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Understanding the children's book "Wolf and the Lamb"


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I just started learning Chinese about two months ago and began reading this Chinese children book. I came across a sentence that didn't make much sense. 


但狼为了堂而皇之, 先把小羊痛骂一顿

The definition for 为了 is in order to / for the purpose of / so as to

The definition for 堂而皇之 is overt/to make no secret (of one's presence)/grandiose/with great scope


I get different translations that don't seem to connect with the story. The food starts with a hungry wolf looking for food and finds a lamb by the river.

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From the bit of context you give it could be along the lines of "so it didn't look like he was being sneaky/doing something underhand" - makes a big show of cursing out the lamb as if the lamb is at fault for something and hence deserves whatever's coming, to conceal the wolf's actual motive of simply eating it because he's hungry. Would that fit?

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I don't want to discourage you, and I think everyone goes through a phase of trying out childrens books early on in their Chinese studies, but I think it's worth mentioning that you probably stand to learn a lot more from working through graded readers or textbooks (probably both).


Not sure about other languages but children's books in Chinese can be surprisingly difficult, I guess even a five year old has had quite a lot of exposure to the language, and has a really solid grasp of grammar. Not to mention that a lot of the vocabulary in those books will (arguably) be kind of useless to you as an adult in the early stages of learning. 

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