Chinese Idiom : 半途而废

  • 成语 chéng yǔ (literally “set phrases”) or Chinese idioms are a type of traditional Chinese idiomatic expressions, most of which consist of four characters.
  • There are about 5,000 成语 in the Chinese language, and we have learnt one idiom 守株待兔.
  • Today we are going to learn another idiom stories ” 半途而废 “, which means “give up halfway.”
  • Literally, 半 means half; 途 means way or road; 而 means but; 废 means stop

半途而废

东汉时,有个名叫乐羊子的人,在妻子的鼓励下,出远门拜师求学。

一年后,乐羊子突然回到家中。

他的妻子很惊讶地问:”你怎么回来了?你才和那些学者学了一年呀!”

乐羊子说:”我太想你了,所以回来看看。”

他的妻子听了之后,便拿起把剪刀走到她的织布机前,指着那块已经完成了一半的锦缎说:”这块锦缎用的是最好的丝,我一丝丝的累积来织成这锦缎。如果我现在把它剪断,就等于前功尽弃。你求学也是这样,如果现在停止,和剪断织布机上的锦缎有什么区别?”

乐羊子被妻子的话深深感动,于是立刻离开家,继续拜师求学。

几年后,乐洋子终于完成学业,成为一个博学的人。

During the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD), there was a man called Yue Yangzi. Encouraged by his wife, he left home to visit scholars and enrich his knowledge.

A year later, he came back home suddenly.

“Why have you returned?” asked his wife in surprise, “You’ve only spent one year studying with scholars.”

“I come back because I missed you very much,” Yue Yangzi replied.

Without saying anything, his wife took a pair of scissors and went to the loom at which she had worked. Pointing at the half-done brocade, she proclaimed, “This brocade is woven from the finest silk. I wove one strand after another to produce the brocade. Now if I cut it, all my previous work will be wasted. It’s the same with your studies. Now, you’ve stopped halfway. Isn’t it the same as cutting the brocade on the loom?”

Deeply moved by what she said, Yue Yangzi again left home to continue his studies.

Several years later, he finished his studies and became a learned man.

Words / Phrases:
1.
妻子
qī zi
: wife
2.
鼓励
gǔ lì
: encourage
3.
拜师
bài shī
: formally become a pupil to a master
4.
惊讶
jīng yà
: astonished
5.
剪刀
jiǎn dāo
: scissors
6.
织布机
zhī bù jī
: a machine that makes cotton yarn into cloth; loom
7.
锦缎
jǐn duàn
: brocade
8.
: silk
9.
一丝
yì sī
: flicker
10.
累积
lěi jī
: accumulate; gather
11.
zhī
: knit
12.
前功尽弃
qián gōng jìn qì
: a waste of effort
13.
感动
gǎn dòng
: affect; move; touch
14.
继续
jì xù
: continue
15.
博学
bó xué
: learned; erudite
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4 thoughts on “Chinese Idiom : 半途而废”

  1. Pingback: Chinese idiom: 半途而废 To give up halfway – Chrikaru blog

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