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              Home Chinese Idiom 按圖索驥 (àn tú suǒ jì )
              按圖索驥 (àn tú suǒ jì )
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              During the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū 春秋時期,770-476 BC), there was a man in the State of Qin whose name was Sun Yang (sūn yáng 孫陽). Sun Yang was very expert in looking at horses and judging their worth. People called him Bo Le (Bo Le was the name of one of the celestial bodies and was fabled to be in charge of heavenly steeds), and he was often asked to appraise and select horses.

              Sun Yang worte a book entitled The Art of Looking at Horses and Judging Their Worth, based on his experiences and knowledge accumulated over the years. The book was also illustrated with the pictures of various horses. Sun Yang had a son who thought it was very esay to appraise horses according to the book. So he took it with him to look for fine horses. He found the characteristics of a toad fit very well the characteristics described in the book. So he happily took the toad back home, Sun Yang did not know whether he should laugh or cry. "That is just what we call looking for a steed with the aid of its picture."
              Later, people have used the set phrase "look for a steed with the aid of its picture" to refer to handling affairs mechanically in the outmoded ways without being flexible. Sometimes it is also used to refer to trying to locate something by following up a clue.

              春秋時,秦國有個名叫孫陽的人,善于鑒別馬的好壞,他把自己識馬的經驗寫成書,名為《相馬經》。這本書圖文并茂地介紹了各類好馬,所以人們把孫陽叫“伯樂”。
              書上寫著:良馬有高高的額頭,鼓起的眼睛,馬蹄是圓圓的。孫陽的兒子熟讀了這本書后,以為自己學到了父親的本領,便拿著《相馬經》去找好馬。一天,他在路便看見一只癩蛤蟆,前額和《相馬經》上好馬的特征相符,就以為找到了一匹千里馬,馬上跑去告訴父親:“和你書上畫的好馬差不多,只是蹄子不像。”孫陽聽后,哭笑不得,開玩笑地說:“這匹馬太喜歡跳了,不好駕馭。” 這個成語比喻機械地照書本上的知識,不求事物的本質。

              按圖索驥 (àn tú suǒ jì )
              【翻譯】Looking for a Steed with the Aid Of Its Picture.
              【釋義】索:尋找,驥:好馬。按照畫像去尋求好馬,比喻按照線索尋找,或辦事機械, 死板。
              【例句】我們要學習外國的先進經驗,但不可按圖索驥地搬用,那樣自然會得不償失。
              【近義詞】照本宣科、生搬硬套
              【反義詞】不落窠臼

              Tags: Chinese Proverbs Chinese Literature

               

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