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9 Funny Chinese Proverbs that will Turn You Into a Comedian

Chinese is a language packed with centuries of cultural wisdom and storytelling tradition. It’s only natural that there exists a slew of funny Chinese proverbs designed to give you a chuckle.

These proverbs are a terrific way to catch a break from your language studies and they give both literal and figurative meaning to words by effectively organizing the structure of the sentence or phrase.

Here are 9 funny Chinese proverbs to make your Chinese language learning experience a heck of a lot more entertaining!

 

落汤鸡

Luòtāngjī

A Chicken falls in soup

The characters read ‘fall’, ‘hot water’, ‘bird’. When translated accurately it means “A Chicken falls in soup.” It is ironic, because no sensible chicken would willingly boil itself in hot water. I guess when applied to life it can also mean “A person who made a mistake”.

 

9 Funny Chinese Proverbs

 

天花乱 

Tānhuāluànzhuì

A mouth like running water

While this Chinese proverb is beautiful when it comes to the character composition, the meaning is still a bit of stretch when translated. The characters read ‘heaven’, ‘flowers’, disorder/chaos/riot’, ‘fall’. This unique combination of characters means to talk as if flowers were raining down from heaven in a chaotic fashion. Simply speaking it can be translated to an English idiom. “A mouth like running water.” or, ‘a chatterbox’.

 

tin can

拼命开车的人一定会到达那里

Pīnmìng kāichē de rén yídìng huì dàodá nàli

A Man who drives like hell to get there

This one is for all you speed demons out there who drive like it is your last day on earth. Whenever I ride in my brother’s car, I accept my faith before I step in car because I know he is going to be doing 80mph in a 40mph zone while texting on his phone. I always tell him “You’re driving towards your end.” This proverb, while amusing is a clever way of cautioning reckless drivers.

 

9 Funny Chinese Proverbs

用一个筷子吃饭的人是饿的

Yòng yígè kuàizi chīfàn de rén shì è de

A man with one chopstick goes hungry

Have you ever tried eating with one chopstick? Not only is it impossible, but it’s impossible (see what I did there?) I would call this a funny Chinese proverb because it is truly frightening to think about sitting in front of a big bowl of gyoza and steamed rice with one chopstick. On a more figurative level this proverb is saying “Find the balance in your life.”

 

9 Funny Chinese Proverbs

一个男人在电栅栏上小便将会得到令人震惊的消息

Yí gè nán rén zài diàn zhà lán shàng xiǎo biàn jiāng huì  dé dào lìng rén zhèn jīng  de xiāo xi 

A man who pees on a fence, receives shocking news

Who in their right mind pees on a fence, an electrical one in fact? If I had to convey a figurative meaning for this “shocking idiom” it would be “Don’t try to solve a problem, while you’re creating your own.”

 

9 Funny Chinese Proverbs

 

一个在床上吃饼干的男人醒来感觉很糟糕

Yí gè zài chuáng shàng chī bǐng gān de nán rén xǐng lái gǎn jué hěn  zāo gāo .

A man who eats crackers in his bed, wakes up feeling crummy

Admit it, this is comedic gold…crummy? OK, maybe that was a bit sarcastic. Anyways, the only thing I can think of when I hear this proverb is to not be greedy and eat too much food, especially before bedtime.

 

9 Funny Chinese Proverbs

NSFW Funny Chinese Proverbs for Private Laughs

These are Chinese proverbs that are specifically made for short outbursts of laughter. These are not so commonly used in casual conversation; however, you might see them somewhere in a slang book due to the slightly “NSFW” nature of them.

 

一个愚蠢的男人给了他的妻子一架三角钢琴。智者给妻子一个正直的器官

Yí gè yú chǔn de nán rén gěi le tā de qī  zǐ yí  jià sān  jiǎo gāng  qín zhì zhě  gěi qī zǐ yí  gè zhèng zhí de  qì guān .

A foolish man gives his wife a grand piano. A wise man gives his wife an upright organ

HINT: It is not the organ in the church.

I am just here to share the joke, don’t go crazy in public talking about “upright organs”.

 

手整体插在口袋里的人过分自信

Shǒu zhěng tǐ chā zài kǒu dài lǐ de rén guò fèn zì xìn .

Man with a hand in pocket feels cocky all day

Okay, okay settle down kiddies. This one speaks for itself and can go in several ways depending on your interpretation.  Nonetheless, it’s extremely clever and Confucius ought to be proud of this creation. I’m just re-reading this and noticing how funny this Chinese proverb is. The literal and figurative meanings blend so perfectly, its comical!

 

一天到晚和妻子吵架的男人晚上什么都得不到

Yì tiān dào wǎn qī zǐ chǎo jià de nán rén wǎn shang shén me dōu dé bú dào

A man who fights with his wife all day doesn’t get any piece at night

If you’re wondering if I typed that right, I did. At first it took me a while to get it, then I remembered that English is a language with a lot of homonyms.  The word “piece” in this scenario means something other than what you think it means… “piece of what?”

 

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Chinese is a fascinating language and making the lifelong decision to learn Chinese can change your life for the better. Furthermore, you’ll be able to take advantage of these funny proverbs (hopefully without managing to offend anyone either.)

Similar to Chinese jokes, funny Chinese proverbs hold a unique meaning in the language, because of the cultural value behind them. Language individually cannot stand by itself, it needs the support of the culture that’s hosting it. Why not take a short break from your intense studies and get a good “HAHA” or “Ohhhh” from these classic funny Chinese proverbs?

Don’t forget to take your Chinese studies to the next level by learning off loads of interesting content. Using LingQ is the best way to learn Chinese. It provides lessons, quizzes, audio, and much more so you can learn faster and more efficiently. Import your favorite Chinese content from the web and start studying. LingQ is also available for both iOS and Android. Give it a try for free today.

 

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Kiandro has a B.A in Asian Studies and enjoys studying foreign languages. He’s proficient in Japanese and currently has Chinese, Spanish, Swahili, and Esperanto on his plate.

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