Learn Chinese Idiom--抛砖引玉

2014-09-04 20:10 ChineseTime

pāo zhuān yǐn yù
抛  砖    引  玉

Learn Chinese Idiom online--抛砖引玉



引(yǐn):lead to


Meaning in English: to attract jade by laying bricks\to throw out a minnow to catch a whale
               --> serve as a modest spur to induce someone to come forward with his valuable contributions

Meaning in Chinese:

pāo chū zhuān qù , yǐn huí yù lái 。

bǐ yù yòng zì jǐ bù chéng shu de yì jiàn huò zuò pǐn


yǐn chū bié rén gèng hǎo de yì jiàn huò hǎo zuò pǐn 。

zhè ge pái míng shì xiǎng qǐ dào pāo zhuān yǐn yù de mù dì , bìng fēi zhōng jié dìng lùn 。
This ranking is intended to be the beginning of a conversation, not the final word.

rú cǐ pāo zhuān yǐn yù , néng jī fā yǔ gǔ lì gèng duō rén jiā rù xiě zuò duì wu 。
In doing this, more people will be inspired and encouraged to write.

The story of "抛砖引玉"

During the Tang dynasty, there lived a man named Zhao Gu, who was a very talented poet. Zhao Gu's poems were so well-written that even famous poets of his time enjoyed reading them.

At that time, in a place called Wu, there lived a man named Chang Jian, who also liked to write poems. Chang Jian greatly admired Zhao Gu's literary talent, and longed to know him personally. One day, Chang Jian heard that Zhao Gu would be travelling to Wu. He knew that Zhao Gu would definitely go visit Ling Yan Temple during his trip, because this was a very famous place which everyone who came to Wu went to see. So Chang Jian went first to the temple, and on the wall which was set aside for guests' comments and ideas, wrote two lines of poem.

When Zhao Gu saw the two lines of poetry on the temple wall, he could not help adding another two lines, because Chinese poems are always composed of at least four lines. And so Chang Jian achieved his goal. He said, "My poem is a brick, and Zhao Gu's poem is jade, I layed a brick, and attracted jade!"

This idiom is now a polite expression often used when giving an opinion or delivering a speech. It means that what one is offering is somehow lacking, and one is in hopes that others will, seeing it, offer something that is better.

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