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ABCinChina

List of Chengyu Translations

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ABCinChina

I've translated the list of Chengyu that can be found at PlecoForums. Many detailed explanations on these can be found by looking them up on Chinese Tools. Also, I made it so that you can import these into Mnemosyne by cutting and pasting into a text file, then importing. If anyone finds any inaccuracies, please let me know. :)

爱不释手 ài bù shì shǒu — fondle admiringly

爱屋及乌 ài wū jí wū — love me, love my dog

按部就班 àn bù jiù bān — step-by-step; follow the prescribed order

百年树人 bǎi nián shù rén — a community

百折不挠 bǎi zhé bù náo — keep fighting in spite of all setbacks

班门弄斧 bān mén nòng fǔ — display one's slight skill before an expert

半途而废 bàn tú ér fèi — give up halfway; leave sth. unfinished

包罗万象 bāo luó wàn xiàng — all-inclusive; all-embracing

闭门造车 bì mén zào chē — work behind closed doors

变本加厉 biàn běn jiā lì — be further intensified

标新立异 biāo xīn lì yì — do sth. unconventionally; do sth. unorthodox

别出心裁 bié chū xīn cái — adopt an original approach; try to be different

宾至如归 bīn zhì rú guī — guests feel at home

不耻下问 bù chǐ xià wèn — feel not ashamed to learn from one's subordinates

不攻自破 bù gōng zì pò — collapse of itself

不可救药 bù kě jiù yào — can't be saved; beyond redemption

不可思议 bù kě sī yì — inconceivable; unimaginable

不劳而获 bù láo ér huò — reap without sowing

不务正业 bù wù zhèng yè — not attend to one's proper duties

不省人事 bù shěng rén shì — be unconscious

不遗余力 bù yí yú lì — spare no pains or effort

不翼而飞 bù yì ér fēi — disappear without a trace

不择手段 bù zé shǒu duàn — by any kind of means; play hard

不自量力 bù zì liàng lì — over-confident

长年累月 cháng nián lèi yuè — over the years

趁火打劫 chèn huǒ dǎ jié — loot a burning house

重蹈覆辙 zhòng dào fù chè — follow the same old disastrous road

愁眉不展 chóu méi bù zhǎn — with knitted brows

出类拔萃 chū lèi bá cuì — fill the bill

川流不息 chuān liú bù xī — the stream flows without stopping

吹毛求疵 chuī máo qiú cī — find a quarrel in a straw; criticize

垂涎三尺 chuí xián sān chǐ — drool with envy

唇亡齿寒 chún wáng chǐ hán — interdependence of two neighbouring states

从容不迫 cóng róng bù pò — take one's time; go easy

从善如流 cóng shàn rú liú — accept good advices

措手不及 cuo shǒu bù jí — unaware; unprepared

打草惊蛇 dǎ cǎo jīng shé — act rashly and alert the enemy

大刀阔斧 dà dāo kuo fǔ — bold and decisive; drastic

大公无私 dà gōng wú sī — just and fair; selfless

大言不惭 dà yán bù cán — fanfaronade; rodomontade

当机立断 dāng jī lì duàn — make a prompt decision

道听途说 dào tīng tú shuō — hearsay

得寸进尺 dé cùn jìn chǐ — given an inch, want a mile

得过且过 dé guo qiě guò — drift along

得意忘形 dé yì wàng xíng — bloat; get dizzy with success

德高望重 dé gāo wàng zhòng — sainted; saintlike

对牛弹琴 duì niú dàn qín — whistle jigs to a milestone; cast pearls before swine

耳濡目染 ěr rú mù rǎn — be influenced by what one constantly sees and hears

发扬光大 fā yáng guāng dà — to develop, advocate, and promulgate

废寝忘食 fèi qǐn wàng shí — forget food and sleep

奋不顾身 fèn bù gù shēn — dash ahead regardless of one's safety

风驰电掣 fēng chí diàn chè — move at great speed

奉公守法 fèng gōng shǒu fǎ — law-abiding

凤毛麟角 fèng máo lín jiǎo — rarity

敷衍塞责 fū yǎn sāi zé — perform one's duty in a perfunctory manner

改过自新 gǎi guò zì xīn — start with a clean slate

高瞻远瞩 gāo zhān yuǎn zhǔ — show great foresight

高枕无忧 gāo zhěn wú yōu — rest easy

隔岸观火 gé àn guān huǒ — look on sb.'s trouble with indifference

各有千秋 gè yǒu qiān qiū — each has his strong point

根深蒂固 gēn shēn dì gù — deep-rooted (problem, etc.)

