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《兄弟》 by 余华 (with vocab list)

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After spending the past few weeks on a cycling holiday, it's time to put the nose back to the grindstone.


Chapter 13


guànzi jar / pitcher / pot

liūzǒu to slip away / to leave secretly

辘辘 chánglùlù stomach rumbling with hunger

lángtūnyàn to wolf down one's food (idiom); to devour ravenously / to gorge oneself

翼翼 xiǎoxīnyìyì cautious and solemn (idiom); very carefully / prudent / gently and cautiously

zhǐjia fingernail

zhànghóng to turn red (in the face) / to flush (with embarrassment or anger)

sǎngyīn voice

(onom.) coarse crowing / hoarse / husky

hàozi (dialect) mouse / rat

pèngqiǎo by chance / by coincidence / to happen to

jiǎobàn to stir / to agitate

jūnyún even / well-distributed / homogeneous / well-proportioned (figure, body etc)

chōu to sob spasmodically

夹生 jiāshēng half-cooked / (fig.) not completely done, solved, developed etc / Taiwan pr. [jia4 sheng5]

gānbiě dried out / wizened / shriveled

guāng luster / gloss

qīngcuì sharp and clear / crisp / melodious / ringing / tinkling

jué to chew / to think over

望外 chūwàngwài to be pleased beyond one's expectations (idiom) / overjoyed at the turn of events

津津 jīnjīnyǒuwèi with keen interest pleasure (idiom); with gusto / to relish / eagerly / with great interest

浸泡 jìnpào to steep / to soak / to immerse

zhēnglóng steamer basket (e.g. for dimsum)

喋喋 diédiéxiū to chatter or jabber on and on

duò to stamp one's feet

延残 gǒuyáncánchuǎn to struggle on whilst at death's door (idiom)

zhù to choke (on) / to choke off (in speech)

shēnyín to moan / to groan

tuōjiù dislocation (of a joint)

jué consummate skill / supreme feat / tour-de-force / stunt

狼嚎 guǐlángháo to wail like ghosts and howl like wolves (idiom)

阳穴 tàiyángxué temple (on the sides of human head)


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Chapter 14


chēng to weigh 

huá a slide

aluminum (chemistry)

闸门 zhámén sluice gate

zhān to moisten / to be infected by / to receive benefit or advantage through a contact / to touch

bāi to break off or break open sth with one's hands / (fig.) to break off (a relationship)

nèn tender / soft / delicate 

zhòu to curse

sāi to get food stuck between one's teeth

yǎn anus

hūn non-vegetarian food (meat, fish etc)

to catch to seize to capture

qiǎn shallow light (color)

guǎn trouser leg

màn free unrestrained to inundate

gōng to bow

shàobīng sentinel

qīngxié to incline to lean to slant to slope to tilt

荡漾 dàngyàng to ripple to undulate

áo loud clamor the sound of wailing

wǎnxiá sunset glow sunset clouds afterglow

zhāoyáo to act ostentatiously to brag to show off

啧啧 zézé to click one's tongue

才华横 cáihuáhéng brimming over with talent (esp. literary) brilliant

méikāiyǎnxiào brows raised in delight, eyes laughing (idiom); beaming with joy all smiles

无穷 huíwèiwúqióng leaving a rich aftertaste (fig.) memorable lingering in memory

chōngjǐng to long for to look forward to longing vision for the future

浸泡 jìnpào to steep to soak to immerse

彤彤 hóngtōngtōng bright red

shītōng self-taught to learn without a teacher (idiom)

muddled paste scorched

tǒng to stab to poke to prod to nudge to disclose

yáobǎi to strut swaggering

guóyàn state banquet

the wing of the nose ala nasi

zhūyóu lard

jiùxīng savior liberator emancipator knight in shining armor

谦恭 qiāngōng polite and modest

精光 jīngguāng nothing left (money, food etc) all finished bright and shiny radiant glorious

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Thanks for doing this, @StChris-- I hope to begin reading this book soon. It's one that a Chinese friend recommended to my many years ago. She checked a copy out of the library and just handed it to me. The language required was way to advanced for me at the time, but she praised the book so much that I've long wanted to give it another go. Your vocabulary list will help advance that plan. Appreciate your taking the trouble!

