Some things are meant to be in Chinese

The Chinese often talk about a predestined relationship, which they call (yuán). This character looks somewhat similar to 绿 (lǜ green). Make sure you do not confuse these two characters.

Notice the “silk” radical on the left side of (yuán)? People come and go in your life. Perhaps there is an invisible silk thread that ties you to those who stay around most of the time, such as your family members, your friends, your classmates, your colleagues, and so on.

In the same sense, many things that happen are linked to a reason or a cause, i.e. 缘故 (yuángù) or 缘由 (yuányóu).

不知什么缘故, 我就是迷恋他.
Bùzhī shénme yuángù, wǒ jiùshì míliàn tā.
Not sure why, but I’m simply infatuated with him.

Tā wúyuánwúgù kū le qǐlái.
For no reason, she started to cry.

(yuán) also menas the edge, the brink, or to move along such a boundary, or 边缘 (biānyuán).

缘木求鱼 (yuánmùqiúyú) means to climb a tree to catch fish, or to take a useless approach.

缘分 (yuánfèn) is the element of destiny that associates a person with other people or things.

结缘 (jiéyuán) means to form a tie with or become associated with someone or something. On the other hand, 绝缘 (juéyuán) means to sever tie with someone. This word also means insulation or to insulate. 无缘 (wúyuán) means having no chance for, or no possibility of, connecting with someone or something.

Wǒ hé zhèngzhì wúyuán.
I’m not into politics.

By substituting 金钱 (jīnqián money) for 政治 (zhèngzhì) in the above sentence, you’ll have a more interesting way of saying, “I’m never going to get rich.”

In “The Butterfly Lovers”, reference is made to the popular Chinese saying:

Yǒuyuán qiānlǐ lái xiàng huì,
If predestined, people will come from afar to meet each other;

Wúyuán duìmiàn bù xiāngshí.
If not meant to be, they won’t get acquainted even when placed together face to face.

注定 (zhùdìng) means destined.

Yǒuxiē shì shì tiān zhùdìng de.
Some things are meant to be.
(Some things are predetermined by the heavens.)

The fate that brings lovers together into a marriage is called 姻缘 (yīnyuán). It is pronounced the same as 因缘 (yīnyuán), which is the cause or reason that predetermines a certain outcome.

血缘 (xuèyuán) is blood relationship.

Tā hé wǒ méiyǒu xuèyuán guānxi.
He and I are not related by blood.

A sociable person attracts other people like a magnet. He or she is said to have 人缘 (rényuán), i.e. the ability to connect with other people.

Lùlù de rényuán hěn hǎo.
Lulu is very sociable (popular).

If you would like to meet someone, will you wait for fate to make the connection, or will you take a step forward yourself? A date is called 约会 (yuēhui) in Chinese.

Wǒ yuē le tā zhōumò yītóng qù kàn diànyǐng.
I asked her out to watch a movie with me this weekend.

The fact that you are learning Chinese probably indicates that you have some 缘分 (yuánfèn) with the Chinese language. However, it was you who made up your mind to study Chinese, and it is your own determination that will drive you through the process to achieve your goal step by step.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. keithy
    Jan 17, 2014 @ 05:49:38

    的。比如說,他很有人緣,他很有人氣 ,he is very popular,但是我認為它們應


    • likeabridge
      Jan 17, 2014 @ 20:29:48

      Hi Keithy,


      Originally, 人气 refers to the temperament and disposition of a person. Nowadays, it is used to indicate the popularity one has gained in society.

      人缘 is interpersonal relationship. A person who has good relationship with other people is said to have good 人缘.

      I agree with you that these two words are not synonymous in Chinese. Having good 人缘 may help a person attract fans and attain high popularity in society (人气旺). On the other hand, a person with high 人气 is not necessarily one who gets along well with other people. So, 人缘好 implies a nice or easy-going personality, while 人气旺 describes the status of high popularity due to certain personal magnetism. This expression can also be used to describe a popular place or gathering that attracts a swarm of people.

      By the way, a teacher is usually addressed as 老师. 师傅 is a master in a trade, such as a master chef or a master tailor. Kungfu masters and monks are addressed as 师父. 🙂


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