image: traditional Tujia brocade

Play All)Songs and sayings: Sayings

This page contains a selection of poems and traditional proverbs.


6.3.1: Poem
6.3.2: Ditty
6.3.3: Proverbs
6.3.4: Two-Part Sayings
6.3.5: Maxims

6.3.1: Poem

Tian Xintao, Daba Township, Yongshun County
recorded on 05 August 2002

01 qing1ming1 si3jie3 me2 ce3 ze3, la4qiu1 luo4die1 bu1ce3 bie4.
During the Qingming Festival the rain falls, Passers-by are bowed down with sadness.
02 re2 tu2 luo4die1 kei2-bo3 zu2, wu2 ka4 luo4bi3 a2re1 xing2hua1cun1 xie2.
Where are the people who serve wine? "Xinghua Village," the young cowherd replies.

6.3.2: Ditty

Peng Wanjiao, Pojiao Rural Township, Longshan County
recorded on 03 April 2002

01 ang2ni1 da4ha3 bi2zi1ka3, a4se3 pa1 li3 nga2 nie4-ca2; nga2 guo2 zong1gang1 la2 ze2 li3, a4se3 pa1 li3 pa1 kuo3ha3.
We are all Tujia, if anyone speaks Chinese I want to laugh; I say something as a middleman, someone who speaks Chinese is like a beggar [borrowing a language].

6.3.3: Proverbs

Tian Jinggui, Dianfang Township, Longshan County
recorded on 19 June 2002

01 ka3 wu2 me3 tong1-duo3, luo4 ri1 me3 zi2-duo3.
Unless the heart of a fire is open [to draw in air], wood will not burn; unless your heart is honest you cannot be a man.
02 ni2 ca2 nga2 ye1 ca2, ra3lie3 la2 bu2 ga2-ji2-da2.
If you are good friends, then you will share even your last egg.
03 la4 hhi2-duo3-da2 song1kuo1-de1xi3, sa3li3-duo3-da2 song1kuo1-ta1ti1.
Wrongly taken steps can be retraced, but wrongly spoken words cannot be recalled.
04 pa3pu1 ka3mong3 se1, re4-die1 me2lu1 ye4.
The grandfather plants the tree, and his grandchildren benefit from its shade.
05 jie2ri1 long1 ca2-duo3, pe2ti1 se3 tu2-duo3.
He who would see a harvest from his toil must also put manure on his fields.
06 la2bu1 gu1ce3-zu2, lao2zi1 me2ze3-hu3.
When salt weeps, rain is on the way.
07 sa3li3-hu3 die2-li1la1di3, ong3-bo3-hu3 mie2-li1la1di3.
Think before you speak; and blow your seat clean before you sit on it.
08 luo4 li2a4 ru1ga3-da2, ra3 li2a4 luo4 ge4-ta1.
A hungry man will do anything for food; a hungry chicken will not avoid people.

6.3.4: Two-Part Sayings

Tian Jinggui, Dianfang Township, Longshan County
recorded on 19 June 2002

01 kuo3ha3 ye3 wo4-hi1ce1: guo2duo3 guo2-bo3-xi2.
A beggar unable to shoulder the fruits of his begging - just deserts.
02 ji3la1pi3 se3si2 za4: ra2-lu3.
Oiling the soles of your feet - slipping off quietly.
03 zuo2ku1, guo2 ra3 ba4: me3 cai2 tai2.
A wildcat eyeing a chicken - bad intentions.
04 re3 qi4 ga3 gu3: guo2duo3 qi4.
A rat on a steelyard - measuring oneself.
05 ka3mong3 ta1nie1 ye4-bo3 ze4ga3 ha3: ta1nie1 ye4-bo3 a1ye3 ri1.
Hiding behind a tree to catch squirrels - making trouble behind the scenes.

6.3.5: Maxims

Tian Jinggui, Dianfang Township, Longshan County
recorded on 19 June 2002

01 a3ti3ke3 peng2peng1-bo3 ji3ti3ke1 ha3.
Moving a rock and banging your knee - asking for trouble.
02 ra3lie3 huo3lie3 a3ba3 ha3.
Using an egg to break rocks - an impossible task.
03 me2 ong3-xi2 ci4, me2ze3 ze3 suan4.
Loud thunder but little rain - all words and no action.






Copyright (C) 2004 Philip & Cecilia Brassett