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Craftsmanship

| 2016-07-08 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

Remarkable proficiency, persistence and diligence are essential components of artisan craftsmanship. 

 

只要功夫深,铁杵磨成针。
With painstaking effort, an iron rod can be ground into a needle.
This saying means that you can complete a great and intimidating task by steadily doing small parts of it and continuously making great efforts. A counterpart in English is “Little strokes fell great oaks.”

 

艺不压身。
A skill is never a burden.
This proverb is frequently used to mean that the more skills one has, the better. It indicates that when an artisan has many skills, they can live by their skills. It also means that people will not be overwhelmed when they have many skills.   

 

艺多不养家。
A man of many trades cannot rear a family.
This proverb is often used to describe that a person who has many skills but lacks proficiency in any of them cannot do anything well. Without proficiency in one particular skill, the person does not have any particularly valuable abilities.

 

艺高人胆大。
When one’s skill is high, one is bold.
This proverb is commonly used to mean that a highly skilled person has plenty of guts. On the one hand, it encourages people to practice their skills in order to achieve proficiency and then they will have no fear of any challenges. On the other hand, it implies that when people have outstanding skills they should be brave enough to face any risks in society.   

 

艺者,德之枝叶也;德者,人之根干也。
The arts are the leaves and branches of virtue, while virtue is the roots and trunk of man.
This proverb implies that virtue makes a man and plays a key role in any man’s life. The knowledge and skills a man has are based on his virtue.