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36 Ancient Chinese Quotes

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Ancient Chinese Temple

Ancient Chinese Temple

Ancient Chinese Quotes

The Chinese Culture is one of the oldest and most complex in the world. Record keeping of the Chinese Culture began during the Zhou Dynasty which dated back more than 3,000 years ago. Due to the complexity of the ancient Chinese Culture, it takes much time to understand it. We can acquire much wisdom from the ancient Chinese Quotes and Culture and apply them to modern day. Here are some of the ancient Chinese Quotes which have been simplified for easy understanding.

Ancient Chinese Quotes That I Can Comprehend

  1. If you are planning for one year, grow rice. If you are planning for 20 years grow trees. If you are planning for centuries, grow men.
  2. Pleasure for one hour a bottle of wine. Pleasure for one year a marriage. Pleasure for a lifetime a garden.
  3. Fight poison with poison.
  4. Tiger father begets tiger son.
  5. The crafty rabbit has three different entrances to its lair.
  6. You cannot push/force a cow's head down unless it is drinking water by its own will.
  7. Men should worry about fame just as pigs about being fat.
  8. If you have money you can make the ghosts and devils turn your grind stone.
  9. There is no wave without wind.
  10. Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.
  11. A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home.
  12. Beauty is the wisdom of women. Wisdom is the beauty of men.
  13. If you are in a hurry you will never get there.
  14. Patience is power, with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.
  15. Maintain an army for 1000 days, use it for an hour.
  16. Use attack as the tactic of defense.
  17. The greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow.
  18. Paper cannot wrap up a fire.
  19. Drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it.
  20. Failure is the Mother of Success.
  21. Going beyond is as bad as falling short.
  22. The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.
  23. The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. This is my personal favourite among the list of ancient Chinese Quotes.
  24. If you don't want anyone to know it, don't do it.
  25. Quarreling is like cutting water with a sword.
  26. If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.
  27. Forethought is easy, repentance hard.
  28. Respect for ones parents is the highest duty of civil life.
  29. Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome.
  30. He who is not satisfied with himself will grow; he who is not sure of his own correctness will learn many things.
  31. If a man fools me once, shame on him. If he fools me twice, shame on me.
  32. A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child.
  33. Small ills are the fountains of most of our groans. Men trip not on mountains, they stumble on stones.
  34. A clever person turns great troubles into little ones and little ones into none at all.
  35. He who could foresee affairs three days in advance would be rich for thousands of years.
  36. Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger - The meaning is that both the tiger and dragon have amazing talents, but if they are out of view, you may have not discovered them. It can be said of someone with amazing ability that keeps that ability hidden.


Explanation required?

Listed above are ancient Chinese Quotes that I have understood. There are many many more that I am still trying to. If you need an explanation on the quotes above, please leave a note at the comment section. I would be more than happy to reply.

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Comments

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on June 20, 2013:

Audrey, thanks for sharing another useful ancient Chinese quote with my readers. There is always lesson to learn in life. Cheers.

Audrey on June 19, 2013:

If you don't want anyone to know it, don't do it. I like this quote - simple common sense but sometimes, an advice that is hard to follow.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on January 06, 2012:

Yeah I agree with you, jhosler2. We can acquire much wisdom from the Chinese Culture and apply to modern day. Appreciate your comment. Cheers.

jhosler on October 23, 2011:

Great collection of great quotes. They define the value of life.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on June 12, 2011:

Wise words, wizetech.

It's my pleasure char4u. Thanks for reading.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on June 12, 2011:

cathby, i agree with you. Sometimes it takes 10 failures to make one success. Thomas Edison failed a few thousand times before he invented the practical electric light bulb.

Sembj on April 18, 2011:

Thank you for the quotes to meditate upon. One of two reminded of Zen Buddhism, "If you are in a hurry you will never get there," for example, sounds very much like a Zen riddle. I suppose it's not surprising that wisdom is often couched in the form of riddles since it does push the listener to think more than usual.

Again, thank you for opening a door to so much wisdom!

char4u.com on March 24, 2011:

Thank you for listing the quotes. It's just amazing how well they are translated into English.

wizetech from Indonesia on February 28, 2011:

"If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time."

For those who are involved in online trading, take these words seriously and apply them :)

cathby from Canada on February 24, 2011:

how true this quote is: Failure is the Mother of Success.

I would add that as long as we learn from failure than we are closer to success.

Thanks for sharing this great collection.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on December 09, 2010:

cookibuq, TVB dramas use many Chinese quotes especially those set in ancient era with the Chinese Emperors ruling their kingdom. I enjoy watching them too.

Thanks for your comment.

cookibuq from Ireland / Hong Kong on November 29, 2010:

There's so much wisdom in these quotes -I love them all. am only familiar with the ones I come across on tvb or other Chinese channels lol shame on my lack of knowledge in my own mother tongue ! This was very inspirational... thank you for posting

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on November 24, 2010:

Elaine, it's my pleasure sharing these Chinese quotes. Many generations of wisdom all put into quotes and they are easy to understand. I love them too.

quuenieproac from Malaysia on November 23, 2010:

Love all the quotes. There are great lessons in the words. Thanks for sharing!

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on November 19, 2010:

Abby, I am glad you like these Chinese quotes. PEACE to you.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on November 19, 2010:

tshigg, you are welcome. Check out this site for both versions - Simplified & Traditional Chinese.

http://www.chilture.com/crouching-tiger-hidden-dra...

