Chinese Idiom Story “畫蛇添足”

In the Warring States Period (zhàn guó 战国,475-221BC), a man in the State of Chu (chǔ guǒ楚国) was offering a sacrifice to his ancestors. After the ceremony, the man gave a beaker of wine to his servants. The servants thought that there was not enough wine for all them, and decided to each draw a picture of a snake; the one who finished the picture first would get the wine. One of them drew very rapidly. Seeing that the others were still busy drawing, he added feet to the snake. At this moment another man finished, snatched the beaker and drank the wine, saying, ‘A snake doesn’t have feet. How can you add feet to a snake?

This idiom refers to ruining a venture by doing unnecessary and surplus things.

戰國時代有個楚國人祭他的祖先。儀式結束後,他拿出一壺酒賞給手下的幾個人。大家商量說:“我們都來畫蛇,誰先畫好誰就喝這壺酒。”其中有一個人先畫好 了。但他看到同伴還沒有畫完,就又給蛇添上了腳。這時,另一個人也畫好了,奪過酒壺吧酒喝了,並且說:“蛇本來是沒有腳的,你怎麽能給它添上腳呢?”

“畫蛇添足”這個成語比喻做了多余而不恰當的事,反而把事情弄糟了。

Zhànguó shídài yǒu gè chǔ guó rén jì tā de zǔxiān. Yíshì jiéshù hòu, tā ná chū yī hú jiǔ shǎng gěi shǒuxià de jǐ gèrén. Dàjiā shāngliáng shuō:“Wǒmen dōu lái huà shé, shuí xiān huà hǎo shuí jiù hē zhè hú jiǔ.” Qízhōng yǒuyī gèrén xiān huà hǎole. Dàn tā kàn dào tóngbàn hái méiyǒu huà wán, jiù yòu gěi shé tiānshàngle jiǎo. Zhèshí, lìng yīgèrén yě huà hǎole, duóguò jiǔ hú ba jiǔ hēle, bìngqiě shuō:“Shé běnlái shì méiyǒu jiǎo de, nǐ zěnmó néng gěi tā tiānshàng jiǎo ne?”

“Huàshétiānzú” zhège chéngyǔ bǐyù zuòle duōyú ér bù qiàdàng de shì, fǎn’ér bǎ shìqíng nòng zāole.

畫蛇添足(huà shé tiān zú)
【翻譯】Drawing a snake and Adding Feet.
【釋義】畫蛇時給蛇添上腳。比喻做了多余的事,非但無益,反而不合適。也比喻虛構事實,無中生有。

Huà shé shígěi shé tiānshàng jiǎo. Bǐyù zuòle duōyú de shì, fēidàn wúyì, fǎn’ér bù héshì. Yě bǐyù xūgòu shìshí, wú zhōng

Shēng yǒu.

【例句】本來很好的一個方案,經理還要讓我們補充一些無用的環節,這簡直是畫蛇添足啊!

Běnlái hěn hǎo de yīgè fāng’àn, jīnglǐ hái yào ràng wǒmen bǔchōng yīxiē wúyòng de huánjié, zhè jiǎnzhí shì huàshétiānzú a!
【近義詞】多此一舉
Duōcǐyījǔ

 


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