It’s so true about sayings even in different languages

I came across this phrase:-


This is in Simplified Chinese 1, if you want to pronounce it, it’s bǎi wén bùrú yī jiàn, bǎi jiàn bùrú yīgān.

Bear with me here, I’m getting somewhere with this…

The 2nd and 5th (repeated on the 8th) character is unfamiliar as I’m more use to Traditional Chinese [2] (written format in Hong Kong and Taiwan).

So as one does, I used Google Translate to translate from Simplified Chinese to Traditional Chinese and I got the following


I still don’t know how to pronounce the 2nd character now, my Chinese is not too bad. :-)

So I go to my preferred site 3 for finding out how the characters sound in Cantonese, and it’s baak3 man4 bat1 jyu4 jat1 gin3, baak3 gin3 bat1 jyu4 jat1 gon1

Nearly there…

The translation to this Chinese saying is

seeing once is better than hearing 100 times, but doing once is better than seeing 100 times

Small update: my friend (thanks, Min) mentioned that the translation above is not literally correct, although I know the English translation was meant for it to read better than the literal translation, here is the literal translation:-

instead of asking 100 questions, go see it; instead of looking at something 100 times, go try it

And that is so true with many of the coding workshops I run. I know this as that is how I learn as well.

By the way, I found this phrase from this Chinese corner, handy for this Banana 3
And yes, when I say banana, I meant myself ;-).

P.S. If you are curious about what it’s like being a “Banana” growing up, here’s my very first blog post back in 2002 when I founded Irish Born Chinese site. Happy reading!

P.P.S. Apologies if you thought this post was about programming languages. When I found the meaning of the phrase, I really wanted to blog about my thought process in finding the meaning and how I learn new characters.


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