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Is learning Chinese so difficult? It already become a widely-held belief among foreigners that Chinese is really a different language with theirs, and it is a boring and unattractive job, requires much efforts and hardworking. Perhaps that’s why westerners could hardly determine to learn it. But do you know there are so many interesting idioms and stories in its long history? In Mandaringarden, learning mandarin is not so hard as you imagined. Here is one of them: Draw Snake Add Feet. (huà shé tiānzú -)


In the period of zhanguo(Warring States period 475 B.C. to 221 B.C.), a big family made a sacrifice in memory of their ancestors. After the ceremony was done, the master gave a jug of wine to the servants, but there was only one jug and not enough for so many people to drink. Someone advised that everyone draw a snake, who finished the picture first drink the wine.  


One of the servants finished drawing and took the jug, but he noticed that others hadn’t finished. So he triumphantly took the jug of wine and added legs to the snake. At this time, another servant also finished drawing and said snakes don’t have legs, so what you drew wasn’t a snake. With this, he snatched the wine and drank it down.


Chinese idiom: ( huà shé tiānzú - literally "draw snake add feet." ) You're adding feet to a snake. Meaning: You are doing unnecessary work that is ruining your result.  (very useful when students use unnecessary phrases in a composition,  generally speaking.)