An old frontiersman loses his horse (塞翁失马)

Sài wēng shī mǎ

Translation: An old frontiersman loses his horse.
A bad incident may be a blessing in disguise or vice versa.

This proverb stems from a story used to support an argument in the Chinese philosophical classic Huainanzi, attributed to a legendary author named Liu An (179 bce–122 bce). The proverb is the first half of a sentence, which in full says, “塞翁失马,安知非福” sài wēng shī mǎ, ān zhī fēi fú, literally meaning, “Who knows, it may not be a bad thing for the old man at the strategic region to lose his horse.”

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By | 2014-12-16T17:05:40+00:00 February 6th, 2012|Learn Chinese, Proverbs and Sayings from the Chinese|Comments Off on An old frontiersman loses his horse (塞翁失马)

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