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Chapter 15


shù to erect (a tent etc) / to prick up (one's ears) / to raise (one's eyebrows) / to stick up (one's thumb) / to turn up (one's collar)/ (of a bird) to puff up (one's feathers)

bǎoshòu to endure / to suffer / to be subjected to

zhǒng swollen / bloated / edema / dropsy

qíng passion / fervor / enthusiasm / strong emotion

亢奋 kàngfèn excited / stimulated

dàotián paddy field / rice paddy

to commit adultery

忧心忡忡 yōuxīnchōngchōng deeply worried and sick at heart (idiom

治愈 zhìyù to cure

倒背如流 dàobèirúliú to know by heart (so well that you can recite it backwards)

yǐnyuē vague / faint / indistinct

非非 xiǎngfēifēi to indulge in fantasy (idiom); to let one's imagination run wild

jiā to intensify / to sharpen / to accelerate / to aggravate / to exacerbate / to embitter

bǎibǎishùn docile and obedient / all obedience

zhǎndīngjiétiě lit. to chop the nail and slice the iron (idiom) / fig. resolute and decisive / unhesitating / categorical

xiāochú to eliminate / to remove

yōu to worry / anxiety (about)

qiújìn to imprison / captivity

to gently caress and stroke / to pet / to fondle

bái marble white color of the dawn sky

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No problem abcdefg, I hope you find the lists useful.

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This will be my next Chinese language novel also, thanks to these lists. Cheers. 

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Chapter 16


迟疑 chíyí to hesitate

tóu dock / pier / wharf / CL: 個|个

心惊 dǎnzhànxīnjīng to tremble with fear (idiom) / scared witless

吊扇 diàoshàn a ceiling fan / a punka

xǐng to come to / to awaken / to regain consciousness

失声 shīshēng to lose one's voice / (to cry out) involuntarily

tóugàiliǎn lit. splitting the head and covering the face (idiom); fig. pelting (with rain etc) / showering down

tuǐ to break into a run

淋漓 xiānxuèlínlí to be drenched with blood / dripping blood

tǒng to stab / to poke / to prod / to nudge / to disclose

腹部 fùbù abdomen / belly / flank

jìngluán to jerk / to contort / spasm / convulsion

liāo to raise / to lift up (curtains, clothing etc)

hànshān vest / undershirt / shirt

to surrender / to yield

fēng sharp (e.g. knife blade) / incisive / to the point

qīnyǎn to see for oneself / to see with one's own eyes

奄奄一息 yǎnyǎnyīxī dying / at one's last gasp

bèi beaten / exhausted / tired

kǎixuán to return in triumph / to return victorious

qué lame

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Chapter 17


yuè happy / joyous

cāngying housefly / CL: 隻|只

嗡嗡 wēngwēngjiào hum / drone / buzz (of insects)

盘旋 pánxuán to spiral / to circle / to go around / to hover / to orbit

diǎn to stand on tiptoe / Taiwan pr. [dian4]

gǎn to drive out / to chase away

to look down / to stoop

bànshǎng half of the day / a long time / quite a while

喉咙 hóulóng throat / larynx

xiào to whistle / to scream / to whiz

滔滔 tāotāojué unceasing torrent (idiom) / talking non-stop / gabbling forty to the dozen