功亏一篑 gōng kuī yī kuì — fall short of success for want of a final effort

勾心斗角 gōu xīn dòu jiǎo — intrigue against each other

苟且偷安 gǒu qiě tōu ān — seek temporary ease

孤陋寡闻 gū lòu guǎ wén — ignorant and ill-informed

孤掌难鸣 gū zhǎng nán míng — it's difficult to achieve anything without support

孤注一掷 gū zhù yī zhí — a long shot gamble; put all one's eggs in one basket

沽名钓誉 gū míng diào yù — fish for fame and compliment

古色古香 gǔ sè gǔ xiāng — (of ancient objects of art) having an old-fashioned and antique flavour

拐弯抹角 guǎi wān mǒ jiǎo — talk in a roundabout way; ambages

光明正大 guāng míng zhèng dà — fairness

光明磊落 guāng míng lěi luo — on the up-and-up

海底捞针 hǎi dǐ lāo zhēn — look for a needle in the ocean

含辛茹苦 hán xīn rú kǔ — endure all kinds of hardships

好高骛远 hǎo gāo wù yuǎn — reach for what is beyond one's grasp

好逸恶劳 hǎo yì è láo — indolence

和睦共处 hé mù gòng chù — got along with; peaceful coexistence

狐假虎威 hú jiǎ hǔ wēi — bully people by flaunting one's powerful connections

胡思乱想 hú sī luàn xiǎng — let one's imagination run away; have a bee in one's head

胡作非为 hú zuò fēi wèi — act wildly against law and public opinion

花言巧语 huā yán qiǎo yǔ — blandishments; sweet words

画龙点睛 huà lóng diǎn jīng — make the finishing point

画蛇添足 huà shé tiān zú — to overdo it; gild the lily

挥金如土 huī jīn rú tǔ — spend money like water

混水摸鱼 hǔn shuǐ mō yú — fish in troubled waters

鸡犬不宁 jī quǎn bù zhù — utter confusion

集思广益 jí sī guǎng yì — draw on the wisdom of the masses

家喻户晓 jiā yù hù xiǎo — understood by every household; widely known

假公济私 jiǎ gōng jì sī — job; jobbery

见利忘义 jiàn lì wàng yì — treacherous

见异思迁 jiàn yì sī qiān — change about

见义勇为 jiàn yì yǒng wèi — do boldly what is righteous; ready to help others for a just cause

