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田忌赛马 (Tián Jì sài mǎ) General Tian Ji in a Horse Race

Aug. 10, 2010

Read a Chinese Story: 田忌赛马 (Tián Jì sài mǎ) General Tian Ji in a Horse Race (Intermediate)

 

Key Learning Points (Preview):

输(shū): v. to lose

 

赢(yíng): v. to win

 

Qíguó de dà jiāngjūn Tián Jì hěn xǐhuan sàimǎ.
 齐国   的 大    将军     田 忌 很   喜欢     赛马。

 

It is said that Tian Ji, a general from the state of Qi, loved racing horses.

Yǒu yì huí, Tián Jì hé Qí wáng yuēdìng, jìnxíng yí cì   bǐsài.
 有 一 回,田   忌  和 齐 王       约定,   进行 一 次 比赛。

 

One day, Tian Ji and the king of Qi agreed to hold a horse race.

Tāmen bǎ  gèzì de mǎ fēn chéng shàng, zhōng, xià sān děng.
  他们   把  各自 的 马 分     成       上、   中、   下   三    等。

 

They divided their horses into high, middle, and low levels.
 
Bǐsài shí, shàngděnmǎ duì shàngděngmǎ, zhōngděngmǎ duì zhōngděngmǎ,
 
比赛 时, 上等马        对       上等马,            中等马        对    中等马,
xiàděngmǎ duì xiàděngmǎ.
 下等马        对   下等马。

 

During the match, the high-level horse would compete against the other high-level horse, the middle-level against the middle-level, and the low-level against the low-level.

Yóuyú Qí wáng měi yì děng de mǎ dōu bǐ Tián Jì de qiáng,
 
由于 齐  王      每  一   等    的  马 都 比 田 忌 的    强,
sān chǎng bǐsài xiàlái Tián Jì dōu shū le.
 三    场      比赛  下来   田  忌 都    输 了。

 

Since each level of the king's horses was better than Tian Ji's, Tian Ji lost all three matches.

Tián Jì de hǎopéngyou Sūn Bìn kàn wán bǐsài duì Tián Jì shuō: "cóng gāngcái de qíngxíng 
 田  忌  的    好朋友         孙 膑    看 完    比赛 对  田   忌   说:“  从       刚才  的    情形    
kàn, Qí wáng de mǎ  bǐ  nǐ  de kuài bù liǎo duōshǎo, wǒ yǒu bànfǎ ràng nǐ yíng."
 看,齐  王     的   马 比 你 的   快 不 了     多少,   我  有    办法    让 你  赢。”

 

After watching the races, Sun Bin, a good friend of Tian Ji, said, "from what I saw, the king's horses are not much better than yours. Perhaps I can help you win."

Yúshì, Tián Jì qǐngqiú  hé Qí wáng zài bǐ  yí  cì,   Qí wáng dāyìng le.
 于是,田    忌    请求   和  齐 王   再   比 一 次,齐   王     答应   了。

 

So Tian Ji asked the king for another race and the king agreed.

Tián Jì xiān yòng xiàděngmǎ duì Qí wáng de shàngděngmǎ, dì  yī chǎng shū  le.
 
田  忌 先    用      下等马      对   齐   王   的    上等马,        第 一   场     输   了。

 

In the first match, Tian Ji's low-level horse was used to compete against the Qi king's high-level horse. So, of course, Tian Ji lost.

Jiēzhe Tián Jì yòng shàngděngmǎ duì Qí wáng de zhōngděngmǎ, yíng le  dì  èr chǎng.  
  接着    田   忌  用         上等马        对   齐  王   的     中等马 ,       赢 了  第 二    场。

 

Then in the second match, Tian Ji used his high-level horse defeated the king's middle-level horse.

Dì sān chǎng, Tián Jì yòng zhōngděngmǎ duì Qí wáng de xiàděngmǎ, yòu yíng le yì chǎng.
 第 三      场,  田  忌   用        中等马        对 齐   王     的      下等马,  又   赢   了 一  场。

 

In the third match, Tian Ji used his middle-level horse to compete against the king's low-level horse, and Tian Ji won again.

Sān chǎng zhōng Tián Jì yíng le liǎng chǎng, zuìhòu huò shèng.
 
三       场       中    田   忌  赢   了       两 场,      最后   获      胜。

 

Since his horses won two of the three matches, Tian Ji won the competition,

 Key Learning Points:

输(shū): v. to lose

 

 Example:

Wǒmen dǎ gè dǔ, shuí shū le shuí qǐngkè!
 
我们    打  个  赌,谁    输  了  谁     请客!

 

  Let's make a bet. The loser will treat the winner!
 
赢(yíng): v. to win

 

Example:

    Zuówǎn de bǐsài nǎ  gè qiúduì yíng le?
A:  昨晚     的  比赛  哪  个    球队   赢 了?

 

     Which team won the game last night?

    Nà hái yòng wèn? Dāngrán shì Xībānyá duì  le!
B: 那 还   用     问?   当然       是    西班牙   队 了!

 

    Do you really have to ask? Spain, of course!

Read More Teens Chinese Stories:

Read Chinese story: 画蛇添足 (huàshétiānzú) Draw a Snake and Add Feet to it

Read Chinese story: 滥竽充数 Fill a Post without Real Qualifications

Read Chinese story: 初生牛犊不怕虎 New-born Calves are not Afraid of Tigers

Read Chinese story: 笨鸟先飞 Clumsy Birds Have to Start Flying Early

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Comments

This story,I used to read before. It’s the good story to learn for how to live and work in real life. You can not won every match but you can get benefit the match.

Hey! That’s a very great post.

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This info is exactly what i was searching for. It would be awesome to see your write more on this topic…will check back to see

my wife saved your site for me to check out. Have got to say you have some awesome stuff here. will definately come back to see more

I loved that post, one question though, can I link to it on my blog to share it with my readers ? Thanks.

i would read again

An intriguing story, but the reader who does not know that Sun Bin is reported to have been a descendant of Sun Wu, the famous Sun Zi, author of the Art of War, and himself an author of a book on war, is likely to miss the main point, which has less to do with a horse race than with strategy….

Henri

Are “失败” and “成功” also verbs, since I noticed that “赢” and “输” are both verbs.

I love reading Chinese stories! “输”can be also said as “失败” in Chinese. My question is, are there also any equivalent sayings for “赢”?

“成功”and “胜利” are both the equivalent Chinese words for “赢”.

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