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Pegasus

患難才能見真情

6 posts in this topic

Dear Chinese-Forums friends,

 

How would you explain this sentence or expression?

「患難才能見真情。」

Huànnàn cáinéng jiàn zhēnqíng.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Sincerely,

Pegasus

 

P.S. -- I did some searching on Google. I didn't find the exact sentence, but I did find 「患難見真情。」. One webpage said that it meant "A friend in need is a friend indeed." But, strangely, that webpage also said it meant "Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends." Another webpage has this explanation: "“患难见真情” means that only through facing common troubles we can see who is a true friend. It implies that precious feelings appear only through tribulations." Is this correct? Plus, the sentence I was looking at includes a 才能 in the middle of it. Does that change or affect the meaning?  Again, thank you to everyone for your help. 

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 才能 literally means "only can". The full thing runs "only adversity can see the truth". "A friend in need is a friend indeed" is a near equivalent English expression, which is presumably the main reason your source (as well as many others) gives it as the translation. There is no mention of "friend" in the Chinese; the alternative translation "precious feelings appear only through tribulations" reflects this.

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27 minutes ago, Zbigniew said:

There is no mention of "friend" in the Chinese; the alternative translation "precious feelings appear only through tribulations" reflects this.

 

Thank you, Zbigniew, for your explanation. 

 

Does this expression mean that the "precious feelings" of other people appear when you are going through "tribulations" yourself? Or could the feelings be from other sources than just other people? (for example: feelings within yourself)

 

 

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Bridge over troubled water.

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19 minutes ago, Pegasus said:

Does this expression mean that the "precious feelings" of other people appear when you are going through "tribulations" yourself? Or could the feelings be from other sources than just other people? (for example: feelings within yourself)

 

I'm not a native speaker, so I can't give you a definitive answer to that, I'm afraid. The meaning depends a great deal on how the majority of speakers understand the expression.

One equivalent expression (which does seem to cover both the perspectives you mention) given on the lz13.cn site is  患难识人,泥泞识马。 I rather like that.

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The 真情 here to me refers to a "true friend". Adversity shows you who your true friends are.

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