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Chinese Idiom: 少见多怪 to describe someone who is very naive

Oct. 13, 2011

"少见多怪 (shǎojiànduōguài) is an everyday Chinese expression used to describe someone who is very naive. Besides this, the phrase is sometimes used to poke fun at those who announce a very common fact as a piece of amazing news. In English, people sometimes joke around by sarcastically saying "Way to go Captain Obvious." to mean "少见多怪 (shǎojiànduōguài)."

Listen to the whole story

 

Key Learning Point (Preview):

少见多怪 (shǎojiànduōguài): to describe someone who is very naive

 

Cóngqián yǒuge rén cónglái méiyǒu jiànguò luòtuo, yě gēnběn bù zhīdào yǒu luòtuo zhè
从前          有个     人   从来     没有     见过      骆驼,也 根本      不 知道     有   骆驼     这  
zhǒng dòngwù.
 种       动物。

 

Once upon a time, there was a man who had never seen or heard of a camel.  

Yǒu yì tiān, tā zài chéngbiān jiàndào yìzhī shēngkǒu, bèi shàng zhǎngle hǎo dà de liǎngge
有   一 天,他在 城边            见到      一只   牲口,      背    上       长了     好  大 的 两个  
gēda.
疙瘩。

 

One day, he saw a creature with two lumps on its back just outside of town.

Tā juéde hěn jīngqí , dàhū xiǎojiào dào: "āiya , kuài lái ya, kuài lái kàn ya!"
他 觉得 很   惊奇,  大呼 小叫      道:“ 哎呀,快 来 呀,快 来 看 呀!”

 

In sudden disbelief he shouted: "My God, everyone comes quick! Look at this thing!"

Rénmen fàngxià gōngzuò dōu pǎole guòlái, dàn què bìng méiyǒu jiàndào shénme qíguài de
人们         放下       工作      都   跑了    过来,但    却    并     没有     见到     什么     奇怪   的
shìqing.
事情.

 

The people put down their work and rushed over only to find that nothing was out of the ordinary.

Yúshì yǒu rén wèn:"nǐ zài hǎn shénme a?"
于是   有   人    问:“你 在 喊    什么    啊?”

 

One of them asked, " Hey you! What’s all this ruckus about?"

Tā shuō: "nǐ qiáo zhè pǐ mǎ de bèi shang zhǒngle liǎng ge dà bāo."
他 说:“ 你瞧   这   匹 马 的 背   上        肿了       两    个 大 包。”

 

"Look at this horse," said the traveling man, "The poor thing, it’s grown these two horrible tumors."

Rénmen zhè cái huǎngrándàwù, yuánlái tā shì zài shuō nà pǐ luòtuo. Dàjiā dōu bùjīn dàxiào
人们        这   才     恍然大悟,        原来   他 是 在 说    那 匹 骆驼。大家   都   不禁 大笑  
qǐlái.
起来。

 

The townsfolk all at once saw the man had meant the camel and couldn’t help but laugh.

Sure, camels aren’t unusual in many parts of the world, but for the person who has never seen one it can be quite the startling experience. 少见多怪 (shǎojiànduōguài) is used to describe this sort of situation, or kind of person.

Key Learning Point:

少见多怪 (shǎojiànduōguài): to describe someone who is very naive

 

"少 (shǎo)" means few, little, or seldom; "见 (jiàn)" means to see/meet; "多 (duō)" means many and is the antonym of "少 (shǎo);" "怪 (guài)" means strange/queer.

Example:

           Anne, nǐ zěnme chuān chéng zhèyàng a.
Jenny: Anne,你怎么   穿        成        这样    啊。

 

           Anna! What in the world are you wearing!?

           Nǐ kě zhēn shì shǎojiànduōguài, wǒ zhè jiào gēnsuí cháoliú.
 Anna: 你可 真   是    少见多怪,            我   这  叫    跟随      潮流。

 

           What you’ve never seen will, at first, appear strange.  I’m just wearing what’s in style!
 

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