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The Man From Chi Who Worried That The Sky Would Fall Down (Intermediate)

Oct. 29, 2010

Learn Online Mandarin Idiom: 杞人忧天 (Qǐrényōutiān) The Man from Chi Who Worried that the Sky Would Fall Down

 

Listen to the whole story

 

Key Learning Points: (Preview)

(yōu)v. to worry

 

解决 (jiějué)v. to solve

 

Cóngqián  zài  ChūnqiūZhànguó shíqī  de  Qǐguó,yǒu yígè dǎnzi hěnxiǎo de rén, 
从前           在     春秋战国            时期  的    杞国,有 一个 胆子   很小     的 人,
tā cháng huì xiǎngdào yìxiē qíguài de wèntí.
他    常     会     想到    一些   奇怪  的   问题。

 

Once upon a time, in the State of Chi, during the Spring and Warrior Period (770 B.C.–221 B.C.), there was a very cowardly man who always let his strange imagination run away with him.

Yǒu yìtiān,tā chīguò wǎnfàn hòu, nále yìbǎ dà púshàn, zuòzài ménqián chéngliáng.
有    一天, 他  吃过    晚饭      后,拿了一把 大  蒲扇,   坐在      门前      乘凉。

 

One day after supper, he sat down with a big cattail leaf fan in hand to enjoy the cool breeze in the doorway of his home.

Hūrán zìyánzìyǔ de shuō, " jiǎrú yǒuyìtiān, tiān tāle xià lái, nà gāi zěnmebàn ne?"
忽然    自言自语 地 说: “假如  有一天, 天   塌了下来,那   该    怎么办    呢?”

 

Suddenly, he said to himself, "What would we do if, one day, the sky fell in on us all?"

Cóngcǐ yǐhòu, tā jīhū měitiān wèi zhège wèntí fánnǎo.
从此    以后,他 几乎  每天   为    这个   问题   烦恼。

 

From that moment forward, he could not stop obsessing over this extremely remote possibility.

Péngyǒu jiàn tā zhōngrì jīngshén huǎnghū, dōu hěn tì tā dānxīn.
朋友        见   他   终日       精神       恍惚,   都   很  替 他   担心。

 

Upon noticing that he seemed on edge all the time, his friends started to worry about him.

Dāng dàjiā zhīdào yuányīn hòu, dōu pǎolái quàn tā shuō, "lǎoxiōng! Nǐ hébì
当      大家   知道      原因     后, 都 跑来     劝   他   说: “老兄! 你  何必
zìxúnfánnǎo nē? Tiānkōng zěnme huì tā xiàlái ne? Zàishuō jíshǐ zhēnde tā xiàlái,  
自寻烦恼     呢?   天空        怎么    会 塌下来  呢?再说      即使  真的   塌 下来,
nà yě búshì nǐ yígèrén kěyǐ jiějué de a! Xiǎngkāi diǎn ba!"
那  也 不是  你 一个人可以 解决 的 啊!  想开     点    吧!”

 

After they learned the cause of his constant anxiety, his friends pleaded with him to forget about it. "Why do you trouble yourself with silly ideas like this? How could the sky collapse? Even if it were to happen, you wouldn't be able to do anything to prevent it. So stop worrying about it!" 

Kěshì, wúlùn péngyǒu zěnme shuō,tā dōu bù xiāngxìng,
可是, 无论      朋友    怎么     说,他 都   不    相信,       
réngrán shícháng wèi zhège wèntí dānyōu.         
仍然        时常       为    这个   问题    担忧。

 

However, no matter what his friends said, he would not budge, and he continued to obsess over the possibility that the sky might come crashing down on his head one day.

Hòulái, rénmen jiù gēnjù zhège gùshi chuàngzao le chéngyǔ  "qǐrényōutiān"
后来,   人们    就   根据   这个   故事      创造      了      成语    “杞人忧天”。

 

Later, people created the idiom "Qirenyoutian" based on this story.

Tā de  yìyi  zài gàosu  rénmen búyào wèi  yìxiē búqièshíjì de shìqing ér yōulǜ.
它 的 意义 在  告诉       人们    不要    为   一些 不切实际  的   事情  而 忧虑。

 

This idiom is used to tell people not to worry about unrealistic things.

Tā yǔ  "yōngrénzìrǎo" de yìyi  dàzhì xiāngtóng.
它 与   “庸人自扰”  的 意义 大致   相同。

 

It is similar to another idiom "yōngrénzìrǎo."

Key Learning Points:

(yōu)v. to worry 

 

"忧" means to worry in the idiom "杞人忧天;" However, in modern Chinese we seldom use the single word "忧" to mean "to worry" in speaking or writing. Instead, we use the phrases"担忧(dānyōu)," "忧虑(yōulǜ)." 

Examples:

Búbì wèi kǎoshì guòfèn dānyōu. 
不必 为  考试      过分      担忧。

 

Don't worry too much about the exam.

解决(jiějué)v. to solve

 

Example:

Zhèngfǔ chéngnuò huì jǐnkuài jiějué shīyè wèntí.
政府        承诺         会   尽快   解决    失业   问题。

 

The government promised that they would solve the unemployment problem quickly.

Read more stories in Mandarin online:
Online Mandarin story:  老马识途An Old Horse Knows the Way
Online Mandarin story: 矛和盾的故事 The Story of Spear and Shield
Online Mandarin story: 爱屋及乌 Love Me, Love My Dog

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Comments

The definition for 解决 has a typo. It’s “to solve” not “to sovle.”

Sorry, Idont find some icons when reading the story.Would you please help ?

Dear anita,
Sorry for our miastakes, and we have corrected it! Please go on focusing on us!

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