èn to press (with finger)

dàocǎo rice straw

bēizhuàng solemn and stirring / moving and tragic

勃然 bórán suddenly / abruptly / agitatedly / excitedly / vigorously

阎王 Yánwáng same as 閻羅王|阎罗王 / Yama, King of Hell / translation of Sanskrit: Yama Raja

xínghǎo to give to charity / philanthropic

shízhǐ forefinger / mouths to feed

踉跄 liàngqiàng to stagger / to stumble

měng stupid

累累 shānghénlěilěi bruised / riddled with scars

讨好 tǎohǎo to get the desired outcome / to win favor by fawning on sb / to curry favor with / a fruitful outcome to reward one's labor

shǒuhòu to wait for / to expect / to keep watch / to watch over / to nurse

肉绽 kāiròuzhàn flesh lacerated from corporal punishment (idiom)

huī twilight / afterglow

眺望 tiàowàng to survey the scene from an elevated position

dǎnqiè timid / cowardly

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Chapter 18


làngtāo ocean wave / billows

péngpài to surge

shēnyín to moan / to groan

列腺 qiánlièxiàn prostate

féi swelling (of internal organ) / hypertrophy

jié section / chunk / length

xiè to flow out swiftly / to flood / a torrent / diarrhea / laxative

jīnghún in a panicked state / frightened

nong to mutter / to mumble complaints / to grumble

zhēnchá to investigate a crime / to scout / to reconnoiter / reconnaissance / detection / a scout

撞见 zhuàngjiàn to meet by accident

故作 gùzuò to pretend / to feign

镇静 zhènjìng calm / cool

guāngmáng rays of light / brilliant rays / radiance

亢奋 kàngfèn excited / stimulated

汇入 huìrù to flow into / to converge (of river) / (computing) to import (data)

xiǎo brook / streamlet

mǎn filled with / preoccupied with

狐疑 húyí suspicious / in doubt

传达 chuándáshì reception office / janitor's office

无奇 wúqíyǒu nothing is too bizarre / full of extraordinary things

gānbiě dried out / wizened / shriveled

sāohuò loose woman / slut

热泪 rèlèiyíngkuàng eyes brimming with tears of excitement (idiom) / extremely moved

花一 tánhuāyīxiàn lit. the night blooming cactus shows once / flash in the pan (idiom) / short-lived

jiě to not understand / to be puzzled by / indissoluble

bèi beaten / exhausted / tired

zhèng stumped for words / to stare blankly

chágòu tea stain (on the inside of a tea pot, tea cup etc)

郑重 zhèngzhòngshì serious about the matter

gài beggar

'érshuì to sleep on the ground (idiom)

huǎng absent-minded / distracted / dazzled / vaguely / dimly

蓬头垢面 péngtóugòumiàn messy hair and dirty face / bad appearance

无其 ruòwúqíshì as if nothing had happened (idiom); calmly / nonchalantly

jīng'è to stun / to shock and amaze / stupefied / astonishment

hēng to groan / to snort / to hum / to croon / humph!

不见 shì'érbùjiàn to turn a blind eye to / to ignore

diān to shake / to jolt / to bump

qiān lead (chemistry)

噩耗 èhào news of sb's death / grievous news

línjìn close to / approaching

shuǐshēnhuǒ deep water and scorching fire / abyss of suffering (idiom)

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Chapter 19


wàng to become forgotten / to forget

灿烂 cànlàn to glitter / brilliant / splendid

chàndǒu to shudder / to shiver / to shake / to tremble

yáohuàng to shake

yūnxuàn to feel dizzy / dizziness

飘忽不定 piāohūbùdìng to drift without a resting place (idiom) / roving / errant / vagrant / erratic

pěng to cup the hands

to tie up / to bind

cǎnzhuàng miserable condition

zāidǎo to take a fall

piāo to float / to hover / to drift (also fig., to lead a wandering life) / to rove / showy / superficial

hūn to lose consciousness / to be in a coma / stupor / coma / stunned / disoriented

shēn to lean over / to bend over / to stoop / to bow

biǎndan carrying pole / shoulder pole / CL: 

shéng rope / CL: 

zhǎndīngjiétiě lit. to chop the nail and slice the iron (idiom) / fig. resolute and decisive / unhesitating / categorical

瑟瑟 sèsè trembling / rustling

yīnróng (sb's) appearance

生机勃勃 shēngjībóbó full of vitality

栩栩 xǔxǔshēng vivid and lifelike (idiom); true to life / realistic

黄泉 Huángquán the Yellow Springs / the underworld of Chinese mythology / the equivalent of Hades or Hell

