Four-character expressions are very useful in Chinese. In a few words, the meaning takes all its dimensions.
They come from the classical language and sometimes plunge into history.
Last week, I discussed with a bank and an agent on a We Chat group about various administrative formalities to be carried out by correspondence with China. The regulations are strict, a mass of official papers must be provided, and the documents requested vary from city to city and province to province. After a meandering marathon of paperwork, we were able to put together what we needed and understand the organizations’ various contradictions.
The banker concluded the conversation with four characters and smilies:
好事多磨 hǎo shì duō mó, “The path to happiness is strewn with pitfalls” or “Victory does not come alone! ” or “Good things take time! ».
Meaning of the four characters :
事, things, business
多, a lot
磨, rub, sharpen.
Articles on the Chinese language and proverbs:
Language and history
26 July 2020