捷足先登 jié zú xiān dēng — the early bird cathes the worm

津津有味 jīn jīn yǒu wèi — with gusto; with great interest

进退两难 jìn tuì liǎng nán — have a wolf by the ears; up a tree; dilemma

进退维谷 jìn tuì wéi gǔ — between the devil and the deep sea; between two fires

精益求精 jīng yì qiú jīng — continually seeking perfection

居安思危 jū ān sī wēi — be prepared for danger in times of safety

井井有条 jǐng jǐng yǒu tiáo — in perfect order; neat and tidy; methodical

鞠躬尽瘁 jú gōng jìn cuì — spare no effort in the performance of one's duty

举一反三 jǔ yī fǎn sān — draw inferences about other cases from one instance

举足轻重 jǔ zú qīng zhòng — hold the balance

开门见山 kāi mén jiàn shān — to get right to the point

开源节流 kāi yuán jié liú — increase revenue and reduce expenditure

慷慨解囊 kāng kǎi jiě náng — generosity

刻苦耐劳 kè kǔ nài láo — hardworking

口是心非 kǒu shì xīn fēi — duplicity

苦口婆心 kǔ kǒu pó xīn — advise sb. in earnest

脍炙人口 kuài zhì rén kǒu — win universal praise

滥竽充数 làn yú chōng shù — be there just to make up the number

老马识途 lǎo mǎ shì tú — an old hand is a good guide

理直气壮 lǐ zhí qì zhuàng — one is assured and bold with justice

力不从心 lì bù cóng xīn — ability not equal to one's ambition

励精图治 lì jīng tú zhì — use all efforts to make the country prosperous

瞭如指掌 liǎo rú zhǐ zhǎng — know sth. like the palm of one's hand

临渴掘井 lín kě jué jǐng — not make timely preparations

流离失所 liú lí shī suǒ — become destitute and homeless

路不拾遗 lù bù shí yí — no one picks up and pockets anything lost on the road

落花流水 luò huā liú shuǐ — utterly routed

络绎不绝 luò yì bù jué — in an endless stream

满载而归 mǎn zài ér guī — come back with fruitful results

慢条斯理 màn tiáo sī lǐ — leisurely; unhurriedly

毛遂自荐 máo suì zì jiàn — volunteer one's services

每况愈下 měi kuàng yù xià — go down the drain; steadily deteriorate

每下愈况 měi xià yù kuàng — steadily deteriorate

面目全非 miàn mù quán fēi — beyond recognition

明目张胆 míng mù zhāng dǎn — brazenly; do evil openly

明哲保身 míng zhé bǎo shēn — be worldly wise and make oneself safe

明知故犯 míng zhī gù fàn — violate knowingly

墨守成规 mò shǒu chéng guī — routinism; scholasticism

目中无人 mù zhōng wú rén — be overweening; be supercilious

弄巧反拙 nòng qiǎo fǎn zhuó — to backfire

破釜沉舟 pò fǔ chén zhōu — burn one's boats; burn one's bridge

普天同庆 pǔ tiān tóng qìng — the whole world or nation joins in jubilation

杞人忧天 qǐ rén yōu tiān — meet troubles halfway

千钧一发 qiān jūn yī fǎ — close call; hang by a thread

千篇一律 qiān piān yī lǜ — stereotyped, following the same pattern

千载难逢 qiān zài nán féng — occuring only once in a thousand years

前车之鉴 qián chē zhī jiàn — lessons drawn from others' mistakes

潜移默化 qián yí mò huà — exert a subtle influence on

强词夺理 qiáng cí duó lǐ — deception by trickery or sophistry

青出于蓝 qīng chū yú lán — the students surpass the teacher

倾家荡产 qīng jiā dàng chǎn — be reduced to poverty and ruin

情同手足 qíng tóng shǒu zú — brotherly love

人浮于事 rén fú yú shì — overstaffed

人云亦云 rén yún yì yún — echo what other says

任劳任怨 rèn láo rèn yuàn — willingly bear the burden of hard works

荣华富贵 róng huá fù guì — nabobism

富贵荣华 fù guì róng huá — riches and honour

如火如荼 rú huǒ rú tú — like a raging fire

如释重负 rú shì zhòng fù — as if relieved of a heavy load

三思而行 sān sī ér xíng — think twice

僧多粥少 sēng duō zhōu shǎo — not enough to satisfy everyone

杀鸡取卵 shā jī qū luǎn — kill a chicken to steal its eggs

舍己为人 shě jǐ wèi rén — to sacrifice oneself for the sake of others

事半功倍 shì bàn gōng bèi — get twice the result with half the effort

事倍功半 shì bèi gōng bàn — get half the result with twice the effort

视死如归 shì sǐ rú guī — face death unflinchingly

手不释卷 shǒu bù shì juàn — very diligent; very studious

守口如瓶 shǒu kǒu rú píng — keep one's mouth shut

守望相助 shǒu wàng xiāng zhù — help each other

守株待兔 shǒu zhū dài tù — wait for windfalls

熟能生巧 shóu néng shēng qiǎo — practice makes perfect

