Chinese Proverbs Illustrated

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 14 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 26 Feb 2024

Talking about this book? Use #ChineseProverbsIllustrated #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


The elegant pen-strokes and visual harmony of Chinese writing have long been admired in the west. Classical Chinese calligraphy is a popular and valuable art form, and with the increasing economic and cultural power of China, its writing is becoming more widely appreciated and understood. In particular, the deep layers of history and symbolism which exist behind even the most everyday phrases have a strong appeal to those seeking understanding from an alternative philosophy. The sayings known as Cheng-yu, represented by four characters, are used frequently in Chinese. They are comparable to proverbs or idioms in English, but each adds a depth of meaning and linguistic colour very unlike their English equivalents. Many are rooted in ancient Chinese culture, and make oblique references to poetry, philosophy or history. Four characters may take a whole paragraph to explain, yet, to a native speaker brought up and educated in the traditions to which they refer, they are instantly comprehensible.  Chinese Proverbs Illustrated: The Wisdom of Cheng-Yu features a selection of the most famous and most interesting of the more than 5000 Cheng-yu. Alongside the phrase is an accessible and inspiring explanation, its literal translation in English, what the particular strokes symbolize, and its various uses, as well as over 75 images to complement the text.

The elegant pen-strokes and visual harmony of Chinese writing have long been admired in the west. Classical Chinese calligraphy is a popular and valuable art form, and with the increasing economic...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781838863692
PRICE £29.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 12 members

Featured Reviews

This is a beautiful edition which displays proverbs in a way showing the traditional way in which they are written, followed up with how to pronounce them in english through english spelling and an interesting history on how the proverb came to gain it's meaning. These were fascinating to read. Accompanied by photographs linking the proverbs to their backstory, this is a beautiful collection to look back on time and time again.

Was this review helpful?

I bought the Art of War by Sun Tzu ( A New Translation) in Hardback from Amber Boooks years ago because my existing copy had worn out and I absolutely loved the presentation of this one (a beauty on my shelves) When I saw Chinese Proverbs illustrated, I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to request an arc! My mother is from Anshan and as such, I take huge delight in seeing Chinese classic literature becomming more popular

Having spent many an hour learning the beat and nuances of chinese poetry throught the years, idioms were always a reprieve for me, to keep the impetus going, but also to have a breather. Thisi book is wonderfully presented and perfectly translated. I like how there was a literal translation and an idiomatic meaning which will also help students of Mandarin

Whether learning a language, or just a lover of idioms, history or reference, this is a gorgeous volume

Thank you to NetGalley and Amber Books Ltd for this outstanding ARC. My review is left voluntarily and all reviews are my own

Was this review helpful?

I have a Masters degree in Translation, so I’ve always been interested in different cultures and languages. This book is so interesting!! It explains the origins of the different characters/sayings and also has beautiful paintings and photos throughout the dynasties. The characters and stories are fascinating. This would be a great resource for a history class.

I received a free copy from NetGalley and Amber Books (thank you!) in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: