Tag Archives: proverb

Day 11 – The going is very very slow…

I’m taking a break from a three hour stretch of studying… The going is extremely slow at the moment. It’s taking me an absurd amount of time to finish several pages of reading…hopefully I’ll begin to speed up by the end of next week.

Anyhow, I have a proverb for you all today that I hope does not foreshadow my own language study:

邯 鄲 學 步

That’s “Han4 Dan1 xue2 bu4”. Or literally “learning the elegant walk of the people of Han Dan”. The story behind it goes like this: There was was a young man from the state of Yan. On visiting Han Dan he observed that the people walked very elegantly and so he decided that he would like to walk like them also. Unfortunately, being a bad student, he wasn’t able to learn how to walk. Even worse, he forgot how to walk completely…so in the end he had to crawl all the way back home to Yan.

The bottom line is that the poor guy ended up in posterity as an example of someone who imitates another without success and instead loses what used to be their own ability. How awful!