Some of the funniest, and the most meaningful proverbs and sayings in the world are originally Chinese. Quotabulary gives you 77 funny and wise proverbs and sayings which you will certainly love.
The Chinese language has over 1,00,000 characters, and about one in five persons speaks some or the other form of it, all over the world.
You might have heard someone or the other using old proverbs, which seemed humorous to you, and yet conveyed an important message through them. Did you, however, know that some of them might be Chinese? Humor is a wonderful way to get a message across in a lighter vein, and ancient Chinese philosophers certainly did that. Is it any wonder that these proverbs are commonly used in almost every major language in the world? We bring to you a collection of funny and wise Chinese proverbs and sayings translated into English, about life, love, friendship, food, work, and so much more.
We’ve simplified your search by dividing them into their respective categories. You may have heard some of these before, and some might be completely new to you. The only thing is that the proverbs mentioned below are not literal translations of the original Chinese proverbs, but may have been slightly modified to make more sense in English.
Wise Chinese Proverbs
~ Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
~ One often finds one’s destiny just where one hides to avoid it.
~ Solitude is enjoyed only when one is at peace with oneself.
~ Defeat isn’t bitter if you don’t swallow it.
~ Learning is like the horizon; there is no limit.
~ A thorn defends the rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom.
~ You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.
~ If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.
~ To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
~ If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.
Proverbs about Love, Marriage, and Family
~ Love for a person must extend to the crows on his roof.
~ Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking.
~ You can’t tell the cost of food and fuel without being the head of a household; you can’t appreciate the love of your parents without having children of your own.
~ There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.
~ A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home.
~ Respect for one’s parents is the highest duty of civil life.
~ A dog won’t forsake his master because of his poverty; a son never deserts his mother for her homely appearance.
~ In bed be wife and husband, in the hall each other’s honored guest.
Chinese Proverbs about Friendship
~ Better to drink the weak tea of a friend than the sweet wine of an enemy.
~ Books speak to the mind, friends to the heart, heaven to the soul, all else to the ears.
~ A good friend shields you from the storm.
~ Love is blind, friendship closes its eyes.
~ With true friends, even water drunk together is sweet enough.
~ A man should choose a friend who is better than himself. There are plenty of acquaintances in the world; but very few real friends.
~ People can be done without but a lot of us need a friend.
~ Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends whom we choose.
― Tehyi Hsieh
~ If you want to know someone’s character, look at the friends he keeps.
Proverbs about Work
~ Failure is the mother of success.
~ Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
~ A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
― Lao Tzu
~ Failing to plan is planning to fail.
― Alan Lakein
~ There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.
~ Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.
~ Even the tallest tower started from the ground.
~ Don’t curse the darkness; light a candle.
~ Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.
~ Unless there is opposing wind, a kite cannot rise.
~ Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.
Chinese Proverbs about Money
~ Wealth is but dung, useful only when spread.
~ When luck visits you, everyone will know where you live.
~ I have money, you have money; so we are friends.
~ The day your horse dies and your money’s lost, your relatives change to strangers.
~ To buy a quarrel, lend money to a friend.
~ A loan is like rice eaten. It is soon forgotten.
~ He who will not economize will have to agonize.
~ Want a thing long enough and you don’t.
~ Those who despise money will eventually sponge on their friends.
~ An inch of time is worth an inch of gold, but it is hard to buy one inch of time with one inch of gold.
Chinese Proverbs about Age
~ Men grow old, pearls grow yellow, there is no cure for it.
~ Experience is a comb that we receive just when we are going bald
~ A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
~ Man fools himself. He prays for a long life and he fears old age.
~ Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.
~ Before thirty, men seek disease; after thirty, diseases seek men
~ O man, you who do not live a hundred years, why fret a thousand minutes?
~ By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
~ Fallen leaves return to the roots.
~The remedy for dirt is soap and water. The remedy for dying is living.
Chinese Proverbs about Food
~ He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.
~ Talk doesn’t cook rice.
~ Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.
~ To the ruler, the people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven
~ Coarse rice for food, water to drink, and the bended arm for a pillow ― happiness may be enjoyed even in these.
~ If you want your dinner, don’t insult the cook.
~ Divide an orange― it tastes just as good.
~ Everyone eats and drinks; yet only few appreciate the taste of food.
~ The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.
Funny Chinese Proverbs
~ Black cat or white cat: If it can catch mice, it’s a good cat.
― Deng Xiaoping
~ Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.
~ A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.
~ You must have crossed the river before you may tell the crocodile he has bad breath.
~ What is whispered in your ear is often heard a hundred miles off.
~ It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins.
~ If heaven made him, earth can find some use for him.
~ Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait (for a) very, very long time.
~ Wisdom is attained by learning when to hold one’s tongue.
~ You want no one to know it? Then don’t do it.
We hope you liked our collection of these amazing Chinese proverbs and sayings! So many of them are very commonly used today, and sometimes we tend to forget where they’ve originated from. Well, now you know!
Disclaimer: These proverbs are not literal translations of the original ones. Some proverbs may seem similar to those attributed to other cultures or people, but it is only the translation that may seem so.