Not really, but tonight I met a very clever young man who speaks five languages and is considerably less than half my age. I thought I would find the secret of learning Chinese from the master: so.. 'what is the secret of learning Chinese'. He thought a moment and said.. 'tones .. and chengyu'.
Ah, I wasn't born yesterday, so I said 'don't come the raw prawn with me, I hardly ever hear chengyu.' 'Yes', he admitted, 'that's true we hardly ever use it, but when you DO hear it you need to understand, or you will never master the language.'
Ok, I said, give me two chengyu now that YOU find useful. He gave me these:
一本正经 yī běn zhèng jīng (concentrate!)
入乡随俗 rù xiāng suí sú (when in Rome...)
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