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Two Thousand Zhuang Proverbs from China with Annotations and Chinese and English Translation


Zhou Yanxian

China is home to one of the largest and oldest societies in the world, and presently contains fifty-six ethnic groups. Among them is the Zhuang, the largest of the minority populations, which partakes in a very long history of preliterate oral traditions. This volume presents an introduction to Zhuang language and culture in Zhuang proverbs. The two thousand proverbs explored in this text bear the weight of Zhuang history and culture, and embody the wisdom collected from publications, manuscripts, and the speeches of the people who live in Zhuang villages. These proverbs are grouped into nine sections: Truths; Morality; Family; Everyday Life; Social Life; Labor; Nature; Customs; and Politics. Together, they form an essential distillation of the Zhuang history, tradition, philosophy, and most importantly, its legacy. This accessible introduction – which includes translations in Zhuang Pinyin letters, Mandarin, and American English for each proverb – provides an important corpus for the study of the Zhuang ethnic group by scholars, students, and others who are interested in Zhuang language, culture, folklore and oral traditions, and proverbs.

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Chapter 3. Ndaw Ranz 家庭 Family


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785. Aen caengh mbouj naek gya doz, mehyah mboujrox naih son. 秤不重加秤砣,妻不明多训导。 When the scale is light, add weight; when a wife is unwise, give her more instruction.

786. Aen mbanj miz aen’hung aen’iq, aen ranz miz aenmiz aen’hoj. 村寨有大也有小,家庭有富也有贫。 Villages are big or small, families are rich or poor.

787. Aeu bawx haeuj dou ranz, bohmeh caiq rim ndang. 媳妇进家门,父母债满身。 The daughter-in-law comes and the parents are heavily in debt.

788. Aeu mbwk yawj meh, ndaem faex yawj miuz. 娶女看娘,种树看秧。 When marrying your daughter, see her mother; when planting a tree, choose the best sapling.

789. Aeu siengj youq ndaej ndei, haq hawj cangh baenjnaez. 要想住得好,嫁给泥匠佬。 If you want to live in a good house, marry a mason. ← 77 | 78 →

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