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Chapter 20


长明 chángmíngdēng altar lamp burning day and night

阴间 yīnjiān the nether world / Hades

bàndǎo to trip / to stumble

无人 pángruòwúrén to act as though there were nobody else present / unselfconscious / fig. without regard for others

黑纱 hēishā black armband

从容不迫 cóngróngbùpò calm / unruffled

mournful (sound)

无援 wúyuán isolated and without help

tóngkǒng pupil (of eye)

破涕 pòtìwéixiào to turn tears into laughter (idiom); to turn grief into happiness

shī'ér to lose sth and then regain it (idiom)

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Chapter 21


ding patch (for mending clothes, tires etc) / (software) patch

zònghéng lit. warp and weft in weaving; vertically and horizontal / length and breadth / criss-crossed / able to move unhindered / abbr

classifier for fields / unit of area equal to one fifteenth of a hectare

其余 qíyú the rest / the others / remaining / remainder / apart from them

苍苍 báicāngcāng old and gray-haired

hóngniángzijūn Red Detachment of Women

议论纷纷 yìlùnfēnfēn to discuss spiritedly (idiom) / tongues are wagging

jīngchà to be surprised / to be amazed / to be stunned

下葬 xiàzàng to bury / to inter

嘎吱 gāzhī (onom.) creak / crunch

wàng as far as the eye can see (idiom)

strand / thread / detailed / in detail / classifier for wisps (of smoke, mist or vapor), strands, locks (of hair)

炊烟 chuīyān smoke from kitchen chimneys

gēng arable land / to plow land

tuōyǐng'érchū to reveal one's talent (idiom) / to rise above others / to distinguish oneself

chǔ sad / wretched / miserable

村庄 cūnzhuāng village / hamlet / CL: 

zhǔ to lean on / to prop on

tiěqiāo spade / shovel

máizàng to bury

shù elm

kēng hole / pit / tunnel / to defraud

tiánmǎn to cram

máo thatched cottage

池塘 chítáng pool / pond

yán eaves / roof (i.e. home)

悲戚 bēiqī mournful

巍巍 chànwēiwēi trembling / swaying / flickering / tottering / faltering

suo to feel about / to grope about / to fumble / to do things slowly

cándòu broad bean (Vicia faba) / fava bean

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Chapter 22


xiè bits / fragments / crumbs / filings / trifling / trivial / to condescend to

nǐngkāi to unscrew / to twist off (a lid) / to turn on (a faucet) / to switch on (by turning a knob) / to turn (a door handle) / to wrench apart

prostitute / hooker

零零 línglíng lone / isolated and without help / all alone / solitary

fēndàoyángbiāo lit. to take different roads and urge the horses on (idiom) / fig. to part ways

jiǎohuá crafty / cunning / sly

suǒ to lock up / to lock / lock / CL: 

gānzhe sugar cane / CL: 節|节

shòuchǒngruòjīng overwhelmed by favor from superior (humble expr.)

zhēzhù to cover (up) / to block / to obstruct / to shade

无其 ruòwúqíshì as if nothing had happened (idiom); calmly / nonchalantly

zhì to accomplish one's ambition / a dream come true / to enjoy success

窃窃 qièqiè to whisper

嚣张气焰 xiāozhāngqìyàn overweening attitude / threatening manner

泄气 xièqì to be discouraged

lànchōngshù lit. to play the yu  mouth organ to make up numbers (idiom); fig. to make up the numbers with inferior products / to masquerade as having an ability / token member of a group

còu to move close to

zhuōnòng to tease

帖帖 futiētiē submissive / docile / obedient

sàozhou broom

唯唯诺诺 wěiwěinuònuò to be a yes-man

哈腰 hāyāo to bend

chuài to kick

báichī to eat without paying / to eat for free

tuō mop

èn to press (with finger)

一拥 yīyōng'érshàng to swarm around / flocking (to see)

zi a saw / CL: 

jǐng neck

动脉 dòngmài artery

弹簧 tánhuáng spring

lúnfān in turn / one after another

jìngōng to attack / to assault / to go on the offensive / attack / assault / offense (sports)

