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.

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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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