Chinese Proverbs

A great fortune depends on luck, a small one on diligence.

In a broken nest there are few whole eggs.

The palest ink lasts longer than the most retentive memory.

Hatred corrodes the vessel in which it is stored.

Even a hare will bite when it is cornered.

The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Everyone pushes a falling fence.

Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.

When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy.

Your friend has a friend; don’t tell him.

Riches: A dream in the night. Fame: A gull floating on water.

The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness.

Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.

Pray to God, but keep rowing toward(s) the shore.

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.

To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend, and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.

The tongue can paint what the eye can’t see.

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding.

Be not disturbed at being misunderstood; be disturbed rather at not being understanding.

The fire you kindle for your enemy often burns yourself more than him.

A wise man knows everything. A shrewd one, everybody.

Paper can’t wrap up a fire.

To believe in one’s dreams is to spend all of one’s life asleep.

Once a word leaves your mouth, you cannot chase it back even with the swiftest horse.

Of all the strategems, to know when to quit is the best.

There are two perfectly good men, one dead, and the other unborn.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.

An inch of time cannot be bought with an inch of gold.

Donkey’s lips do not fit onto a horse’s mouth.

He who is not satisfield with himself will not grow.

All people are your relatives, therefore expect only trouble from them.

There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother has it.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.

To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art.

Not wine…men intoxicate themselves; Not vice…men entice themselves.

Age and time do not wait for people.

Think of your own faults the first part of the night when you are awake, and of the faults of others the latter part of the night when you are asleep.

Respect for ones parents is the highest duty of civil life.

To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish.

Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome.

If you do not study hard when young you’ll end up bewailing your failures as you grow up.

Once you pour the water out of the bucket it’s hard to get it back in it.

When we have nothing to worry about we are not doing much, and not doing much may supply us with plenty of future worries.

To understand your parents’ love bear your own children.

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.

The woman who tells her age is either too young to have anything to lose or too old to have anything to gain.

There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.

When you are poor, neighbors close by will not come; once you become rich, you’ll be surprised by visits from (alleged) relatives afar.

Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.

We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt.

Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

I dreamed a thousand new paths. I woke and walked my old one.

It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.

Great doubts deep wisdom. Small doubts little wisdom.

Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases.

In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone’s letter.

If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher.

The death of the heart is the saddest thing that can happen to you.

A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home.

A book holds a house of gold.

Do not anxiously hope for that which is not yet come; do not vainly regret what is already past.

The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.

He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes.

If you are poor, though you dwell in the busy marketplace, no one will inquire about you; if you are rich, though you dwell in the heart of the mountains, you will have distant relatives.

With true friends… even water drunk together is sweet enough.

Do not mix de galloping of your horse, my knight, with the beating of your heart.

Govern a family as you would cook a small fish — very gently.

Man is the head of the family, woman the neck that turns the head.

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a month — get married. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.

A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books.

Teachers open the door but you must walk through it yourself.

The greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow.

If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.

A bird in your hand is worth more than 100 in the forest.