Mon, Apr 22, 2019 - Page 9 News List


The Difficult Lesson, William Bouguereau.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Chinese Practice


(gua1 mu4 xiang1 kan4; ling4 yan3 xiang1 kan4)

to rub one’s eyes and look again; to view someone in a new light


這句話用英文來說,可以用「see/view someone in a new/different light」(以不同的方式看待某人)來表達。


「刮目相看」和「另眼相看」都意味重新審視某人,但兩者用法不同。首先,「刮目相看」意味所描述的人已有所改變,或進步到令人驚訝、不容忽視的程度;而「另眼相看」則意味那人原本就有令人印象深刻或獨特之處。其次,跟「see/view someone in a new/different light」一樣,「另眼相看」的用法可以是正面的,也可以是負面的,以表達重視或歧視。


  • 她雖然年紀很輕,但專業的表現令人刮目相看。
  • (Her professional manner, despite her young age, is really quite striking.)

  • 他雖然是董事長的兒子,但不需要你們另眼相待,該受的訓練他一件都不能省。
  • (He’s the chairman’s son, but don’t give him any special treatment, he must be given the full training, with nothing held back.)

  • 法律之前應該是人人平等,怎麼可以因為有人種族不同,而另眼相待?
  • (Equality should be given primacy even before legal considerations: why should somebody be treated differently simply because of their race?)


    see/view someone in a new/different light

    Lu Meng was a general of the Three Kingdoms Period, serving under the warlord Sun Quan of the state of Wu. He made a name for himself for bravery early on, but he was never known for his scholarly achievements. Lu himself said that he had little time between his military exploits to devote to study, but Sun counseled him to cultivate a foundation in the ancient historical texts and military classics while he was still a young man. Lu took this advice to heart, and eventually became better-read than some Confucian scholars. Lu Su was another general, and one of the people who had formerly looked down upon Lu Meng for his lack of erudition. One day, the two met at an encampment, and over the course of their discussion Lu Su realized just how much the other man had progressed. According to the jiangbiao zhuan (Biography of Jiang Biao) as cited in the third century AD work sanguo zhi (Records of the Three Kingdoms), he slapped Lu Meng on the back, saying, “I have always thought you were little more than a fighter, and had no idea how learned you are. You are no longer the illiterate Lu Meng I once knew.” To this, Lu Meng replied 士別三日,即更刮目相待 (When scholars part ways for three days, they will see each other anew [when they meet again later]). This gives us the idiom 刮目相看, literally “to rub one’s eyes and look again,” meaning to look at somebody with a revised estimation of their abilities.

    In English, you can say “see/view someone in a new/different light.”

    In the late Ming Dynasty collection of short stories Slapping the Table in Amazement Part 1 by Ling Mengchu (1580–1644), we read a story in which one Chen Dalang provides a hearty meal for a towering, bearded man — who later turns out to be the leader of a group of bandits — and of how Chen’s wife and her brother are later captured by bandits led by that same man. One day, the bandit chief discovers the identity of Chen’s wife. She would later relate how the bandit leader 查問來歷,我等一一實對,便把我們另眼相看,我們也不知其故 (asked us where we came from, and I answered each of his questions. From that point, he viewed us in a different light, although we had no idea why this should be). Not only did he not harm them, he treated them as honored guests. Afterward, when Chen and his wife were reunited, they worked out that it must have been because the husband had shown the bandit kindness in the past. From this story we get the idiom 另眼相看 (also written as 另眼相待) meaning “to view someone in a new light.”

    This story has been viewed 4185 times.

    Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

    TOP top