Dec 31 2009

将心比心 – jiangxinbixin

将心比心  – jiang1xin1bi3xin1

I find this idiom very useful.  The literal meaning of the 4 characters is something like “take heart compare heart”.  The first word “jiang1” isn’t very easy to translate as it can mean many things but the last 3 characters are simple “heart compare heart”.

Basically you are asking someone to compare their heart with yours.  I have also heard people say it means to take your heart and put it in someone else’s body.

What you are basically saying is try to understand things from the other persons point of view.  In English we would say “put yourself in my shoes” or “put yourself in his shoes”.  I’m pretty sure the meanings are identical.  Whenever I want to convey the idea of “put yourself in my shoes” I use this idiom and it works.  So I am pretty sure the meanings are the same.  This is great because often times there is no equivalent in English and one would need to write perhaps a whole article on the exact meaning of a Chinese idiom/chengyu in order to explain how to use it correctly.

So now for some sentences/examples :

你与我将心比心 – ni3 yu3 wo3 jiang1xin1bi3xin1 = Put yourself in my shoes

你与他将心比心 – ni3 yu3 ta1 jiang1xin1bi3xin1 = Put yourself in his shoes

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