Abby2034 from New York, New York on November 18, 2010:

Very nice.25 is my favorite.

tshigg from California on November 18, 2010:

36.Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger

This is my favorite. It definitely resonates with me. Thanks for the quotes. I would love to read or better yet print this one in it's original language. Any suggestions where I could find it.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on October 29, 2010:

Thank you for your comment, Claudin. These ancient Chinese quotes can teach us a lesson or two. I love them too!

Claudin_Dayo from Southeast Asia on October 21, 2010:

I love it ! :))

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on October 15, 2010:

This Chinese quote is from Lao Tze. It means: The most difficult of problems should be resolved starting from its most simplistic form and take it step by step.

robbi on October 15, 2010:

please explain...: A truly great man never puts down the somplicity of a child.

Thanks

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on October 12, 2010:

Mr.Tai, these Chinese quotes are compiled from various dialects. The Chinese Culture is rich and complex.

For instance, quote no.3 is used in the Cantonese community and can be frequently heard in Cantonese movies and dramas.

Also to note, earlier I tried to answer you in Chinese characters and my reply turn to ?????. Thus, I understand why your comment has so many ???. Need to check with HubPages on the usage of Chinese characters here.

Thanks for taking the time to read these quotes.

态万方 on October 11, 2010:

1. ??????????why 20 years?

2. which one is this?

3. ?????

???

??????????

God, who's done the translation.

I guess it's my shame that as a native speaker I dont know the source of many of them.

Thank u for posting them. they are ?????

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on September 12, 2010:

Yeah, Chinese people still use these sayings in their daily lives. This is really wonderful as it has been passed down from generation to generation over a thousand years.

Udreamybridal on September 09, 2010:

Interesting post. These says are really great in China, still used everyday.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on September 03, 2010:

Rapideo, Thanks for visiting and reading the Chinese quotes.

Rapideo on August 22, 2010:

Kepp Posting, Thumbs Up

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on August 18, 2010:

Nihao! Yes observation of life and real life experience is the best teacher. And amazingly after generations and generations... they are still applicable to modern day life.

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 18, 2010:

Nihao! I believe that there is much wisdom in Chinese proverbs. Not solely because they are Chinese, but because they are based on observations of life. They are teachers that give good advice.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on August 17, 2010:

Appreciate your vote, Ingenira. To be able to read Chinese is a useful skill. There are so many ancient quotes in Chinese. And many of the quotes above are used in Chinese/Cantonese drama series. Thanks for reading.

Ingenira on August 17, 2010:

Good efforts. Since I read Chinese, I was thinking, it'd be so nice if I can read those above in Chinese. :) Voted up !

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on August 16, 2010:

samuel, appreciate the addition. This quote is easy enough to understand. We should always remember those who have helped or given us favour before. Now I have 38 Ancient Chinese Quotes in this hub. Thank you.

samuel akowuah on August 14, 2010:

Drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on August 03, 2010:

hoang, my pleasure and glad that you stopped by. Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.

hoangkimvietnam from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam on July 31, 2010:

Thanks for sharing!

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on July 30, 2010:

Koffee, though this quote is so ancient yet it is more applicable today than ever. Students are very much spoon fed nowadays.

vlind, my pleasure and glad that you stopped by.

vlind on July 29, 2010:

Very nice! Thanks for sharing! :)

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on July 28, 2010:

Teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself, is my favorite. Love your quotes. Thank you.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on July 23, 2010:

drjb, I really appreciate your addition of Chinese quote above especially this one is from Confucius (the Great Sage). Now I have 37 Ancient Chinese Quotes in this hub. Yay.. cheers!

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on July 23, 2010:

Thanks nothingprofound. I love your website too. Those quotes are so applicable to life. And to understand some of them is like giving my brain a fitness workout.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on July 18, 2010:

SilentReed, it's amazing that some of these Chinese quotes date back a thousand years and yet we can still apply them to our daily lives today.

At times it may be a form of subtle politeness, nevertheless it is very effective to use quotes to make a point. Think of it as if you have a thousand years of wisdom to support your point. ;)

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on July 17, 2010:

Me too, Petra. I didn't realise some of them were Chinese quotes until I wrote this hub. Check out more Chinese wisdom quotes below.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on July 17, 2010:

suny, glad that you like them. Actually there are many more quotes from the Chinese that I have yet to understand. These 36 quotes will suffice for now.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 10, 2010:

My favorite Chinese quote is this one by Confucius: "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." An excellent adage for anyone who tries to teach or train another person.

nothingprofound on July 10, 2010:

As I'm sure you know,I'm a sucker for quotes, so I loved these. My two favorites:

"There is no wave without wind."

"Paper cannot wrap up a fire."

Great stuff!

SilentReed from Philippines on July 10, 2010:

Chinese are very fond of quoting a verse to make a point. A form of subtle politeness of giving face unlike most westerners who tend to be blunt and direct.

Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on July 06, 2010:

The one I liked best is "paper can't wrap up a fire"

I knew some of those great sayings, but never realized they were Chinese. Thank you for posting

suny51 on July 05, 2010:

I like almost all the sayings you have selected for this article and the sayings about trees and gardens are my favorite ones.Like them.Thanks for sharing.

jasonycc (author) from South East Asia on July 05, 2010:

Appreciate your time here, twhite. Indeed we can learn from the wisdom of these quotes. And you got the "cutting water" quote absolutely right.

I personally feel that if I read these quotes at different times, I will learn different things.

twhite94 on July 05, 2010:

I really liked this because I love quotes. This had to be one of my favorites:

Quarreling is like cutting water with a sword.

I agree that arguing can be a complete waste of time. Proverbs in the Holy Bible has many amazing quotes and life lessons. Great hub.