Hello people! I hope you're having an awesome day. Today's post is another one of Aesop's Fables. For those of you who don't know who Aesop is he is an Ancient Greek story teller whose tales have been told to children for many generations. For those who are interested, check out his Wikipedia page or check out some of his children's stories.
Again, there's a moral at the end of the story. Thinking of doing a deal with a shady character? Think again.
I would rate today's post at Beginner level because I personally found it to read quite smoothly and you could generally easily understand where the story was going. However there are some interesting new vocabulary here to learn. Not all Chinese words are commonly used in daily life, such as 鹭鸶 (Lù Sī) which means Crane (i.e. the bird) in Chinese. By looking at the structure of the Chinese characters that make the word "Crane," there's a way to easily tell that these characters are semantically related to "birds" because they all have the bird radical 鸟(Niǎo) underneath.
This is the beauty of the Chinese language. Whilst yes it's true that it is one of the toughest languages to learn but it's also undoubtedly one of the most elegant and interesting languages out there. Meaning is not just conveyed purely phonetically like it is in English, but also can be conveyed by radicals or in some cases ideographs and pictographs (characters that by their appearance convey meaning - for example 火 which looks like what it means: "fire"). I plan to write an article to elaborate further on these ideas and I'll get to it if time permits.
Today's tip: the more complicated the word looks in Chinese, often the easier it is to guess the pronunciation. Sometimes all you need is to just pronounce a part of the word. Of course this rule does not work all the time but it is worth keeping in mind. For instance: in the word Crane (鹭鸶) you only pronounce the top part of the characters. The 鸟(Niǎo) radicals at the bottom are purely there to convey semantic meaning.
狼吞虎咽 (láng tūn hǔyàn) - gorge; used to describe someone who is starving and eats food greedily and really fast
解脱 (jiě tuō) - to relieve oneself
酬金(chóu jīn) - reward, reimbursement. Literally made up of the characters for "reward" + "gold". So how I think of it is to be compensated with gold.
猎物 (liè wù) - prey
平安无事 (píng 'ān wú shì) - safe and sound. The literal translation is "safe and without issues" to give the equivalent English meaning "safe and sound"
"I would give anything," he said, "if you would take it out." At last he met a Crane who agreed to try, and told the Wolf to lie on his side and open his jaws as wide as he could. Then the Crane put its long neck down the Wolf's throat, and with its beak it loosened the bone, till at last it got it out.
"Now will you kindly give me the reward you promised?" asked the Crane.
The Wolf grinned and bared his teeth and said: "Hey, friend, you have put your head inside a Wolf's mouth and taken it out again safely and in one piece. Don't tell me you're still not satisfied with that [fact]? That ought to be a reward enough for you."
Moral of the story: When you do a deal with a villain (bad/evil person) always be careful. Keep in mind the intrinsic nature of villains, that they and their words cannot be trusted. Expect no reward for serving the wicked.