four-character idiomatic compounds

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9
votes
1answer
240 views

What's the difference between 電光石火【でんこうせっか】 and 疾風迅雷【しっぷうじんらい】

They both seem to mean "quick as lightning". What are the nuances between them? In what sort of context would they be used? Are they interchangeable? etc.
7
votes
1answer
177 views

Does 換骨奪胎 have negative connotation?

I looked at several online dictionaries, all of which didn't seem to me that the expression doesn't have negative sense by definition. However the book I'm reading makes me feel the author implies ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

What is the origin of the phrase 一石二鳥?

This particular 四字熟語 is exactly the same as the proverb in English, "kill two birds with one stone." I find it to be a strange coincidence that both would have this phrase independently of each other, ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Proper usage of 四字熟語 in Japanese

In Chinese, usage of 四字熟語 a lot usually demonstrates sophistication and things like political announcements etc that want to sounds powerful and sophisticated use a big load of them. What does using ...
3
votes
1answer
309 views

Meaning/origin of 三寒四温【さんかんしおん】

Recently I was introduced to the 四字熟語【よじじゅくご】: 三寒四温【さんかんしおん】 ... to describe the type of changing weather one often experiences around late Winter/early Spring. As to the literal meaning of ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

What does “一味一禪” mean?

I have found a small Shodo fragment stating "一味一禪" - which is not the classical "Zen and Tea are of one taste" (禅茶一味). What is this supposed to mean? Is it correct Japanese (I suppose it is, coming ...
1
vote
1answer
362 views

At what level should we be able to understand Yojijukugo?

In my experience, Chinese language learners are introduced to these 4-character phrases at an early stage (around Chinese 3 in my high school); what I want to know is there a certain aptitude level ...