Thursday, 2 June 2011

Proverbs & Idioms: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" & "A bad workman blames his tools"

Today, I want to talk about a few interesting sayings and proverbs. They are interesting as there are similar versions in Chinese.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Image from hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net
One of them we use if we want to say , in Chinese, it is "if oneself doesn't want to be treated in a certain way, then don't treat others with in the same way", or "not treating others as one would not like to be treated oneself." These words of wisdoms are from no other than Chinese philosopher, Confucius. In English, the same saying is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Image from images.travelpod.com
Definitely suits the recent cancer-causing plastic additive DEHP case from Taiwan.

Another interesting one is a proverb in English, "A bad workman (always) blames his tools", an equivalent Chinese proverb would be "One fails to defecate / poop blames the hard ground", meaning making bad or lame excuses for failure to accomplish something.

Hypothetical situation,

Person 1: "Locky didn't update his blog on Wednesday and he claims that it was Google's problem, AGAIN!!!"
Person 2: "He's just a bad workman who blames his tools!"

Can you think of other good examples?

Vocabulary:


A bad workman (always) blames his tools -- UK saying said when someone has blamed a mistake or failure on the things that they use for their work
defecate --  [I] formal to pass the contents of the bowels out of the body
lame -- (adj) (especially of an excuse or argument) weak and unsatisfactory
hypothetical -- (adj)  imagined or suggested but not necessarily real or true
Resources:

The Golden Rule @ Wikipedia