How do you view life in general? Is it sweet, or is it hard? What attitude do think we should have for a fulfilling life? How to view success and failure? What about staying humble, being tolerant and working hard?

Indeed, life is such a vast topic as it brings us joy, happiness, laughter, success, applause, love, friendship … as well as sadness, zest, jealousy, tears, failure and more. It is difficult to generalize it, although we definitely share certain views and feelings as Chinese people do.

Here are 12 Chinese sayings about life and hopefully they will give you some inspiration, some thoughts and some motivation to learn them in Chinese!

  1. 活到老,学到老

    huó dào lǎo, xué dào lǎo

    A man is never too old to learn.


  2. 花有重开日,人无再少年

    huā yǒu chóng kāi rì, rén wú zài shào nián,

    Flowers may bloom again, but a person never has the chance to be young again. 


  3. 人无完人,金无足赤

    rén wú wán rén, jīn wú zú chì

    It is as impossible to find a perfect man as it is to find 100 percent pure gold.


  4. 路遥知马力,日久见人心

    lù yáo zhī mǎ lì, rì jiǔ jiàn rén xīn

    As distance tests a horse’s strength, so does time reveal a person’s real character. 


  5. 凡人不可貌相, 海水不可斗量 

    fán rén bù kě mào xiàng, hǎi shuǐ bù kě dòu liàng

    As a man cannot be known by his looks, neither can the sea be fathomed by a gourd. 


  6. 风无常顺,兵无常胜

    fēng wú cháng shùn, bīng wú cháng shèng

    A boat can’t always sail with the wind; an army can’t always win battles. 


  7. 水满则溢

    shuǐ mǎn zé yì

    Water surges only to overflow. 


  8. 难得糊涂

    nan dé hú tu

    Where ignorance is bliss, it’s folly to be wise. 


  9. 没有规矩不成方圆
    méi yǒu guī ju bù chéng fāng yuán
    Nothing can be accomplished without norms or standards


  10. 否极泰来 

    pǐ jí tài lái

    Things at the worst will mend.


  11. 身体力行

    shēn tǐ lì xíng

    Practice what you preach.


  12. 吃得苦中苦,方为人上人

    chī dé kǔ zhōng kǔ, fāng wéi rén shàng rén

    No pains, no gains.



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