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。)

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