Speak of the devil 说曹操,曹操到 03/30/2010
Speak of the devil (and in he walks). This idiom means "talk about certain person and he appears". A similar Spanish idiom is ""Hablando del Rey de Roma, por la ventana se asoma" (Speaking of the King of Rome, through the window he appears). In Chinese, it is 说曹操,曹操到 ("shuō Cáo Cāo, Cáo Cāo dào"), which translates as "Speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives. Cáo Cāo is the a well known historical figure of ancient China during the Three Kingdom Period (220-265CE).
Sound like a broken record 喋喋不休 03/20/2010
Back in the seventies and eighties, polyvinyl discs, known as records, were the mostly common form of music albums. A scratch of a record may cause the needle of a record player stuck in the same groove and plays the music over and over again. The idiom “Sound like a broken record” refers to a person saying the same thing over and over again. The literal translation of this idiom in Spanish is “pareces un disco rayado” 早在七十，八十年代音乐唱片普遍是用胶碟播放，当唱片被刮花唱针停留在槽上， 音乐重复又重复，此语句是指一个人说同样的事情一遍又一遍，喋喋不休。
All that glitters is not gold 人不可以貌相，物不可信包装 03/12/2010
A popular use of the subject proverb was in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which was written in 1596.
"All that glitters is not gold" is to say that all may not be as it appears to be. Literally, it means that just because something sparkles or glitters, that does not mean it is gold. It could be some other metal or something that sparkles similarly to gold. In real life, it is easier to apply. For example, if someone appears to be your friend as they treat you nicely and act favorably to you, this does not necessarily mean that they are really your friend and hold your best interests at heart. You can, of course, also apply it to items or products that look or sound valuable, but can be worthless.
Question: Glitters appear to be a plural noun, why is it not "All those glitters are not gold"?
Answer: Glitters is not a noun here. It is a verb. All in this situation should be followed by a singular verb as in "All is well". "that glitters" forms a verb clause. If you still cannot figure that out, please try treat it as "All (which glitters) is not gold".
这语句最为人熟识是娄似句子曾在沙士比亚名著威尼斯商人 (1956) 出现过。
The straw that broke the camel's back 忍无可忍 02/26/2010
here is a limit to everything. We can load the camel with lots of straw, but finally it will be too much and the camel's back will break. And it is only a single straw that breaks its back - the last straw. This can be applied to many things in life. People often say "That's the last straw!" when they will not accept any more of something.
There are a Spanish phrase and a Chinese phrase which have a similar meaning to the subject proverb and they are "La gota que colmó el vaso” and 忍无可忍 respectively.
One can’t have one’s cake and eat it too is a popular English idiomatic proverb or figure of speech. It means an individual can’t use a thing and still attempts to own it (such as eating a piece of cake and yet still possessing that piece for future use) It may also indicate having or wanting more than one can handle or deserve, or trying to have two incompatible things. The proverb’s meaning is similar to the phrases, “you can’t have it both ways” and “you can’t have the best of both worlds.
There is a Chinese proverbs which bears similar meaning. It is 鱼与熊掌不可兼得, which literally means “one cannot get fish and bear’s paw at the same time”. Back in the old days, both were considered culinary rarities. I was told the closest Spanish phrase to this is.“no puedes tener simpre lo que quieras”
Turning a blind eye 视而不见 02/16/2010
The phrase "turning a blind eye" is attributed to an incident in the life of British Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was blind in one eye. In 1801, in certain battle, Nelson deliberately disobeyed the order of his superior by putting the telecope to his blind eye claiming that he did not see the related signal.
Meaning To choose to ignore behavior that one knows is wrong.
It costs an arm and a leg 大放血 01/25/2010
Arm' and 'leg' are used as examples of items that no one would consider selling even at an enormous price. It costs an arm and a leg is used to describe the price of something that is very expensive compared to what you expected.'臂'和'腿'被用来作为例子，无论出价多少相信没有人会考虑出售其'臂'和'腿'，It costs an arm and a leg 通常用于描述某物品的价值远远超出你的预期。
I went to the dentist today to check my teeth and I need to do some dental work, but it costs an arm and a leg.
Originally we planned to have our vacation in Europe, but a two-week vacation in Europe costs an arm and a leg, so we are going to have our vacation in Thailand.
I can’t afford to buy a new iPod because it costs an arm and a leg.
Burning the midnight oil 挑灯夜读 01/23/2010
You are "burning the midnight oil" when you are working hard late into the night. Example: "I could see the light in your window last night. It looks like you have been burning the midnight oil." Before they had electric lamps, people used oil-burning lamps to read or work in the darkness at night. When you are working very hard until late at night you are "burning the midnight oil." "Has your son been working hard to prepare for his final exams?" Reply: "He sure has. He's been up each night burning the midnight oil".
Burning the midnight oil 的意思就是挑灯夜读，也就是我们平常所说的熬夜，开夜车。在英文中，这个用法也由来已久了，可以追溯到人们最初开始使用油灯的时候。如果在午夜时分燃烧灯油，那也就意味着熬夜苦读、看书了。例如：I have a big test tomorrow morning, so I plan to burn the midnight oil tonight.(因为明天我有一个重要的考试，所以我计划挑灯夜读了。)
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush means that it is better to keep what you have than to give it up and try to get something better. Example: "Dan has asked me to go to a party with him. What if my boyfriend finds out? I don't know if I should go." Reply: "Don't go. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." The thing that you already have is a bird in the hand; the things you want but don't have are two (birds) in the bush. You should not risk losing what you have by trying to get something that you don't have. Example: "I've been offered $250 for my stereo. Should I take it, or wait for a better offer?" Reply: "Take the $250. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush means that we should be happy with what we have and not risk losing it by being greedy and trying to get more.
Once bitten, twice shy 一朝被蛇咬，十年怕井绳 12/18/2009
A girl at Italki, the other day, posted a message on her blackboard "I will never trust men again". That girl must have had some bad experience with men. This reminded me of the subject provert "One bitten, twice shy". It means that someone who has been hurt or who has had something go wrong will be far more careful next time. In Chinese there is a similar saying 一朝被蛇咬，十年怕井绳. Shy here means "frightened". Do you have some personal experience which this proverb applies? Please write about it.