匕首 bǐshǒu dagger

xiōngtáng chest

神情 shénqíng look / expression

光呆 guāngdāizhì to have a lifeless look in one's eyes (idiom)

tānruǎn limp / weak

chìshēn completely naked

灵魂 línghúnchūqiào out-of-body experience

yuèjīng menstruation / a woman's period

来潮 láicháo (of water) to rise / rising tide / (of women) to get one's period

淋漓 xiānxuèlínlí to be drenched with blood / dripping blood

捆绑 kǔnbǎng to bind

痛不欲 tòngbùyùshēng to be so in pain as to not want to live / to be so grieved as to wish one were dead

刑罚 xíngfá sentence / penalty / punishment

shuāzi brush / scrub / CL: 

qiányǎnghòu to sway to and fro / to rock back and forth

nóng pus

gāngmén anus

cǎnjiào to scream / blood-curdling screech / miserable shriek

受尽 shòujìn to suffer enough from / to suffer all kinds of / to have one's fill of

烧焦 shāojiāo to burn / to scorch / burned / burning / scorched / charred

'áo to endure (years of suffering)

xiàchuí to droop / to sag / to hang down / sagging / drooping / prolapse (medicine)

jiǎoròu meat grinder

nǎojiāng brains

diàn pad / cushion / mat / to pad out / to fill a gap / to pay for sb / to advance (money)

to meet death

nǎo skull / (fig.) brain (mental capacity)

恶棍 ègùn scoundrel / rogue / bully / villain

战战兢兢 zhànzhànjīngjīng trembling with fear / with fear and trepidation

fěisuǒ unimaginable / outrageous / freakish

置信 nánzhìxìn hard to believe / incredible

发虚 fāxū to feel weak / to be diffident

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Chapter 23


豺狼 cháilángbào jackals, wolves, tigers and panthers (idiom) / animals who are dangerous to man and cattle / fierce and cruel people

zi axe / hatchet

to splash / to spill / rough and coarse / brutish

缝隙 fèngxì small crack / chink

长途跋 chángtúbáshè long and difficult trek

chūbìn funeral / funeral procession

héngshù in disorder / at sixes and sevens (idiom)

zhuā'ěrnáosāi to tweak one's ears and scratch one's cheeks (as an expression of anxiety, delight, frustration etc) (idiom)

插秧 chāyāng transplant rice seedlings

dàozi rice (crop) / unhulled rice

chōu to sob spasmodically

qiūyǐn earthworm

dài impatient / eager to / anxious to

机关枪 jīguānqiāng machine gun

依依 yīyīshě reluctant to part (idiom); broken-hearted at having to leave

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Chapter 23...

As stated, will read this using this vocab when I have time but given it is 余华 I had guessed it would be similar to the ten chapters for 活着. Sounds long but that's a good challenge. 

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Chapter 24


huǎng (of passing time) in an instant / (of a sight) in a flash

以此 yǐcǐwéi to regard as / to treat as

bǎoshòu to endure / to suffer / to be subjected to

biǎo form

nong to mutter / to mumble complaints / to grumble

chòumíngzhāozhù notorious / infamous / egregious (bandits)

pàitóu manner / style / panache

chīxiào to sneer at

inside information / the ins and outs of the matter / how things stand / what's up

shíshìqiúshì to seek truth from facts (idiom) / to be practical and realistic

莫逆之交 mònìzhījiāo intimate friendship / bosom buddies

shūqíng to express emotion / lyric

tiēqiè close-fitting / closest (translation)

传神 chuánshén vivid / lifelike

sōuluó to gather / to collect / to bring together

liánjià cheaply-priced / low-cost

偷鸡成蚀把米 tōujīchéngshíbǎmǐ lit. to try to steal a chicken only to end up losing the rice used to lure it (idiom) / fig. to try to gain an advantage only to end up worse off/ to go for wool and come back shorn

货色 huòsè goods / (derog.) stuff / trash