Translations of Some Chinese Idioms (2)

·烈火炼真金,患难见真情 It can be translated into: Fire is the test of gold;adversity is the test of friendship. It is ok and understandable, while there is another saying equals to this idiom in English: Liquor brings out a person's true color.(烈酒能显示一个人真正的特色) Or: Wine reveals a person's true heart. And another saying equals to“路遥知马力 (Distance tests a horse's stamina)”is: By a long road, we know a horse's strength;at times of difficulty, we discover a friend's true character. ·雷声大,雨点小 It can be translated as: The thunder roars loudly, but little rain falls. Or: All we hear is thunder, but no rain falls. Those literal translations are understandable, while there are simiar saying in English: Actions speak louder than words. (行动胜于言谈) Or: All we hear is words, but there is no action. (只动嘴不动手) Or: Actions and words should go hand in hand. (言行必须一致) Meanwhile, Another saying in English is: An empty barrel makes biggest sound.(空洞的话说得太多了。) ·人不可貌相,海水不可斗量 It can be translated as: A man can not be known by his look, nor can the ocean be measured by a dipper. It would be more understandable for English speakers if we revise it into: A man can not be judged by his appearance, nor can the water in the sea be measured by a bucket. While the more familiar saying for English speakers is: We can not judge a person by appearance only. Or: You can not judge a book by its cover. (Meaning: 一本书的好坏取决于它的内容,而不是它的封面装帧的漂亮与否。)

Words translated by CCJK


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