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    #1

    Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    In Chinese ,there is a daily expression 看破点(KAN PO DIAN) ,meaning one should realize that his life in human society is limited and shouldn't condier his fame ,interests and emotion too important.This expression is most often used when someone wholly engage himself in making money and spend little time with his family members ,enjoying his life ect.

    I will just give you one dialogue to explain this expression.The background of this dialogue is that Mr.Zhang lives in the countryside,feeding worms,pigs and chincken.He has little time enjoying his life and his health is poor.One day Mr.Wang,Mr Zhang's classmates of junior high school , go to see Zhang.Their dialogue are as follows.

    Wang:Hi,haven't seen for almost 14 years.you have changed a lot.
    Zhang:Yes,I work very hard these years.Every year I feed 8 pieces of worms,20 pigs and 1000 chickens.I can earn USD 10,000 per year.
    Wang:看破点.Look ,how thin you and your wife are.You should pay more attention to your health.

    Note:Worm is a kind of insect which can produce silk.One paper of worm can produce about 15 kilograms of silk.Now in the countryside of eastern part of china ,feeding worm is a main economic source for some peasants.

    Could you please tell us the corresponding expression in English?

    Thank you all!
    Last edited by sky753; 28-Aug-2006 at 07:34.

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    #2

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by weiqun ding View Post
    In Chinese ,there is a daily expression 看破点(KAN PO DIAN) ,meaning one should realize that his life in human society is limited and shouldn't condier his fame ,interests and emotion too important.This expression is most often used when someone wholly engage himself in making money and spend little time with his family members ,enjoying his life ect.

    I will just give you one dialogue to explain this expression.The background of this dialogue is that Mr.Zhang lives in the countryside,feeding worms,pigs and chincken.He has little time enjoying his life and his health is poor.One day Mr.Wang,Mr Zhang's classmates of junior high school , go to see Zhang.Their dialogue are as follows.

    Wang:Hi,haven't seen for almost 14 years.you have changed a lot.
    Zhang:Yes,I work very hard these years.Every year I feed 8 pieces of worms,20 pigs and 1000 chickens.I can earn USD 10,000 per year.
    Wang:看破点.Look ,how thin you and your wife are.You should pay more attention to your health.

    Note:Worm is a kind of insect which can produce silk.One paper of worm can produce about 30 kilogram of silk.Now in the countryside of eastern part of china ,feeding worm is a main economic source for some peasants.

    Could you please tell us the corresponding expression in English?

    Thank you all!
    Life is (too) short, so enjoy it while you can.
    Life is (too) short, so make the most of it.
    You only have one life, so........(then your advice!)


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    #3

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    "You are a long time dead."

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    #4

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffa View Post
    "You are a long time dead."
    That's the one I was racking my brains to remember.

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    #5

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    Please tell me where the sentence you are a long time dead come from?Is it commonly used in spoken English ?


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    #6

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by weiqun ding View Post
    Please tell me where the sentence you are a long time dead come from?Is it commonly used in spoken English ?
    It is from an old Scottish proverb: "Be sure to live your life, because you are a long time dead."

    It is commonly used in spoken English, and has a meaning similar to the phrase you have described.

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    #7

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    I'm not sure it's always polite to make a direct comment about someone's appearance or lifestyle, unless you know them very well.

    Maybe:

    ________

    Wang: Hey, Zhang, how are you? I almost didn't recognize you! Have you lost some weight?

    Zhang: Yes, thirteen stone. But that's what looking after 200 pigs and 1000 chickens 24 hours a day does for you.

    Wang: I can imagine. It must be very hard work.

    Zhang: It certainly is. But on the plus side, I can earn anything up to $10,000 a year.

    Wang: Well, that's not bad, I suppose. But you don't want to overdo it.

    Zhang: Are you saying I look tired?

    Wang: No, of course not. But you have to look after your health, you know. It's all you've got.

    Zhang: So you're saying I don't look well, is that it?

    Wang: Not at all...It's just that, well, you're not getting any younger, Zhang. And you know what they say: "All work and no play", etc.

    Zhang: You try bringing up 23 kids on a pig farm. It isn't easy, you know.

    Wang: Yes, I can see that. All I'm saying is —

    Zhang: And Mrs Zhang is very demanding.

    Wang: Well, obviously, yes —

    Zhang: She always wants stuff. DVD players, new clothes, a new car...You really have no idea what it's like.

    Wang: Look, I have to go now, Zhang. It was really nice seeing you again. You take it easy, okay? Don't work too hard.

    Zhang: And then there's the kids, and all the grandchildren...

    _________

    MrP


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    #8

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by weiqun ding View Post
    Please tell me where the sentence you are a long time dead come from?Is it commonly used in spoken English ?
    Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead. Scottish Proverb

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    #9

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    It has given me lots of fun sharing the ideas and opinions with you.

    I have a question here.For most of chinese,I think,at first sight of the sentence you are a long time dead ,it will be understood by them as you have been dead for a long time.Anyway ,I would like to know whether it is natural to use you are a long time dead instead of 看破点 in the dialogue I have given.

    and I agree with Mrpedantic that it is impolite or even rude to make direct comment on others' apprance or lifestyle .This is the same in China,even all over the world ,I think,as almost all common people like to hear admiring remarks ,not criticizing ones and remarks that is different from their own ideas or beliefs.

    I will just give you one example here.

    My mother will get angry when someone call her an old lady,but will be happy when someone says you look much younger than you really are!


  3. #10

    Re: Realize that your life in human society is limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by weiqun ding View Post
    I
    [...]

    I will just give you one example here.

    My mother will get angry when someone call her an old lady,but will be happy when someone says you look much younger than you really are!


    Weiqun, I thought old age is revered in China and I have come across
    conversation (in books) where one person addresses another as,
    for example, "Lao Wang" (老王) in a respectful way. I don't know
    if that was done in the old days and now it is different, or is it something
    done in rural areas. I am just curious to know. Thanks.

    In the context of what you have written in your original posting,
    a saying that comes to mind is - "Take time to stop and smell the roses."
    Last edited by englishstudent; 29-Aug-2006 at 23:32. Reason: Corrected spelling mistake

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