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The Understanding of”Drawing Pancakes to Stave off Hunger”

Background Information:
三国时代 (Sānguó shídài): Three Kingdoms Period: During 220 A.D.-280 A.D., China split into three political powers: the State of Wei led by Cao Cao, the State of Shu led by Liu Bei, the State of Wu led by Sun Quan. That period of China is called Three Kingdoms Period.

Drawing Pancakes to Stave off HungerChinese Meaning
(huà)” means “to draw”.
(bǐng)”refers to “pancakes”.
(chōng)” is “to fill or stuff sth,” in this Chinese idiom, it indicates ”to stave off or to relieve”.
()”means “being hungry”.

The English Meaning of This Story
Once in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), the duke of the Wei, Cao Rui, planned to select a very capable man to work for him. He said to his ministers: “When choosing a talented person, always beware of the one with a false reputation. A false reputation is just like a picture of a pancake; it can’t ease hunger.” Later, this idiom came to be used to mean comforting oneself with unrealistic thoughts, without solving practical problems.

Learn the Chinese Translation of this Proverb:
三国时代魏国的皇帝曹睿,准备选拔一个有才能的人到朝廷来做官。曹睿对他的大臣说:“选择人才,不能光找有虚名的人。虚名好像是画的一块饼,只能看,不能解决肚子饥饿的问题啊!” 后来,人们就 用“画饼充饥”这个成语比喻用空想安慰自己,不能解决实际 问题。

The Chinese “Pinyin” of This Story
Sānguó shídài Wèiguó de huángdì Cáo Ruì, zhǔnbèi xuǎnbá yí gè yǒu cáinéng de rén dào cháoting lái zuòguān. Cáo Ruìduìtā de dàchén shuō: “xuǎnzé réncái, bùnéng guāng zhǎo yǒu xūmíng de rén. Xūmíng hǎoxiàng shì huà de yí kuài bǐng, zhǐnéng kàn, bùnéng jiějué dùzi jī’è de wèntí  a!” Hòulái, rénmēn jiù yòng “huàbǐngchōngjī” zhè gè chéngyǔ bǐyù yòng kōngxiǎng ānwèi zìjǐ, bùnéng jiějué shíjì wèntí.

生词 (shēngcí) Vocabulary:
1. 朝廷 (cháoting): n. royal government
2. 做官 (zuòguān): v. to serve as an official in government