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滥竽充数 Fill a Post without Real Qualifications (Beginner)

May. 19, 2010

滥竽充数 (Lànyúchōngshù) Fill a Post without Real Qualifications (Beginner)


Key Learning Point (Preview):

数 (shǔ/shù): v/n count/number


In the Warring States Period of China, a king named Qixuan liked listening to the "合奏 (hézòu) instrumental ensemble" of Yu (an instrument in ancient China). The more bandsmen played it, the happier he would be. Mr. Nanguo was a man who didn't like to work hard but liked to brag. When he heard the king Qixuan wanted to organize a bigger band, he told the king Qixuan that he was an expert in playing the Yu. So the king Qixuan happily invited him to join the band. When playing Yu, he just sat together with other bandsmen and acted as he spared no effort. But in fact, he couldn't play it at all. He made his living by acting like this for many years until the king Qixuan died.

After the king Qixuan died, his son Qimin took over. He didn't like listening to the instrumental ensemble of Yu at all. He liked listening to the "独奏 (dúzòu) solo" of Yu. So he only asked one bandsman to play the Yu for him each time. In this case, Mr. Nanguo had no way but to run away.

This Chinese idiom tells us that we should tell things as they are and be honest. In modern Chinese, this Chinese idiom is used to describe people who fill in a post without real qualifications. You can see how it is used from the following example:

Wǒ bú tài huì chànggē, zài héchàngduì lǐ   zhǐ shì lànyúchōngshù ér yǐ.
我   不 太 会   唱歌,   在   合唱队       里 只 是   滥竽充数         而 已。


I am not good at singing. I just fill a post without real qualifications in the chorus team.

Key Learning Points:

(shǔ/shù): v/n to count/number



    Zhè shì jīntiān bàomíng cānjiā ap hànyǔ péixùn de míngdān,
1. 这  是 今天    报名       参加   AP   汉语    培训  的  名单,   
nǐ shǔ yí xià yígòng duō shǎo rén .
你 数 一 下 一共     多  少   人。


    This is the name list of those who applied for the AP Chinese training today. Please count the total number.

    Zài Zhōngguó, dàbùfèn rén dōu rènwéi bā shì gè hěn jílì  de shùzì.
2. 在  中国,      大部分   人  都    认为  8   是 个 很 吉利 的 数字。


     In China, most people think that eight is a lucky number.

生词 (shēngcí) Vocabulary:


 合奏 (hézòu): n instrumental ensemble


独奏 (dúzòu): n solo


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I much prefer informtavie articles like this to that high brow literature.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your sister.

Sent from my iPhone 4G

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