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Pictorial Chinese Sayings:
A Tale to Tell is divided into three volumes each containing 35 sayings of a narrative nature. They are selected for their popularity as well as their symbolism and vividness. Most of these sayings originated from the pre-Qin era (770-221 BC). This era of about five and half centuries is divided into two periods: Chunqiu (770-476 BC) and Warring State (475-221 BC). These two periods saw the flourishing of Chinese learning at a level unsurpassed in later times, in which practical experience combined with wisdom produced many profound works. These Chinese sayings from these two periods are the crystallization of such thoughts and ideas. From the Qin Dynasty to the present is a period of over two thousand years which enriched the language with many sayings. However, sayings from the pre-Qin era remain the most popular and influential and are still taught to every schoolchild. The order of the sayings is arranged according to the number of stroke in the first character. The meaning of each word in a saying is provided along with the literal English translation. The idiomatic meaning and English equivalents are provided where applicable. To help the readers to pronounce the sayings accurately, two sets of transcription are provided: Hanyu Pinyin for modern standard Chinese and the Yale systems for Cantonese. The "Note" section includes remarks, nuances of the saying's usage in different situations and additional information. For the reader's advantage, simplified Chinese characters and Pinyin are used throughout the book. When it comes to a saying with several meanings, the widely used definition will be pointed out. For words that are look alike or have similar pronunciation, they would be listed out for clarification. In the "Related Vocabulary" section, Pinyin and English definition is included on the sayings for words and phrases that are commonly use and closely related to words. [via]