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Chinese Idiom: 钻牛角尖 To Rush into a Dead End

Nov. 25, 2011

"钻牛角尖 (zuān niújiǎojiān)" refers to someone who wastes time and effort trying to figure out an insignificant or insoluble problem. Sometimes this idiom is used to describe a narrow-minded person.

Key Learning Point (Preview):

钻牛角尖 (zuān niújiǎojiān): to get into a dead end

 

Yìzhī lǎoshǔ zuāndào niújiǎojiān lǐ le. Tā pǎo bù chūlái, què hái pīnmìng wǎng lǐ zuān.
一只   老鼠     钻到       牛角尖  里了。它 跑  不  出来,  却  还    拼命       往  里    钻。

 

A mouse went into the tip of an ox horn and couldn't get out. The mouse was in a mad rush to go to the tip of the ox horn.
 
Niújiǎo duì tā shuō: "Péngyou, qǐng tuì chūqu, nǐ yuè wǎng lǐ zuān, lù yuè zhǎi."
牛角      对   它  说:“朋友,    请   退   出去,你  越   往   里  钻, 路  越   窄。”

 

The ox horn advised: "Please go back my friend. The further you go in, the narrower the road would be.”

Lǎoshǔ shēngqì de shuō: "Hēng! Wǒ shì bǎizhébùnáo de yīngxióng, zhǐyǒu qiánjìn, 
老鼠      生气      地      说:“哼!我    是     百折不挠   的    英雄,      只有    前进,
jué bù hòutuì."
决  不 后退!”

 

The mouse got angry: "Hum! I am the toughest of heroes. I only move forward, never back!"

Niújiǎo shuō: "Kěshì nǐ de lù zǒu cuò le a!"
牛角     说:“可是   你 的 路  走  错  了啊!”

 

The ox horn said: "But you are going the wrong way."

Lǎoshǔ háishì jiānchí zìjǐ de yìjiàn: "Xièxie nǐ, wǒ yìshēng jiùshì zuāndòng guò rìzi de,
老鼠     还是    坚持   自己的  意见,“谢谢你,我 一生      就是    钻洞      过   日子 的,
zěnme huì cuò ne?"
怎 么  会  错   呢?

 

The mouse insisted: "Thank you, but I have been digging all my life. How could I be wrong?"

Bùjiǔ, zhèwèi "yīngxióng" biàn huóhuó mēnsǐ zài niújiǎojiān lǐ le.
不久,这位   “英雄”       便      活活   闷 死  在   牛角尖   里了。

 

Soon, this "hero" came to his end and suffocated in the ox horn.

Key Learning Point:

钻牛角尖 (zuān niújiǎojiān): to rush into a dead end

 

Example:

Tom: Wǒ gàosu Mike tā de fāngfǎ búduì, dàn tā bù tīng.
Tom: 我 告诉   Mike 他 的   方法   不对, 但  他不 听。

 

Tom: I told Mike that his idea won’t work, but he won’t listen to me.

 May: Tā  kěndìng yòu zuān niújiǎojiān le.
 May: 他  肯定     又      钻     牛角尖    了。

 

May: He must run into a dead end again.
 
 

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