Teamwork in Chinese (2)

There was once a monk who lived by himself in the mountains. Each day he had to walk a distance to a creek, fill a large wooden tub with water and carry it back to use as drinking water. Years later, another monk came to join him at the small temple. Everyday the two monks would each hold one side of the handle of the large tub to carry water back from the creek. The first monk was glad to have someone share the heavy load. Then came a third monk to join them, and a problem arose: Each monk counted on the other two to do the chore. Hence the following Chinese saying:

Yī gè héshàng tí shuǐ hē.
One monk will carry the water by himself for drinking.

Liǎng gè héshàng tái shuǐ hē.
Two monks will carry the water together for drinking.

Sān gè héshàng méi shuǐ hē.
With three monks there will be no water to drink.

和尚 (héshàng) is a Buddhist monk, usually with shaven head and wearing a long robe.

(tí) is to carry something, such as luggage, with the arm down. (tái) is to lift something up, or having two people carry something together. (méi) is the abbreviation of 没有 (méiyǒu have not, be without).

Appareantly, the three monks had not thought of taking turns in doing their share of the work.

Wǒmén lúnliu zhíbān.
We take turns in being on duty.

A team needs responsible and reliable members who are willing to help oneanother and work together to resolve issues.

负责 (fùzé) means to be responsible for or to be in charge of. Please note that 负责人 (fùzérén) refers to the person in charge, while 负责的人 (fùzé de rén) describes a conscientious person.

(kào) means to lean on. Therefore, 可靠 (kěkào) means dependable, reliable, or trustworthy. 可靠性 (kěkàoxìng) is dependability or reliability.

Zhègè rén bù kěkào.
This person is not trustworthy.

互相帮助 (hùxiāng bāngzhù) is to help each other out, and 互相容忍 (hùxiāng róngrěn) is to tolerate or to put up with each other.

和谐 (héxié) means harmonious, and 相处 (xiāngchǔ) means to get along with each other. Therefore, 和谐相处 (héxié xiāngchǔ) means to get along harmoniously.

The adverb “together” has several Chinese equivalents, with slightly different nuances in meaning.
一同 (yītóng) applies to doing the same things together at the same time and place.
一齐 (yīqí) applies to doing things together at the same time or in unison.
一起 (yīqǐ) applies to doing things together in the same place.
一道 (yīdào) applies to doing things together alongside each other.

Wǒmén yītóng bǎ wèntí jiějué le.
We resolved the issue together.

Hǎo jíle!


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