yě cháng yòng lái"Saiwengshima" also commonly used to

自我安慰 或 安慰 他人.
Zìwǒānwèi huò ānwèi tārén.
self-consolation or comfort others.


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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