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Yànyǔ 諺語

(3,863 words)

Author(s): Victoria BOGUSHEVSKAYA
1. Definition  Yànyǔ 諺語 is “a fixed sentence, prevailing among the common people, which in simple words expresses a profound truth” ( Xiàndài Hànyǔ Cídiǎn 2005:1573). The term yànyǔ was taken to be the equivalent of English ‘proverb’, French proverbe and German Sprichwort by Guō (1925:5). Rohsenow (2003:xiii) gives an extended definition: “ Yànyǔ, or ‘proverbs’ … are fundamentally an oral form consisting of complete sentences, which reduce the observations, experiences, and wisdom of ordinary people into short, pithy, colloquial statements and jud…
Date: 2017-03-02

Guànyòngyǔ 慣用語 (Idioms and Common Sayings)

(4,065 words)

Author(s): Victoria BOGUSHEVSKAYA
At present, there is no consensus among Sinologists neither on the classification of idiomatic units, nor on the Chinese equivalent for the term "idiom". Despite the more precise and commonly adopted linguistic term "common sayings", guànyòngyǔ 慣用語 are often conventionally translated into English as ‘idioms’. Semantically stable, but structurally flexible, these trisyllabic collocations constitute the second most numerous category of Chinese idiomatic units after chéngyǔ 成語. 1. Idioms: On the Problem of Definition An idiom is “a group of words established by usage as…
Date: 1899-12-30