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Idiom Stories:画饼充饥(Huàbĭngchōngjī) To draw a cake to satisfy hunger

Mar. 23, 2015
Chinese Stories-- yăn ĕr dào líng

Sānguó shídài, wèiguó yŏu gè jiào Lú Yù de rén,
三国      时代,魏国    有    个 叫   卢  毓 的 人,

Hĕn xiăo de shíhou jiù shīqù le fùmŭ hé liăng gè gēge.
很   小   的   时候   就   失去 了 父母 和  两   个  哥哥。

Lú Yù cóngcĭ xīnkŭ gōngzuò, chú le zhàogù gēge men de jiārén wài,
卢 毓   从此   辛苦   工作,    除  了  照顾    哥哥  们   的  家人  外,

Zìjĭ   hái nŭlì dúshū, shòudào dàjiā de zànxŭ.
自己 还 努力 读书,受到      大家 的   赞许。

Hòulái, Lú Yù zuò le guān,réngrán qínkĕn gōngzuò,
后来,卢  毓 做  了  官,  仍然      勤恳     工作,

Jīngcháng gĕi huángdì tíchū hăo jiànyì, dédào huángdì de xìnrèn.
经常         给    皇帝     提出 好    建议,得到   皇帝     的  信任。

Nà shíhou, cháotíng xuănbá guānlì, yībān dōu shì yóu yŏu míngwàng de rén tuījiàn,
那  时候,   朝廷      选拔     官吏,一般   都   是  由   有     名望        的  人   推荐,

Er tuījiàn de rén, yībān yòu zhĭ zài yŏu míngwàng de rén lĭ kăolǜ.
而  推荐  的 人,一般  又   只  在  有    名望         的 人  里 考虑。

Qíshí, hăoduō yŏu míngwàng de rén zhĭshì zuĭ shàng néng shuō, bìng búhuì gàn shíjì de shì,
其实,好多    有     名望         的 人    只是 嘴   上       能     说,  并     不会  干   实际 的 事,

Yīncĭ, huángdì hĕn bùmăn.
因此,皇帝     很    不满。

Yŏu yì tiān,huángdì zhŭnbèi xuănbá yí gè yŏu cáinéng de rén, bìng yào Lú Yù tuījiàn,
有   一  天,皇帝     准备      选拔    一 个  有    才能    的  人,并   要   卢  毓  推荐,

Hái shuō xuănzé réncái bùnéng guāng zhăo yŏu míngshēng de rén,
还    说     选择    人才   不能      光       找    有     名声         的  人,

Míngshēng zhĭ bú guò shì huà chūlái de yì zhāng bĭng, zhĭnéng kàn, bù néng chī de.
名声           只  不  过   是   画  出来  的 一  张      饼,  只能      看,不  能   吃   的。

Hòulái, rénmen jiù yòng zhè ge chéngyŭ bĭyù zìjĭ ānwèi zìjĭ, bù néng jiĕjué shíjì wèntí de fāngfă.
后来,人们     就  用      这  个   成语    比喻 自己 安慰 自己,不 能 解决 实际 问题  的   方法。

English Translation

Lu Yu lived in the Kingdom of Wei during the Three Kingdoms periods. He was orphaned at the age of ten. So he undertook the task of supporting his sister-in-law and nephew through a period of extreme hardship. Meanwhile, he also studied hard. He was praised all around for his noble deeds and depth of knowledge. Later he became an official and still worked hard and put forth valuable advice to the emperor, so the emperor placed great trust in him. At that time, the selection process of government officials depended on the recommendation of powerful and influential men. These men would always recommend famous persons who were all mouth and no action which displeased the emperor. One time, the emperor asked Lu Yu to recommend an official and said to him: “the selection of government officials should not rely solely on one’s fame which is just like a cake drawn on the ground, while it may be good to look at it does not satisfy one’s hunger.” This story gave rise to the idiom “draw a cake to satisfy hunger. ” Now it is used to describe someone who uses fantasy to satisfy oneself and means that empty reputation is of no practical value.

Example

Nĭ zhè zhŏng zuòfă zhĭshì huàbĭngchōngjī, méiyŏu rènhé shíjì zuòyòng.
你  这  种      做法   只是    画饼充饥,      没有     任何   实际  作用。
Your action is just like drawing a cake to satisfy hunger, which has no practical effect.

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