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Chinese Proverb

Chris Torrens in his book "Doing Business in China" uses quotes and proverbs for every chapter.
One of them is "A conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study. Chinese proverb" on page 87.

I was curious to find out how it may sound in Chinese and after some research found the following quote:
"A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' study of books." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion (1839), Chapter VII. Quoted from the Chinese.

Interesting twist, isn't it?

Then I found a book "Chinese Moral Maxims: With a Free and Verbal Translation, Affording Examples of the Grammatical Structure of the Language" by John Francis Davis, F.R.S. The book was published in 1823. The compilation of idioms in the book was made in 1818 to help students who are learning Chinese and "other Persons to whom it may not be altogether devoid of interest". The quoted proverb is on the page 193:

As we can see the quote in "Doing Business..." is slightly different to the point where the actual proverb means just reading books and not study in general.
Very interesting.

I'd also say that usually study and practice is required to either check whether you are speaking to a wise man or to understand what they say when they really are wise.

Therefore I would still not just rely on a single conversation with a "wise".


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