Shanghai Wall Wisdom
Spotted on a wall in Shanghai:
Because it’s from classical Chinese, it’s written in traditional characters and also reads right to left. It’s also a pretty simple introduction to classical Chinese, so if you’re intermediate or higher, it’s worth a closer look.
Even in small matters, do no evil.
Even in small matters, do not fail to do good.
A few notes on the classical (or harder) Chinese:
- 勿: “do not” for commands (also used in formal modern Mandarin)
- 以: “because” (classical Chinese)
- 而: a tricky grammar word usually indicating contrast (also used in formal modern Mandarin)
- 为: “to do” (classical Chinese)
- 之: “it” (classical Chinese)
Words like 以 and 而 are especially tricky because they can mean so many different things! 慢慢来… it takes time to absorb all those different usages.