Author Archives: Benjamin Gutierrez

Saying – Finland

Lopussa kiitos seisoo

Lopussa kiitos seisoo
Up Acknowledgement Stand

Stand Up Acknowledgment, Acknowledgment will come later

My informant must keep this philosophy in his head as he struggles through his secondary schooling and continues to primary school.   He constantly wonders what the point of going to school is, yet his mother always reminded him that later the benefits of school would come to him.

It is often difficult to continue in a job that you think is unnecessary and pointless, yet sometime soon there is a promotion in there for you.  It is often like this in media positions where for a long time you will be making coffee, getting laundry, and running gopher tasks and seems not to go anywhere.  Although it may seem like this, one day, the favors you do for your boss will come back and help you later on.  With your hard work and perserverance.

The word “Kiitos” alone stands for “Your welcome”.

It is often a humorous plot line to see struggling assistants that strive to make it in their respective businesses.  In the popular TV comedy Ugly Betty, Betty wants to be a renowned journalist, so she finds a job as an assistant for the Editor-in-Chief of Mode Magazine.  She finds herself doing superfluous tasks.  She goes home everynight, distraught that she feels she is going nowhere, yet her father reminds her that someday her hard work will get her somewhere.  Later on in the season, Betty is offered a position as a journalist for the sister magazine, proving that as long as she sticks to something, she will be rewarded later.

Saying – Chinese

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So Ju Doy Toeiu

Waiting Rabbit Under A Tree

My informant first heard this saying when he complained to his mother about the amount of work his senior year in high school. His mother remarked that he was a waiting rabbit under a tree, meaning that he had plenty of potential, but he was unwilling to put out the effort to pursue success. However, this saying could also mean that one is waiting for a correct moment to act, although the difference between performing that act now as opposed to any other time is negligible. An example my informant gave to me was waiting for something to happen before asking a girl on a date. In case, waiting would have not real purpose, thus the person being a waiting rabbit under a tree.

This saying has not real equivalent phrase in the english language. perhaps the closest phrase would be “better now then ever”. Although this saying only covers one side of both meanings of the Chinese phrase. This saying has a similarity to the english phrase, “the tortoise beats the hare”. However, in the english phrase, the setting is a running competition, where the chinese saying is advocation personal achivement. Perhaps this is indicitive of the two nations culture. In America, business entrepreneurship is much celebrated, and thus it is only natural that the saying is referring to a competition, which is very commonplace in the business world. The ancient chinese saying, on the other hand, is about acting true to one’s own self, or living up to one’s own potential.


All that glitters is not gold.

Meaning: A showy article may not necessarily be valuable.

My informant would hear this saying throughout her childhood from her mother who discouraged spending and was always thrifty.  As a child, she would always want to buy jewelery and wanted to purchase the game “Pretty Pretty Princess”.  Her mother would discourage the idea and refused to purchase something that was advertised as something much greater on television.  The television commercials made the game look much more expensive, but when purchases, pieces were cheaply made and from that day her mother was more skeptical when buying toys.

The meaning was used in Shakespearian times and was used in one of his less famous plays The Relikes of Rome.  “All is not golde that glistereth.”

The 12th century French theologian Alain de Lille wrote “Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold”.   Shakespeare also used this saying in other plays such as The Merchant of Venice.

More recently, this term is used to describe people’s personalities.  For example, actors and actresses have lots of money, but their personalities and psychological mind set is often not “gold”.  On the outside, they seem to have everything, but are often unhappy.  This shows that having wealth is not always the important part of life.

Saying – Chinese

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Cham Yu Law Ahm

Fish would drown and birds will fall.

My informant describes this saying as a “holler” to girls when they are at parties or walking down the street.  Whenever a pretty girl would walk by, one of his friends would shout out to the girl, “cham yu law ahm”, which would sometimes be a compliment or could be as rash behavior.

Because the Chinese are often modest, this action would not be acceptable to partake in the presence of adults.

The saying goes back to an ancient Chinese saying regarding a very beautiful girl.  She was so beautiful that it was said that the birds would fall from the sky and the fish would drown in the water.

It seems nonsensical and completely impossible that both of these occur that similar times, therefore emphasizing the beauty of this woman.  She is so beautiful that everything in the world turns backwards and natural turns reverse.

If smooth enough, a suave young Chinese boy could use this saying as beautiful poetry and woe his respective love.  Unfortunately, my informant has not succeeded in using this.

Saying – Chinese

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Cau Naw Ya mo

A hair from nine cattles.

Meaning:  Something that is unimportant.

My informant told me that this saying he learned from his older brothers or mother when he was in elementary school.  This saying was used to describe the unimportance of an object.

He remembers that his brother used to say this to make him feel bad about accomplishing something or by taking something of his brothers, as a form of reverse psychology.

The saying derives from the idea that cattle have thousands of hairs, and if you take one hair from one ox it would not be important, and one cattle even less important, and nine cattle, the hair is as insignificant and small as a molecule.

For a specific example, he remembers that he would take a cracker from his brother and then would brag about it, to make him feel his stupid his brother would state this fact that what his little brother accomplished was insignificant, therefore being uncool.

The idea of cattle can come from the idea that cattle are very important in Chinese culture, as a main source of food.  The cattle being important, and the hair not, giving a contrast of importance.  The action being thought to be important, but then again, not.