Sunday, January 17, 2016

《王的盛宴》(The Last Supper)

Viewing movies with Chinese subtitle is one of the best way to learn Chinese.

Here is《王的盛宴》(The Last Supper)是一部陆川执导的中国历史剧情片,取材于历史事件鸿宴

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


For foreigners, learning to speak Chinese is a hard task. But learning to read the beautiful, often complex characters of the Chinese written language may be less difficult. ShaoLan walks through a simple lesson in recognizing the ideas behind the characters and their meaning -- building from a few simple forms to more complex concepts. Call it Chineasy.

Source of information:

Source of information:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Witty interpretation of zodiac Signs


Zhou En-lai witty interpretation of zodiac Signs amazed  an audience of foreigners

(text in Chinese)

Notes: The following translation was received via email forward by a friend.  Original translation source unknown at this moment of posting.


It was said that Mr Zhou En-lai was once having a meal with his European friends.

A person by the name of Klaus passed an impolite comment when he was drunk.

“You Chinese carry the signs of pigs, dogs, and mouse at birth. “I can’t understand what’s going on in the mind of your ancestors?”
At that point, the distinguished group of friends started to laugh. They started to toast each other rowdily.

The cultured and serene atmosphere was broken.

Some people believe that when someone insults your ancestors, even if you don’t have a response to it, the least you could do is to overturn the table against him.

Fortunately, nobody acted rashly or in violence.
For a while, not a single word was uttered. It was probably because they have not come across this situation before.

Then, Mr Zhou En-lai stood up and spoke to everybody in a calm and peaceful way.


“The Chinese ancestors were very wise. They arranged the twelve zodiac signs in pairs. Six pairs in a cycle.

In this way, they expressed their hopes and wishes for the generation that came after them.”

By then, the room was in complete silence. There were some skeptical looks among the audience.

Mr Zhou En-lai continued, ” The first pair of animals is the rat and cow.


“The rat represents wisdom and the cow represents diligence. Wisdom and diligence must operate in harmony.

“If there is wisdom but no diligence in applying it, it’s foolishness.

“On the other hand, if there is diligence but no wisdom, it’s an act of folly.
“That’s why wisdom and diligence must go hand in hand. 

This is our ancestor’s first wish for us. The first pair of animal also represents the most important hope.

“The second pair is the tiger and rabbit.

“The tiger represents courage and the rabbit represents carefulness. These two qualities must work closely together.
“In that way, it can have a better chance to achieve success.
“Without carefulness, courage becomes recklessness. Similarly, without courage, carefulness becomes cowardice.
“This pair of qualities is very important. That’s why it is the second pair.”
Mr Zhou En-lai looked at the audience and then he added, “Therefore, when we demonstrate our carefulness, please do not think that we do not have the courage to fight for social justice.
“In truth, what our ancestor is pursuing is wisdom through integrity, harmony and balance. It’s never about a single hope or task.

When he saw that the audience was deep in thought, Mr Zhou En-lai continued, “The third pair is the dragon and snake.


“They represent strength and flexibility.
“Strength without flexibility becomes brittle. Without strength, flexibility becomes meaningless.
“That’s why strength with flexibility is an important lesson from our ancestor that has lasted through time.

“The next pair is the horse and goat.
“The horse represents the ability to gallop to success. The goat represents the ability to be considerate and have compassion.
“If a person only looks after himself as he pursues his goal and with no consideration for others, he will face obstacles from the people around him.
“Finally, he may not even be successful.
“However, if a person only looks after others and seek only to be amiable, he will not have a sense of direction. His goal will eventually be lost.
“That’s why the spirit of the horse and virtues of the goat must be applied in harmony with each other. 

This is our ancestor’s fourth wish for us.

“The next pair is the monkey and the chicken.

“The monkey represents agility.
“As for chicken, as there were no clocks in the days of old, it is needed to wake humans to start a new day.
“The chicken represents stability.
“The qualities of agility and stability must be tightly coupled together.
“If you have agility but no stability, your best plan will not come to pass. 

However, if you focused on having stability and refuse to change, you will not have a better future.
“When the two qualities are in harmony, on one side, there will be stability in terms of having, for example, effective system and collaboration.
“On the other side, there will be a release of unrelenting creativity and innovation to achieve progress.
“When these two qualities operate in synergy, it is one of the basic imperatives to achieve success.

“Lastly, we have the dog and pig.

“The dog represents loyalty while the pig represents good nature.
“If a person is loyal but does not have a good nature, he will be blindly following others.
“On the other hand, if he has a good nature but does not have loyalty, he will have no people and principles to guide him.
“That’s why whether its loyalty to a country, loyalty to a team, or loyalty to an ideal, you need to ensure that good nature is tightly coupled with and working alongside with it.
“In that way, you can have a deep-seated sense of loyalty that comes from the heart.
“This is why the Chinese believes that the outer core must be in alignment with the inner core (外圆内方,君子和而不同).
“At the inner core, we must have a pure heart that subscribes to high moral values. We must seek to live with ethos and positive principles.
“We must live up to our words and not do anything that will harm others."
“At the external core, we must be knowledgeable about the ways of the world. We must be wise in managing affairs around us."
“We need to focus on what matters in life and not be influenced by evil."
“We need to live with integrity and in harmony with others and the environment. We must not have any form of prejudice or seek to discriminate against anyone.”
At the end of his speech, there was complete silence. They say that you can even hear a pin dropped.



可能酒喝多了,一位德国同学站了起来, 讽刺说:' 你们中国人都是属什么猪啊!狗啊!老鼠啊! 不像我们,都是金牛座、狮子座、仙女座……-



"中国人的祖先是很实在的,我们十二生肖 两两 相对,六道轮回,体现了我们祖先对中国人全部的期望跟要求。"

这时 ,现场气氛虽然从嬉闹转为安静,但是他们脸上还是一副不屑的样子。

周恩来说 :


老鼠代表智慧,牛代表勤奋。 智慧和勤奋一定要紧紧结合在一起。





老虎代表勇猛,兔子代表谨慎。 勇猛和谨慎一定要紧紧结合在一起,才能做到所谓的胆大心细。 





"实际上,我们祖先追求的是一种和谐的智慧和圆融, 从来不会单独给一个要求和任务。"-



所谓刚者易折,太刚了容易折断,但是如果只有柔的一面,就易失去主见, 所以刚柔并济是我们历代的祖训。



马代表勇往直前,直奔目标 ,羊代表和顺 。











一个人如果太忠诚,不懂得随和,就会排斥他人。 而反过来 ,一个人太随和,没有忠诚,这个人就失去原则。


这就是我们 中国 人一直坚持的外圆内方,君子和而不同。


实际上,我们的祖先期望我们要圆融,不能偏颇,要求我们懂得到对应面切入。 比如属猪的人能够在他的随和本性中,也去追求忠诚; 而属狗的人则在忠诚的本性中,去做到随和。

解释完十二生肖,周恩来说:' 不知道你们那些宝瓶座啊、射手座啊、公羊座啊, 体现了你们祖先哪些期望和要求?也希望不吝赐教。结果呢,席间都没说话,全场鸦雀无声,一根针掉在地上都能听见。






Sunday, September 8, 2013