Thursday, December 06, 2012

How do you translate 刻舟求劍 (각주구검)?


There is an old Chinese saying that literally translates as follows: "Notch (刻) the boat (舟) to find (求) the sword (劍). It is used to suggest foolishness.

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There was a man from the state of Cho who was crossing a river . His sword fell out of the boat into the water. He quickly made a mark on the boat and said, "This is where my sword fell." When the boat stopped moving, he went into the water to look for his sword at the place where he notched the boat. The boat had moved, but the sword had not. Is this not a foolish way to look for a sword?


  1. Thanks for sharing! Even though I know Chinese, literary Chinese is still difficult for me.

  2. This is also a 사자성어 used in Korean. I find it that most Chinese today, at least the mainlanders, do not know such idioms as well as Koreans.

  3. Nice work and really useful.
    Wish to have more of you here to teach the interested.


  4. Hello Sir Gerry. How are you doing these days ? Please post some more interesting Korean stuff. :)


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