束手无策 shù shǒu wú cè — nail-biting

水到渠成 shuǐ dào qú chéng — success will come when conditions are ripe

水落石出 shuǐ luo shí chū — everything comes to light; everything becomes obvious

顺手牵羊 shùn shǒu qiān yáng — pick up sth. on the sly; snitch

司空见惯 sī kōng jiàn guàn — a common occurrence

似是而非 sì shì ér fēi — appeared right but was wrong

随遇而安 suí yù ér ān — make the best of things; take things as they come

滔滔不绝 tāo tāo bù jué — gushing; non-stopping

口若悬河 kǒu ruo xuán hé — eloquent; speak volubly

提心吊胆 tí xīn diào dǎn — be in fear of; in fear and trembling

挑拨离间 tiāo bō lí jiān — make mischief; play sb. off against one another

铤而走险 tǐng ér zǒu xiǎn — risk danger in desperation

同甘共苦 tóng gān gòng kǔ — share happiness and woe

同归于尽 tóng guī yú jìn — perish together

同流合污 tóng liú hé wū — associate with an evil person

同舟共济 tóng zhōu gòng jì — we're in the same boat

投机取巧 tóu jī qū qiǎo — opportunistic

徒劳无功 tú láo wú gōng — be a fool for one's pains

推陈出新 tuī chén chū xīn — get rid of the stale and bring forth the fresh

望尘莫及 wàng chén mo jí — too far behind to catch up with

忘恩负义 wàng ēn fù yì — ungratefulness

为非作歹 wèi fēi zuo dǎi — commit crimes; do evil

未雨绸缪 wèi yǔ chóu móu — prepare for a rainy day; plan ahead

温故知新 wēn gù zhī xīn — gain new insights through reviewing old material

无病呻吟 wú bìng shēn yín — make a fuss about an imaginary illness

无动于衷 wú dòng yú zhōng — sit by and do nothing; nonchalance

无微不至 wú wēi bù zhì — very carefully and meticulously

五体投地 wǔ tǐ tóu dì — extremely admire

息事宁人 xī shì zhù rén — make concessions to avoid trouble

相安无事 xiāng ān wú shì — live in peace with each other

相辅相成 xiāng fǔ xiāng chéng — to supplement each other

心灰意懒 xīn huī yì lǎn — dejected; depressed; downhearted

心旷神怡 xīn kuàng shén yí — relaxed and happy

欣欣向荣 xīn xīn xiàng róng — flourishing; prosperous; thriving

信口开河 xìn kǒu kāi hé — run off at the mouth

信口雌黄 xìn kǒu cí huáng — make irresponsible remarks

兴高采烈 xīng gāo cǎi liè — in great form; in high spirits

胸有成竹 xiōng yǒu chéng zhú — have a card up one's sleeve; have a well-thought-out plan

袖手旁观 xiù shǒu páng guān — look on with folded arms; sit by

栩栩如生 xǔ xǔ rú shēng — lifelike

悬崖勒马 xuán yá lè mǎ — wake up to and avoid danger at the last moment

削足适履 xuē zú shì lǚ — act in a Procrustean way; cut the feet to fit the shoes

寻根究底 xún gēn jiù dǐ — inquire deeply into

循循善诱 xún xún shàn yòu — be good at teaching

鸦雀无声 yā què wú shēng — silence reigns

雅俗共赏 yǎ sú gòng shǎng — suit both refined and popular tastes

言行一致 yán xíng yī zhì — practice what you preach

养尊处优 yǎng zūn chù yōu — do oneself proud

摇摇欲坠 yáo yáo yù zhuì — hang by a thread; to shake

一败涂地 yī bài tú dì — bite the ground; hunt grass

一帆风顺 yī fān fēng shùn — plain sailing; very smoothly

一见如故 yī jiàn rú gù — feel like old friends at the first meeting

一举两得 yī jǔ liǎng dé — kill two birds with one stone

一箭双雕 yī jiàn shuāng diāo — kill two birds with one stone

一蹶不振 yī jué bù zhèn — cannot recover after a setback

一劳永逸 yī láo yǒng yì — get sth. done once and for ever

一落千丈 yī luo qiān zhàng — suffer a disastrous decline

一毛不拔 yī máo bù bá — miserly; very stingy

一目瞭然 yī mù liǎo rán — be clear at a glance

一暴十寒 yī bào shí hán — daily effort is needed learn and grow

一视同仁 yī shì tóng rén — treat equally without discrimination

一事无成 yī shì wú chéng — accomplish nothing

一网打尽 yī wǎng dǎ jìn — catch the whole lot in an action

一意孤行 yī yì gū xíng — go one's own way; take one's own course

一针见血 yī zhēn jiàn xiě — hit the nail on the head; to get to the point

一知半解 yī zhī bàn jiě — have little knowledge and no comprehension

以卵击石 yǐ luǎn jí shí — kick against the pricks; throw straws against the wind

以身作则 yǐ shēn zuò zé — set a good example

以牙还牙 yǐ yá huán yá — give as good as one gets; a tooth for a tooth (retaliation)

