Chinese Proverbs – 5000 Years of Wisdom

Chinese Proverbs are the cornerstones of Chinese Wisdom. This website is dedicated to them and to all the valuable and timeless lessons they provide.

It would certainly take a lifetime to document and translate all the chinese proverbs there are – or longer, if you think of all the stories, legends and myths that led to the creation of these proverbs. So, naturally, this website can only show you a fraction of the vast cultural treasure China has to offer.

But I sincerely hope that I will be able to unearth at least a part of it, step by step, for you to enjoy.

To give you an idea what you can find inside the “Ancient-Chinese-Wisdom”-Treasure chest, I will give an outline of the main topics, and an example for each topic.

Let the Ancient Wisdom of China inspire you!

Chinese Proverbs – Ancient Chinese Wisdom in a Nutshell

Chinese Quotations are often said to be the cornerstones of Chinese Wisdom. They represent the quintessence of the life experiences of the Chinese people, but also the solutions to a ton of problems these people had to face and solve during their 5000 years of history.

To show you, why these proverbs still may be of importance to us today, I will give you an example of the timeless lessons the provide: 

“Pulling the seedlings to help them grow”

Once upon a time in China, there was a hard-working but impatient farmer. All day long he would work on his fields, sweating under the hot sun. But since he was so impatient, the slowly growing rice seedlings on his field made him furious. So one day, as he was brooding over his slow growing seedlings again, the farmer suddenly had an idea: Maybe if he pulled the shoots upwards a little, he could help them grow faster! …

When the farmer returned home that day, he was very pleased with himself. He told his wife and son that he had worked very hard and that he had made each of the plants grow an inch in one day! His family couldn’t quite believe it. Happy about the good news, the farmer’s son immediately ran outside into the fields, to see the fine work his father had done. But to his great shock, he found that all the crops had withered and died.

So what is the moral of this story?

It’s easy to ruin everything if your desire for quick results is too strong.

This story and its moral resulted in the Chinese proverb

            拔苗助长 ba miao zhu zhang, “Pulling the seedlings to help them grow”

            ba; to pull

            miao; seedling, shoot

            zhu; to help

            zhang; to grow


There are literally thousands of proverbs like this in the Chinese language, and behind almost every one of them, there is an inspirational story like the one above. That is why many of the Chinese quotations presented here are timeless pearls of wisdom – they will simply never be out of date.


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