三字經 (Chinese) with translations in English

Three Character Classic

This parallel text is part of Three Character Classic equilang.

Main text by Wang Yinglin written in year 1296 in Chinese.

The original version.

Translation by Herbert Giles written in year 1900 in English.

三字經
Three Character Classic

rén man zhī arrive chū beginning xìng nature běn root shàn good

Men at their birth, are naturally good.

xìng nature xiāng mutual jìn near practice xiāng mutual yuǎn far

Their natures are much the same; their habits become widely different.

gǒu wrongly not jiào teach xìng nature nǎi then qiān move

If foolishly there is no teaching, the nature will deteriorate.

jiào teach zhī arrive dào road guì valuable take zhuān single

The right way in teaching, is to attach the utmost importance in thoroughness.

old mèng Mencius mother choose lín neighbour chù place

Of old, the mother of Mencius, chose a neighbourhood

zi child not xué learn duàn break machine zhù shuttle

and when her child would not learn, she broke the shuttle from the loom.

dòu tou yàn swallow shān hill yǒu have duty fāng method

Tou of the Swallow Hills, had the right method.

jiào teach five zi son míng name all yáng raise

He taught five son, each of whom raised the family reputation.

yǎng feed not jiào teach father zhī arrive guò transgress

To feed without teaching, is the father's fault.

jiào teach not yán severe shī teacher zhī arrives duò laziness

To teach without severity, is the teacher's laziness.

zi child not xué learn fēi not suǒ what ought

If the child does not learn, this is not as it should be.

yòu young not xué learn lǎo old what wèi be

If he does not learn while young, what will he be when old?

jade not zuó polish not chéng become utensil

If jade is not polished, it cannot become a thing of use.

rén man not xué learn not zhī know duty

If a man does not learn, he cannot know his duty towards his neighbour.

wèi be rén man zi child fāng just shǎo young shí time

He who is the son of a man, when he is young,

Chinese

Chinese - English

English

English - Chinese