成語故事

Practice Makes Perfect

Chen Yau-tz, of the Sung dynasty, was a very talented archer. He hit the bull's eye every time, and so everyone called him "The Magic Archer." Chen Yau-tz felt that he was the best archer in the world, and so he was very proud.

One day, as Chen was shooting arrows, a man selling oil passed by, and stood watching him for a long time. "You know something about archery?", Chen Yau-tz asked the man. "Look at how well I shoot!" The man replied, "That's nothing, all it takes is practice." This made Chen Yau-tz very angry, and he asked, "Dare you underestimate my skill as an archer?" Saying nothing, the man took a bottlenecked gourd, placed it on the ground, and put a coin with a square hole in the center over the top. He poured toil from a wooden ladle drop-by-drop into the gourd, without spilling a sinle drop on the coin. The man then turned to Chen Yau-tz and said, "That was also nothing. It's just a matter of practice makes perfect."

Thus, the meaning of this idiom is that skill comes from repeated practice.

熟能生巧

陳堯咨是宋朝人,他很會射箭,每次都能射到紅心,所以大家稱他神箭手,他認為世界上沒有人能比得上他,因此非常驕傲。

有一天,他正在射箭,有一個賣油的走過來,放下擔子,斜著眼看他射箭,看了好久,沒說甚麼,只是微微地點頭。

陳堯咨看到賣油的樣子,心裡有點兒不高興,就問賣油的說:「你也懂得射箭嗎?看我射得多準!」賣油的說:「這沒甚麼,只是手熟罷了。」陳堯咨聽了,認為賣油的看不起他,就很生氣地大聲說:「你怎麼敢輕視我的箭術呢?」賣油的不說一句話,隨手拿出一個葫蘆放在地上,用一個方孔的銅錢蓋在葫蘆口上慢慢地用木杓子裝滿了油滴下去,只見油從錢孔中滴進去,可是銅錢上面一點兒油也沒有沾上,這時賣油的才說:「我這也沒甚麼,只是熟能生巧罷了。」


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