Chinese Idiom Story “驚弓之鳥”

In the Warring States Period (zhàn guó 战国), there was a man in the State of Wei (wèi guó 魏国) called Geng Lei. One day he said to the king: ‘I can shoot down birds by simply plucking my bowstring.’ When the king expressed doubt, Geng Lei pointed his bow at a wild goose flying in the sky, twanged the bowstring, and the goose fell to the ground. Geng Lei said, ‘This goose has been hurt in the past. Hearing the twang of the bowstring, it assumed that it was doomed. So it simply gave up trying to live.’This idiom means that if one has been frightened in the past ones will may become paralyzed in a similar situation.

戰國時期(公元前403―221年中國中原地區各諸侯國連年爭戰的時代)魏國有個名叫更羸的人。一天,更贏和魏國國王在一個高台之上,仰望看見飛鳥,更贏對魏王說:“我可以爲您表演拉空弓發虛箭但使鳥掉下來。”魏王說:“是嗎,射箭的技術可以達到這種程度嗎?”更贏說:“可以。”一會,有大雁從東邊飛過來,更贏用虛發使(大雁)掉下來了。魏王說:“啊,射箭的技術可以達到這種程度啊?”更贏說:“這鳥是受過箭傷的。”魏王說:“先生你怎麽知道呢?”回答說:“它飛得慢並且鳴叫的聲音悲涼。飛得慢的原因,是有舊傷,鳴叫悲涼的原因,是離群的時間很長了。老傷沒好那麽驚懼的心就沒過去。聽到弓弦的聲音,努力舞動翅膀往高處飛,老傷發作就掉下來了。”

Zhànguó shíqí (gōngyuán qián 403―221 nián zhōngguó zhōngyuán dìqū gè zhūhóu guó lián nián zhēngzhàn de shídài) wèi guóyǒu gè míng jiào gèng léi de rén. Yītiān, gèng yíng hé wèi guó guówáng zài yīgè gāotái zhī shàng, yǎngwàng kànjiàn fēiniǎo, gèng yíng duì wèi wáng shuō:“Wǒ kěyǐ wèi nín biǎoyǎn lā kōng gōng fāxū jiàn dàn shǐ niǎo diào xiàlái.” Wèi wáng shuō:“Shì ma , Shèjiàn de jìshù kěyǐ dádào zhè zhǒng chéngdù ma?” Gèng yíng shuō:“Kěyǐ.” Yī huǐ, yǒu dàyàn cóng dōngbian fēi guòlái, gèng yíng yòng xū fā shǐ (dàyàn) diào xiàláile. Wèi wáng shuō:“A, shèjiàn de jìshù kěyǐ dádào zhè zhǒng chéngdù a?” Gèng yíng shuō:“Zhè niǎo shì shòuguò jiàn shāng de.” Wèi wáng shuō:“Xiānshēng nǐ zěnmó zhīdào ne?” Huídá shuō:“Tā fēi Dé màn bìngqiě míngjiào de shēngyīn bēiliáng. Fēi dé màn de yuányīn, shì yǒu jiù shāng, míngjiào bēiliáng de yuányīn, shì lí qún de shíjiān hěn zhǎngle. Lǎo shāng méi hǎo nàmó jīng jù de xīn jiù méi guòqù. Tīngdào gōngxián de shēngyīn , Nǔlì wǔdòng chìbǎng wǎng gāo chù fēi, lǎo shāng fāzuò jiù diào xiàláile.”

驚弓之鳥 (jīng gōng zhī niǎo)
【翻譯】 1.A bird startled by the mere twang of a bow-string.
2.A badly frightened person; a panic-stricken person.
【釋義】被弓箭嚇怕了的鳥不容易安定。比喻經過驚嚇的人碰到一點動靜就非常害怕。

Bèi gōngjiàn xià pàle de niǎo bù róngyì āndìng. Bǐyù jīngguò jīngxià de rén pèng dào yīdiǎn dòngjìng jiù fēicháng hàipà.
【例句】壞人們總害怕警察來抓他們,只要一聽到槍聲他們就如驚弓之鳥四處逃竄.

Huài rénmen zǒng hàipà jǐngchá lái zhuā tāmen, zhǐyào yī tīngdào qiāng shēng tāmen jiù rú jīnggōngzhīniǎo sìchù táocuàn.
【近義詞】 傷弓之鳥、漏網之魚

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