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Chinese-English idioms dictionary

A bilingual Chinese-English idioms dictionary is important for those who want to converse like a native-speaker. Some online idiom dictionaries – such as the one provided for free by Purple Panda

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Mandarin flashcards online

Historically, flash cards have been used in every-day situations to memorize certain things of importance. The Purple Panda applications take this idea much further.

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No Three Hundred Taels of Silver Buried Here

The Chinese idiom 此地无银三百两(cǐ dì wú yín sān bǎi liǎng,ci3 di4 wu2 yin2 san1 bai3 liang3)literally means there is nothing of value buried here. The idiom comes from an old and funny Chinese folk tale.

No Three Hundred Taels of Silver Buried HereOnce upon a time, there was a man named 张三 (zhang1 san1). After many years of working his fingers to the bone, he accumulated about three hundred taels of silver. He became very concerned about how to protect his hard-earned wealth. He felt there was no safe place to store such a valuable treasure. It was not suitable to hide it in the cupboards, drawers or crockery and, in those days, there were no banks. Similarly, it would not be practical for him to carry the silver with him all day. After racking his brains about this difficult issue, he at last came up with a solution—he decided to bury his treasure in his backyard.

But, he could not stop worrying – no matter how hard he tried he could not put his mind at ease. Unwisely, he went back to his shabby house and decided to create a sign to deter potential thieves. On a large piece of paper he wrote the following seven huge Chinese characters on it, “此地无银三百两” (“there is not 300 taels here”). Of course, his sign had the opposite effect to the one intended – rather than covering up his wealth, he unwittingly exposed himself. That night, his neighbor and slipped into the yard and stole his treasure.

Today Chinese speakers use the idiom 此地无银三百两 (cǐ dì wú yín sān bǎi liǎng,ci3 di4 wu2 yin2 san1 bai3 liang3) to describe: 1) a guilty person who exposes their fraud by conspicuously protesting their innocence; or 2) someone who fabricates a story without carefully considering the consequences. We have been unable to think of an equivalent English idiom.

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