covet a little, lose a lot
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
(tan1 xiao3 shi1 da4)
這個概念也可直接轉譯為英文片語「covet a little, lose a lot」。另外，它也可以一句古諺語「penny wise and pound foolish」轉譯，儘管此句之意有些許不同，較著眼於眼前立即得到的利益，而忘記更重要、更長遠的利益。（台北時報編譯林俐凱譯）
(In order to save up loyalty points to redeem for gifts, he bought a pile of stuff he simply had no need for, and even maxed out his credit card. Talk about penny-wise and pound-foolish.)
covet a little, lose a lot
In the book New Discussions of Master Liu, thought to be by the Northern Qi thinker Liu Zhou — although that attribution is debated — there is a curious story about the origins of the Stone Cattle Road that led between the westernmost ancient state of Qin and Shu in modern day Sichuan. As the story suggests, this road played a major part in the former’s conquest of the latter, which history assures us occurred in 316 BC, around a century before Qin went on to conquer the rest of its rival states and create a unified China. In the story, Liu Zhou is more interested in the moral than the history. It goes as follows.
The Marquis of Shu was known for his greed. King Hui of Qin, who had plans to conquer Shu, heard of this and determined to take advantage of it. There were paths leading to Shu, but they were too treacherous or narrow for getting an army through. The Qin army carved five large oxen out of stone, claimed that the oxen would excrete golden cowpats, and left the statues on the road for the marquis to take. The marquis duly ordered a wide road to be opened up, and for five strong men to go and carry the stone oxen to Shu. His fate was thus sealed, as the Qin army were able to speed to Shu. The story ends by saying that, for the sake of trivial gains, the marquis lost his state and his life, and became an object of derision. The last phrase of the story is 「以貪小利失其大利也」— “for the sake of greed for small gains he lost greatly” — and from this we get the proverb「貪小失大」.
A direct translation of this idea can be found in the English phrase “covet a little, lose a lot.” It is also translated as the old proverb “penny-wise and pound-foolish,” although this has the slightly different meaning of focusing on immediate gains and forgetting more important — perhaps long-term — ones.
(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)
Closing the doors indiscriminately on all immigration is a bit penny-wise and pound-foolish, is it not?
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
Literary circles have been celebrating the legacy of late writer Eileen Chang, who would have turned 100 on Wednesday next week. Born in Shanghai, the legendary writer shot to fame in her 20s, and continued to write after moving to Hong Kong, and then the US, in the 1950s. Chang is one of the greatest female Chinese writers, and her classic works include Love in a Fallen City, The Golden Cangue, and The Red Rose and the White Rose. Many of her novels, such as Lust, Caution, were adapted into films and TV drama series. Based on Chang’s novel Aloeswood Incense
Let’s dine out tonight (3/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（三） A: Hmm. . . I can’t decide what to order. I’m hesitating between a lamb rogan josh or a beef vindaloo. B: Well, let’s order both and share the dishes. We can also order the tandoori king prawns that I was just eyeing up. A: The prawn dish will perfectly complement the bottle of Australian Chardonnay that I’ve brought along. It’s a great wine, with notes of peaches and lemongrass. B: Cool! Let’s also order some butter naan bread and pilau rice for two. A: 嗯……我無法決定要點哪一道菜。我正在猶豫要點喀什米爾羊肉咖哩，還是辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。 B: 啊，那我們兩個都點，然後分著吃吧。我們還可以點一份坦都里香料烤明蝦，我剛剛一直在看這道菜。 A: 這道明蝦應該能完美搭配我帶來的這瓶澳洲夏多內白葡萄酒。這瓶酒真的很棒哦，帶有桃子和檸檬草的香氣。 B: 酷！那我們也點一些奶油烤餅，和兩人份的香料米飯吧。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） WARNING: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage
Let’s dine out tonight (5/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（五） A: I can’t believe we ordered the hottest curry on the menu by mistake. I’m such a dunderhead: I should have checked with the waiter first. B: Never mind, the mango lassi the waiter gave us on the house really did the trick: my mouth has cooled down now. A: Why don’t you finish off the remainder of the lamb rogan josh — it’s the mildest of all the curries we ordered. I’ll polish off the beef vindaloo. Waste not, want not. B: Are you sure that’s wise? I might have to take you home in an ambulance. A: 真不敢相信我們竟然不小心點到菜單上最辣的一道咖哩。我真是個笨蛋：我應該先跟服務生確認的。 B: 沒關係，服務生送我們餐廳招待的芒果優格真的發揮魔力了：我的嘴巴現在冷卻下來囉。 A: 你要不要把剩下的喀什米爾羊肉咖哩吃完──這道是我們點的咖哩菜肴裡最溫和的。我會快速掃完辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。不浪費才能不虞匱乏。 B: 你確定這樣是明智之舉嗎？我搞不好要叫救護車載你回家哦。 （Edward