March in Chinese

水仙花 (shuǐxiàn huā) Daffodils

水仙花 (shuǐxiàn huā) Daffodils


If you know that (yuè) stands for “month”, and you can count to 12 in Chinese, then you know how to say the names of the twelve months in Chinese. March is the third month of a year. Therefore, it is called 三月 (sānyuè). Last year about this time we learned a song called 三月里的小雨 (Sānyuè Li De Xiǎoyǔ Light Rain in March). If you would like to review that lesson, here is a quick link.

In English, to march means to walk forward or to advance with determination. The corresponding Chinese word is (xíng), which happens to have a number of other meanings as well.

行军 (xíngjūn) refers to the marching of troops.

行人 (xíngrén) are pedestrians. 人行道 (rénxíngdào) is a walkway for people, i.e. a sidewalk or pavement. A one-way road is called 单行线 (dānxíngxiàn).

自行车 (zìxíngchē) and 脚踏车 (jiǎotàchē) both refer to a bicycle.

旅行 (lǚxíng) is a journey or travel. You can also use this word as a verb. 旅行社 (lǚxíng shè) is a travel agency. You might contact them to arrange a plane ticket or to inquire about joining a 旅行团 (lǚxíng tuán tourist group).

我们打算参加旅行团到日本去玩.
Wǒmén dǎsuàn cānjiā lǚxíng tuán dào rìběn qù wán.
We plan to join a travel group to tour Japan.

送行 (sòngxíng) is to see someone off. 行程 (xíngchéng) is an itinerary or the distance of travel.

行李 (xínglǐ) means luggage or baggage. This is not to be confused with 行礼 (xínglǐ to salute), in which (xíng) means “to do”. Following are a few other examples of using the word in this sense.

实行 (shíxíng) means to carry out or to execute a plan or a policy. 行为 (xíngwéi) means behavior or conduct.

进行 (jìnxíng) means to march on or to be in progress. It also means to get on a task.

警方正在进行调查.
Jǐngfāng zhèngzài jìnxíng diàochá.
The police are conducting an investigation.

Many people say “ (xíng)!” instead of “ (hǎo)!” for “All right.” Or “Okay.” Correspondingly, if they say ” 不行 (bùxíng)”, that means they are refusing your request (no go).

行不通 (xíngbùtōng) means going nowhere.

这样做是行不通的.
Zhèyàng zuò shì xíngbùtōng de.
This won’t do. (This won’t work.)

(xíng) also means being competent or capable.

他在音乐方面很行.
Tā zài yīnyuè fāngmiàn hěn xíng.
He is good at music.

When pronounced as (háng), this word means a row, or the seniority among siblings. It also means a trade or line of business. Please review the discussion posted on 12/7/11.

内行 (nèiháng) means being adept at a task or knowledgeable about a subject matter.

If your friends are chagrined that their offspring refuses to study to become a doctor or a lawyer, but instead chooses literature or art, you could comfort them with this Chinese saying:

三百六十行, 行行出状元.
Sān bǎi liù shí háng, háng háng chū zhuàngyuan.
One could achieve greatness in any one of the 360 (i.e. very many) trades.

状元 (zhuàngyuan) is one who earned the top grade in the highest imperial examination in old China. This term refers to the very best in any field. Who knows? Your friends’ son or daughter just might make it big as a writer or an artist.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. keithy
    Mar 31, 2014 @ 14:38:57

    請問,”狀元”很明顯是第一位的意思,”榜眼”可以聯想到兩隻眼睛所以就是第二位的意思,可是”探花”的由來是不那麼清楚的,這個詞語應該怎麼講?謝謝。

    Reply

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