易如反掌 yì rú fǎn zhǎng — as easy as turning one's hand over

异想天开 yì xiǎng tiān kāi — let imagination run wild; whimsicality

饮水思源 yǐn shuǐ sī yuán — never forget where one's happiness comes from

迎刃而解 yíng rèn ér jiě — be readily solved

应接不暇 yìng jiē bù xiá — have too many visitors or business to deal with

优柔寡断 yōu róu guǎ duàn — indecision; irresolution; yea and nay

游手好闲 yóu shǒu hǎo xián — to procrastinate; to dawdle; shilly-shally

有目共睹 yǒu mù gòng dǔ — be obvious to all

有勇无谋 yǒu yǒng wú móu — foolhardiness

与日俱增 yǔ rì jù zēng — grow day by day; increase steadily

再接再厉 zài jiē zài lì — make persistent efforts

真知灼见 zhēn zhī zhuó jiàn — penetrating judgment

蒸蒸日上 zhēng zhēng rì shàng — becoming more prosperous each passing day; flourishing

执迷不悟 zhí mí bù wù — come to their senses

趾高气扬 zhǐ gāo qì yáng — hold one's head high; lift up one's horn

纸上谈兵 zhǐ shàng tán bīng — be an armchair strategist; engage in idle theorizing

志同道合 zhì tóng dào hé — to have a common objective; in the same camp

置之不理 zhì zhī bù lǐ — put sth. on one side; turn one's back upon

忠言逆耳 zhōng yán nì ěr — good advice is harsh to the ear

装聋作哑 zhuāng lóng zuò yā — to act deaf and dumb

自暴自弃 zì bào zì qì — desperateness; abandonment

自力更生 zì lì gèng shēng — self-reliance; self-dependence

自投罗网 zì tóu luó wǎng — hurl oneself willingly into the net

自相矛盾 zì xiāng máo dùn — self-contradiction; contradict oneself

坐井观天 zuò jǐng guān tiān — have a very narrow view

坐享其成 zuò xiǎng qí chéng — reap where one has not sown

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ABCinChina

People...remember that you'll never be considered proficient in Chinese without knowing a sizable amount of chengyus, so you might as well start memorizing these now. Also, feel free to discuss why any chengyu(s) posted by me or by others is your favorite. :mrgreen:

Here's the text file in traditional characters if anyone cares...

Chengyu List.txt

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yersi

Thanks for putting this list together AiC, I saved this as a word doc, together with a list of around 1200 that I found in another post here. I'll most likely never get around to memorizing them though.

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heifeng

here's a chengyu dictionary link too www.zidian8.cn/CY.aspx which puts out pretty useful output:

编号 279

成语 不耻下问

拼音 bù chǐ xià wèn

解释 乐于向学问或地位比自己低的人学习,而不觉得不好意思。

出处 《论语·公冶长》:“敏而好学,不耻下问。”

示例 在学习上,我们要有~的精神

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kdavid

This is a fantastic list.

I think I remember seeing the same list somewhere else, but it indicated which chengyu popped up on which HSK exam.

Any idea where that list is? I've been searching for half an hour and haven't found, so it may just have been a figment of my imagination. It's also possible I'm just too tired and have missed.

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kdavid

Firstly, this is excellent. Thanks a lot.

Secondly, wow, information overload. Is there any one list that simply says, "Study these for HSK 初中"?

If it's already in there just call me an idiot and I'll revisit that post once I have more patience/time.

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kdavid

Fantastic. That's what I was looking for.

Thanks a ton!

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roddy

You could use this to generate a list of four-character items from the HSK lists. You'd get stuff like 公共汽车 and 出租汽车 mixed in though.

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tooironic
海底捞针 hǎi dǐ lāo zhēn — look for a needle in the ocean

Interesting mixed metaphor there! :clap

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