Chinese

Chinese Poem: 观书有感 Guān shū yǒu gǎn the feeling of reading books

I recently learned a Chinese poem that was life changing. I love the depth of wisdom encapsulated by this poem. So, I have translated it with an explanation below. 半亩方塘一鉴开,天光云影共徘徊。 问渠那得清如许?为有源头活水来。 Bàn mǔ fāng táng yī jiàn kāi, tiānguāng yún yǐng gòng páihuái. Wèn qú nà dé qīng rúxǔ? Wèi yǒu yuántóu huóshuǐ lái. A ...

Chinese Poem: 登鹳雀楼 Dēng guàn què lóu Ascending White Stork Tower

登鹳雀楼 Dēng guàn què lóu is a classical Chinese poem by the Tang dynasty poet 王之渙 (Wang Zhihuan). The English name is Climbing White Stork Tower. It depicts a beautiful scene visible from the Stork tower near the yellow river while climbing...

Shawn Powrie
1 min read
Chinese Poem: 咏鹅 yǒng é Singing Goose

咏鹅 yǒng é is a classical Chinese poem written by 骆宾王 luò bīn wáng during the Tang dynasty. 鹅,鹅,鹅,曲项向天歌。 白毛浮绿水,红掌拨清波。 É, é, é, qū xiàng xiàng tiān gē. Bái máo fú lǜ shuǐ, hóng zhǎng bō qīng bō. Here’s my English translation:...

Shawn Powrie
14 sec read
Chinese Poem: 早发白帝城 (Zǎo fā bái dì chéng)

Here’s another Chinese poem I’ve recently memorised, named 早发白帝城 (Zǎo fā bái dì chéng) by 李白 (Lǐbái) :   朝辞白帝彩云间, 千里江陵一日还, 两岸猿声啼不住, 轻舟已过万重山. Zhāo cí bái dì cǎiyún jiān, qiānlǐ jiānglíng yí rì huán, Liǎng’àn yuán shēng tí bú zhù, qīngzhōu...

Shawn Powrie
1 min read
Chinese Nursery Ryhme: 小白兔 little white bunny

My daughter recently taught me this nursery rhyme. I really like it so I’m going to do a translation: 小白兔,白又白, 两只耳朵竖起来, 爱吃萝卜和青菜, 蹦蹦跳跳真可爱! Xiǎo bái tù, bái yòu bái, liǎng zhī ěrduǒ shù qǐlái, ài chī luóbo hé qīngcài,...

Shawn Powrie
2 min read
Chinese Poem: 春曉(chūnxiǎo) Spring Dawn

In celebration of the first day of spring, here’s a beautiful Chinese poem called 春曉 chūnxiǎo (Spring Dawn) that comes to mind: 春眠不觉晓, 处处闻啼鸟, 夜来风雨声, 花落知多少. Chūn mián bù jué xiǎo, chùchù wén tí niǎo, Yè lái fēngyǔ shēng, Huā luò...

Shawn Powrie
2 min read
Chinese Phrase: 一桶水不响, 半桶水晃荡

One of my personal favourite Chinese phrases that resonates with me is 一桶水不响, 半桶水晃荡 yī tǒng shuǐ bù xiǎng, bàn tǒng shuǐ huàngdang. “A full bucket of water is not noisy, A half bucket of water sloshes.” — here’s...

Shawn Powrie
52 sec read
Chinese poem — 静夜思 (jìngyè sī) Nostalgia

One of the most famous, classical and beautiful poems in Chinese was written in the Tang dynasty by the poet Li Bai. Like many famous poems in Chinese this one has been translated into English by a number of people...

Shawn Powrie
55 sec read
Chinese poem — 悯农 (mǐn nóng)

One of the most famous and meaningful poems in Chinese is called 悯农 (mǐn nóng). Most young children in China, even from the age of three or four know this poem. It traces its origins to ancient Chinese so the language...

Shawn Powrie
43 sec read