火 huo3 fire
火上加油 huo3 shang4 jia1 you2 lit. to add oil to the fire, fig. to make matters worse
火中取栗 huo3 zhong1 qu3 li4 lit. to pull chestnuts out of the fire, fig. to be used by another person to accomplish a goal
火冒三丈 huo3 mao4 san1 zhang4 to get really angry
刀山火海 dao1 shan1 huo3 hai3 lit. mountains of daggers and seas of flames, fig. extreme danger
火烧火燎「火燒火燎」huo3 shao1 huo3 liao2 restless with anxiety, unbearable hot
火烧眉毛「火燒眉毛」huo3 shao1 mei2 mao lit. the fire burns one’s eyebrows, fig. desperate situation, extreme emergency
急如星火 ji2 ru2 xing1 huo3 lit. as hurried as a shooting star, fig. requiring immediate action, extremely urgent
洞若观火「動若觀火」dong4 ruo4 guan1 huo3 lit. clear as a flame, fig. to see things absolutely clearly
纸包不住火「紙包不住火」zhi3 bao1 bu4 zhu4 huo3 lit. you can’t wrap fire in paper, fig. the truth will out
赴汤蹈火「赴湯蹈火」fu4 tang1 dao3 huo3 lit. to go through water and tread on fire, fig. not afraid of any difficulty
隔岸观火「隔岸觀火」ge2 an4 guan1 huo3 lit. to watch the fires burning across the river, fig. to delay entering the fray until all others have been exhausted by fighting among themselves
飞蛾投火「飛蛾投火」fei2 e2 tou2 huo3 lit. like a moth flying into the fire, fig. to choose a path to certain destruction
厝火积薪「厝火積薪」cuo4 huo3 ji2 xin1 lit. to put a fire under a pile of firewood, fig. hidden danger, imminent danger
The first time you meet someone it might be fine to say 你好, but most of the time you need something more casual! This video lays out some options very clearly with subs in pinyin & english.
hāi, hēi - Hi, Hey
nǐ qù nǎ'er a? - Where are you going? Where you headed?
nǐ gàn ma qù a? - What are you up to?
Huílái a? - Coming home? As they explain these are all sort of “obvious” (很明显的问题) friendly questions. Same as English “Hey how’re you doing!” is typically not actually an invitation for anything other than “fine.”
nǐ chīle ma? - Have you eaten? (classic ‘how are you’)
zǎo! - Morning! short for “good morning,” use appropriately
Actual chat-for-a-moment questions:
nǐ zuìjìn zěnme yàng? - How’ve you been recently?
zuìjìn máng shénme ne? - What are you up to these days?
Home with my parents’ cats for the weekend and decided to make my own four character idiom:
When the person stands, the cat will sit. 😸
This is so tragic. Rest in Peace, Dr. Li Wenliang.
Much more in this article by Cissy Zhou for the South China Morning Post. The related news articles on that site paint a gloomy, scary picture.
Prayers for all who are suffering, and prayers for all who are working so hard to combat this virus!
“Originally there were no paths in this world, but after many people walking upon it, a path came be.” Photographed by @heiseuihak (IG) in Central, Hong Kong.
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