Toll Free - U.S.& Canada:  1-800-791-9386   Hong Kong:  800-930-623   Australia:  1-800-779-835
Free online Chinese learning support
  • Follow us on Facebook!
  • Watch Our YouTube Videos!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on WeChat!
    Follow Us in WeChat by Scanning!
    Follow Us in "WeChat"
    by Scanning
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Follow us on Google+!
  • Explore Our Instagram Videos & Photos!
United Kingdom:  0-800-086-8969   Germany:  0-800-180-0341   Singapore:  800-130-1652
France:  0-805-080-689   Spain:  900-838-906    

Chinese Idiom: 卧冰求鲤 To Lie on the Ice to Look for Carp (Advanced)

May. 6, 2011

As Mother's Day is coming, we prepared a Mandarin Chinese story for this special day. It is a story about filial piety. In traditional Chinese culture, filial piety is the most important of all the virtues to Chinese people. Although society has changed a lot recently, filial piety is still an important part of Chinese culture.

"卧 ()" means to lie; "冰 (bīng)" means ice; "求 (qiú)" is to seek or to look for; "鲤()" refers to a kind of fish, the carp. The idiom "卧冰求鲤 (wò bīng qiú lǐ)" means to lie on the ice to look for carp.

Key Learning Points (Preview):

卧 (): v. to lie

 

求 (qiú): v. to seek

 

Learn the Mandarin Chinese Idiom Story for Mother's Day: 卧冰求鲤 (wò bīng qiú lǐ)

 

Jìncháo yǒu yí gè jiào Wáng Xiáng de niánqīng rén, zǎo nián sàng mǔ.
晋朝       有  一 个 叫    王      祥      的    年轻    人, 早   年    丧    母。

 

In the Jin dynasty, there was a young man named Wang Xiang whose mother had passed away when he was very young.

Jì mǔ bìng bù cí'ài.
继 母 并   不 慈爱。

 

His step-mother was not kind to him.

Yì nián dōngtiān, Wáng Xiáng de jì mǔ shēngbìng xiǎng chī lǐyú.
一 年    冬天,     王        祥    的  继 母      生病      想   吃 鲤鱼。

 

One winter's day, Wang Xiang's step-mother became ill and wanted to eat carp.

Dàn yīn tiān hán héshuǐ bīngdòng, wúfǎ bǔzhuō.
但    因 天    寒     河水   冰冻,       无法   捕捉。

 

However, it was impossible to catch fish because the river was frozen.

Yúshì, Wáng Xiáng biàn wò yú bīng shàng dǎogào.
于是, 王      祥    便     卧   于    冰    上      祷告。

 

So Wang Xiang lied on the surface of ice in the river to pray to god to send him carp.

Hūránjiān, bīng liè kāi le, cóng lièfèng chù yuè chū liǎng tiáo lǐyú.
忽然间,  冰    裂 开 了, 从    裂缝    处   跃   出    两   条  鲤鱼。

 

Suddenly, the ice cracked and two carps jumped out of the water.

Tā gāoxìng de pěng zhe lǐyú huí qù zuò tāng gěi jì mǔ hē.
他   高兴      地 捧    着 鲤鱼  回 去   做   汤   给 继 母 喝。

 

He went home happily with the two carps and made soup for his step mother.

Hòulái, Wáng Xiáng xiàojìng mǔqīn de jǔdòng, zài fùjìn de cūnzhōng chuánwéi jiāhuà.
后来,   王       祥       孝敬    母亲   的   举动,在 附近 的     村中        传为      佳话。

 

From that day, the filial deeds of Wang Xiang became the talk of the nearby villages.

Key Learning Points:

(): v. to lie

 

It has the same meaning as "躺 (tǎng)" in Mandarin Chinese. However, "躺" is more frequently used than "卧" in modern Mandarin Chinese to indicate sb. lies on sth..

Example:

Qǐng tǎng zài chuáng shàng.
请     躺    在      床       上。

 

Please lie down on the bed.

(qiú): v. to seek

 

In modern Mandarin Chinese, 求 (qiú) is often used with other characters. So nowadays, we often say "追求 (zhuīqiú)/寻求 (xúnqiú)" to express this meaning.

Example:

Xúnqiú hépíng shì wǒmen de mùbiāo.
寻求     和平     是    我们   的   目标。

 

Seeking peace is our aim.

Take a Free 1-on-1 live online Chinese lesson with our professional teachers from China.

Got questions? Take a free 1-to-1 lesson with one of our professional teachers by signing up below:
Name:  E-mail: 
Country:  Tel: 
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Submit

Comments

Can you tell me the differences between the Mandarin Chinese phrases “因and 因此?”

Can you give a lesson about measure words in Mandarin Chinese? Thanks.

The Mandarin Chinese character “因(yīn),” as a conjunction, is short for “因此(yīncǐ).” But as a noun, it is short for the Mandarin Chinese phrase “原因(yuányīn).”

Write a comment

Your Name: 
Your Email:  Your email address will not be published.
Comments: 
Verification Code:  Verification Code Unclear? Try another one
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Email This Article
Recipients' email addresses:
(separate recipients with comma)
Your name:
Your e-mail address (optional):
Your message (optional):
Verification Code:
By clicking Send, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Sign up for a free trial now!
Get more information about our Chinese lessons through live chat
Get a FREE live 1-to-1 lesson and FREE e-books. Complete the form below:
Name:
E-mail:
Country:
Tel:
 

By clicking Submit, you agree to our

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

FREE Mandarin E-book