Chinese Idiom Story – Hua Long Dian Jing

Chinese Idiom Story - Hua Long Dian Jing

畫龍點睛(画龙点睛) - huàlóngdiǎnjīng - is a Chinese idiom that translates literally as “adding the eyes when painting a dragon.” This idiom has a story where an artist was so talented that he purposely made a "mistake" on his dragon painting, in order to not make the dragon alive. This idiom is used to describe that small finishing touch often added to the things to make it perfect.

This article is generally easy for beginners as the sentences are not complex. However, there are some vocabularies that are not really friendly for beginners, especially the words used to describe the weather. There are also idioms that are important to improve the quality of the story. Take your time reading this, and consider this as an intermediary between beginner and intermediate level.


古时候,有一个很出名的画家叫张僧繇。他画龙画得特别好。


有一天,皇帝要他在寺庙的墙壁上画四条金龙。张僧繇画得很快,他用了三天时间就画好了。那四条金龙画得特别好,人们一看他画的四条金龙就说他画得非常像真龙。可是,当他们走进一点看,就会发现那四条龙都没有眼睛。人们问他:「为什么你不把眼睛画上去?」他说:「画上眼睛其实不难,但是如果我把眼睛画上去,这些龙就会飞走!」


大家听了,谁也不相信。都认为他在说谎话。太奇怪了,墙上的龙画画怎么能飞走呢?


后来,越来越多人请求他画上眼睛。张僧繇只好答应把龙的眼睛画出来。当他画上第一条龙的眼睛的时候,没有发生什么事,但当他画上第二条龙的眼睛的时候,奇怪的事情发生了。突然刮起大风,黑云密布,雷声隆隆。两条被画上眼睛的金龙转动眼睛,张牙舞爪,腾云驾雾,飞向天空了。


不久之后,天变晴了。人人都吓得目瞪口呆,一句话也说不出来了。他们看了墙壁,刚刚飞走的两条龙没有了,只剩下没有眼睛的金龙。原来张僧繇说的话是真的。



古時候,有一個很出名的畫家叫張僧繇。他畫龍畫得特別好。


有一天,皇帝要他在寺廟的牆壁上畫四條金龍。張僧繇畫得很快,他用了三天時間就畫好了。那四條金龍畫得特別好,人們一看他畫的四條金龍就說他畫得非常像真龍。可是,當他們走進一點看,就會發現那四條龍都沒有眼睛。人們問他:「爲什麼你不把眼睛畫上去?」他說:「畫上眼睛其實不難,但是如果我把眼睛畫上去,這些龍就會飛走!」


大家聽了,誰也不相信。都認爲他在說謊話。太奇怪了,牆上的龍畫畫怎麼能飛走呢?


後來,越來越多人請求他畫上眼睛。張僧繇只好答應把龍的眼睛畫出來。當他畫上第一條龍的眼睛的時候,沒有發生什麼事,但當他畫上第二條龍的眼睛的時候,奇怪的事情發生了。突然颳起大風,黑雲密佈,雷聲隆隆。兩條被畫上眼睛的金龍轉動眼睛,張牙舞爪,騰雲駕霧,飛向天空了。


不久之後,天變晴了。人人都嚇得目瞪口呆,一句話也說不出來了。他們看了牆壁,剛剛飛走的兩條龍沒有了,只剩下沒有眼睛的金龍。原來張僧繇說的話是真的。


English translation:

In ancient times, there was a famous artist named Zhang Sengyou. He was good at painting dragons.

One day, the emperor asked him to draw four golden dragons on the walls of the temple. Zhang Sengyou painted very quickly, he just spent three days painting. The four golden dragons were particularly well painted. When people looked at the four gold dragons he painted, they all said that the dragons he drew looked like a real dragon. However, when they walked closer and saw, they would notice that the four dragons had no eyes. People asked him, "Why don't you draw the eyes?" He said: "It's not difficult to draw the eyes, but if I paint the eyes, these dragons will fly away!"

When everyone heard it, no one believed him. They thought he was lying. It's just too strange, how could the dragon painting on the wall fly away?

Later, more and more people asked him to draw his eyes, so Zhang Sengyou had to agree to draw the dragon's eyes. When he drew the eyes of the first dragon, nothing happened, but when he drew the eyes of the second dragon, strange things happened. Suddenly, the wind was blowing, the clouds were dark, and the thunder was rumbling. The two golden dragons that had their eyes drew turned their eyes, bared their fangs and claws, and they flew into the sky.

Soon after, the sky became clear. Everyone was so scared that they couldn’t say a word. They looked at the wall, and the two dragons that had just flown away were gone, leaving only the golden dragons without eyes. It turned out that what Zhang Sengyou said is true.


The photo is taken from here.  

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