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Stopping people's mouths

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Danwei's sister website, One a day dot org publishes a Chinese idiom with English translation and pinyin every week day. Here's a sample:

防民之口甚于防川
fang2 min2 zhi1 kou3 shen4 yu2 fang2 chuan1

Stopping people's mouths is more difficult than damming rivers

You can see the entire archive of One A Day's idioms by clicking through these these links:

- One A Day simplified character archives
- One A Day traditional character archives

UPDATE: From the Flyisland in the comments: This idiom is perhaps better translated as: "Stopping people's mouths is more more dangerous than damming rivers".

There are currently 8 Comments for Stopping people's mouths.

Comments on Stopping people's mouths

i think this english translation maybe be wrong.

It means the result of Stopping people's mouths is more dangerous than the result of damming rivers.

防民之口,甚于防川。川壅而溃,伤人必多,民亦如之。是故为川者,决之使导;为民者, 宣之使言。

I agree with flyinland, the translation is wrong, I think it can be roughly translated as"(to the rulers)it's important to stop people's mouth than to stop the flooding rivers".

Intereting.

I've subscribed to Oneaday in my RSS reader and really enjoy it.

Yesterday I had a chance to use the above idiom on my wife (she's Chinese) who kept yacking on and on while I was trying to do something else.

It stopped her mid sentence and then we both burst out laughing.

flyisland's translation is right. the words after the idiom itself says its meaning.

Here are some references:

词目:防民之口,甚于防川
发音:fáng mín zhī kǒu,shèn yú fáng chuān
释义:防:阻止;甚:超过。阻止人民进行批评的危害,比堵塞河川引起的水患还要严重。指不让人民说话,必有大害。
出处:《国语·周语上》:“防民之口,甚于防川,川壅而溃,伤人必多,民亦如之。是故为川者,决之使导;为民者,宣之使言。”

http://www.e0755.cn/chengyu/chengyu/2997.html

I think it's important to understand the idiom before you translate it.

The name and logo with a pink dot makes me think its a site for a pill you take once a day for some female problem.

Flyisland:

Thanks for your comment. I made the correction on the website.

Cheers,

Thanks for visiting Oneaday dot org

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