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【楊愛民】
管中窺豹

楊愛民

成語:管中窺豹(GUAN ZHONG KUI BAO); to look at a leopard through a tube—to see only one spot; having a limited view of something; a peep through a tube at a leopard; from a part to a whole; from a particular to general; from the individual to universal; infer from particular facts or example (a general law or reason); to conjure up the whole thing through seeing a part of it; to have a partial knowledge of something.
出處:晉書,王獻之傳。
釋義: 所見狹小,看不到全貌,有‘坐井觀天’之意。亦用於從事物之小部分推知大體,有‘舉一反三’之意。但少用於此。
故事:王獻之,中國大書法家王羲之之子,幼時在私塾裡被一位同學批評不懂得‘木雩’蒲之戲,證明他的學識不多,好像一個人在豹子身邊,用一個管子看豹,只看到豹子的一部分斑點,而看不見全身一樣。“管中窺豹”成語即來自這個故事,它點出一個人得不到事物之全貌,意思是一個人的知識膚淺有限,見聞狹窄,和“坐井觀天”意思一樣,表示觀點狹窄。
這是一個恰當的比喻。一個人只看到豹子的一點,沒有看到豹子的全貌,他便想像那小部分就是豹子的全貌,這是很可笑的。
另一個類似的民間故事是“瞎子摸象 ”,一個天生的瞎子摸到象的一條腿,就說大象像根柱子。這和“管中窺豹”不是同樣的可笑嗎?
一個初學者沒有技術和能力,偶爾得到一點知識或抓到一點技術,便想像自己已經一個大學問家,這種態度是要不得的。
用法:一個人學到一點知識或技能就以為 自己已經成為大家,這就是“管中窺豹”。
故事英譯:In the childhood, Wang Xian Zhi, the son of the greatest calligrapher Wang Xi Zhi in China history, was criticized by a classmate in the tutorial private school that he didn’t know how to play Shu Pu (an ancient gambling game children played). He said that Wang Xian Zhi’s knowledge was limited, which was just like that one who stood beside a leopard and looked at it through a tube—he just could see a part spots of the animal, couldn’t see the whole. The idiom “looking at a leopard through a tube” comes from the story, pointed that one can’t see the whole of something, that means one’s knowledge is superficial and limited, his information is narrow, and it has the same meaning of “looking at the sky from the bottom of a well”—narrow view.
It’s an appropriate metaphor that one can just see a small part of leopard’s spot, he can’t view a whole appearance of a leopard, he then imagined that the small part is the whole shape of a leopard; of course that is very ridiculous.
There was another folktale resembling the one above mentioned: a born blind man who puts his hand on one of the elephant’s legs, said that the elephant is like a pillar. Is it the same ridiculous with the story of “looking a leopard through a tube”?
A learner without profound skills or ability occasionally gets a little knowledge or grasps a little skill, he imagines that he had been a great scholar; such a person’s attitude is not right.


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