Saturday, 4 July 2020

22 Chinese idioms and phrases Mr Ong Ye Kung used during The Political Debate

It's wonderful that our children are able to do bilingualism, here in Singapore. More often than always, we are proficient in English than Chinese. Quite naturally, watching the GE2020 Political Debate in Chinese was not quite our style of absorption.

Nonetheless, I carved out some time out of my Korean drama to catch The Political Debate on mewatch. It sounded too attractive after hearing and reading praises about how our education minister, Mr Ong Ye Kung (PAP) pulled off his Chinese debate impressively with Leong Mun Wai (PSP) and Bryan Lim (SDP).

It was a blow away for me! I'm convinced that he's the education minister for a firm reason. Great exemplary model for our students. So kids, anyone can master bilingualism.

Screengrab from mewatch

The debate was a well-worth trade for an episode of my Korean drama. And now, I'm trading another episode or more to gather my learning and takeaways from the debate. Which I'm now ashamed of the 'A2' Chinese scored during my 'O' level. Never too late to learn, I'm listing the idioms and phrases Mr Ong used during the debate. 

Are we having PSLE oral next week? These may come in as supplementary, PSLE mamas. 

22 Idioms and phrases used in The GE2020 Political Debate - Chinese
1. 挨家挨户 (āi jiā āi hù)
Definition: to go from house to house/house-to-house (search)
造句:小明挨家挨户地寻找失踪的小狗。

2. 在职训练(zài zhí xùn liàn)
Definition: on-the-job training
造句:这家公司对员工在职训练的重视,令我印象深刻。

3. 息息相关( xiāng guān)
Definition: closely bound up (idiom); intimately related
造句:阳光、空气和水与人的生存息息相关

4. 腐败无能( bài néng)
Definition: Corruption and incompetence
造句:政府的腐败无能,感受到维新改革的必要。

5.  数一数二 shǔ shǔ èr)
Definition: reckoned to be first or second best (idiom); one of the very best
造句: 他的成绩在学校里是数一数二



6. 斩草除根 (zhǎn cǎo chú gēn)
Definition: to cut weeds and eliminate the roots (idiom); to destroy root and branch/to eliminate completely
造句:对身上所有的坏习惯我们应斩草除根
 
7. 卷土重来(juǎn chóng lái)
Definition: to return in a swirl of dust/to make a stage comeback (idiom)
 造句: 失败一次并不可怕,可怕的是我们连卷土重来的勇气都没有。

8. 与时俱进(yǔ shí jù jìn
Definition: abreast of modern developments/to keep up with the times/progressive/timely
造句:如果不与时俱进,就不能跟上时代。

9. 燃眉之急(rán méi zhī jí)
Definition: fire burns one's eyebrows (idiom); desperate situation/extreme emergency
造句:这事已是燃眉之急,千万拖不得。



10. 门可罗雀 (mén luó què)
Definition: you can net sparrows at the door (idiom); completely deserted
造句: 所有的大型商场都将变得门可罗雀

11. 于事无补( shì bǔ)
Definition: unhelpful/useless 
造句:发生这样的事情,你再怎样解释也都于事无补了。

12. 出人头地(chū rén tóu dì)
Definition: outstanding (idiom); a pinnacle of virtue and ability
造句:我们现在刻苦学习是为了将来能够在社会上出人头地

13. 任人唯贤(rèn rén wéi xián)
Definition: to appoint people according to their merits (idiom); appointment on the basis of ability and integrity
造句:招聘人才不可以以貌取人,必须要有任人唯贤的精神。



14. 背道而驰 (bèi dào ér chí)
Definition: to run in the opposite direction (idiom); to run counter to
造句:虽然是无话不谈的朋友,他们俩的想法却总是背道而驰

15. 行行出状元(háng háng chū zhuàng yuán)
Definition: in every trade, a master appears (idiom); produce outstanding achievements in any task with enough love and diligence
造句:行业没有高低之分, 只要自己努力, 行行出状元

16. 知足常乐 (zhī zú cháng lè)
Definition: Satisfied with what one has (idiom)
造句:基本满足,一个人只要能知足常乐就会得到快乐。

17. 水火不容(shuǐ huǒ róng)
Definition: completely incompatible; incompatible as fire and water
造句:这对夫妇老是吵架,相互之间水火不容



18. 才华出众(cái huá chū zhòng)
Definition: outstanding talent (idiom); incomparable artistic merit
造句:他从小就才华出众,一直是我们家的骄傲。

19. 勇往直前 (yǒng wǎng zhí qián)
Definition: To advance bravely
造句:在学习的道路上,我们要勇往直前,不怕困难和挫折。

20. 马不停蹄( tíng tí)
Definition: unrelenting/without stopping to rest
造句:父亲刚回来,又马不停蹄地赶到公司开会。

21. 牛头不对马嘴(niú tóu duì zuǐ)
Definition: inconsistent; inappropriate
造句:老师提出的问题他由于精神分散而没听清楚,回答得牛头不对马嘴



22. 保底不封顶 (bǎo fēng dǐng)
Definition: don’t cap the top, but uplift the bottom
造句:保底不封顶,不要规定最高限度,而是提升底层。

Excerpt from MOE website


The final one is my favourite - which he meant about not capping achievements and limiting opportunities, but to uplift those who are at the bottom in order to close achievement gap. No one is intended to be left behind. I don't think our kids need back to back tuition to fit the society. Till this day, we are still holding back on academic enrichment, even though teaching my own kids erodes the good parts of motherhood in me. That will be another story to tell.

So yeap, above are 22 out of the many idioms and phrases Mr Ong used during the GE2020 Chinese Political Debate. There were lots more impressive vocabularies used, but I'll just list these for keepsake, for my learning and teaching journey. Hopefully, the kids will throw in 1 or 2 of these into their Chinese oral and composition.
 
Mr Ong grew up in a Chinese speaking family and read only Chinese comics when young. I'll look at Chinese comics differently from today.

Oh, the last time I checked, our education minster doesn't set the PSLE or 'O' level Chinese paper. Phew! 一天学一点,have fun learning and re-learning!


P.S: 造句 is adapted from various sites, with most adapted from zaojv.com. The looking up of words and definition were from Chinese dictionary app, Bravolol. An app I use often to help the kids with Chinese.



2 comments :

  1. Sorry, don exactly see how is this even least impressive.

    These are secondary school level standard. I thought he was at least using 甄嬛传level of communication and idioms judging from your excitement

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your footprints, Joel! Yeah, it's rather exciting to see politicians being effectively bilingual, or even multilingual for some. I think upping the level standard may send viewers into a sate of perplexity. It's good to know that you have a deep level of knowledge with the Chinese language :)

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