Today ChineseHour will teach you some popular Chinese  sayings or proverbs about experiences and failures leading to success. You can use any of them to encourage your friend or yourself when they fail in the process of achieving sucess. The first one “Failure is the mother of success” is especially recommended.

Failure is the mother of success.
失     败  是      成    功     之   母.
Shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ.

This means exactly what you think.

Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success.

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


A fall into the pit, a gain in your wit.
吃     一  堑,    长     一  智.
Chī yí qiàn, zhǎng yí zhì.

This Chinese proverb means:

It really suggests that the failures, troubles, and setbacks that you encounter in your life are actually helping you to find wisdom. This proverb will be useful if only one can take warning and learn something from the setback. Some would also translate this proverb as:

“Learn from your mistakes” or “Learn from your experience”.

If you are studying Chinese, you will recognize the first character as “eat”, but in this case, it means to “experience” (as used in this proverb, it is suggesting that you have fallen into a moat and/or had a hard time crossing it). Literally translated character by character, this whole proverb is:

“Experience one moat, gain one wisdom/knowledge”.


Wisdom comes from experience.
不    经  一  事,  不     长    一  智
Bù jīng yī shì, bù zhǎng yī zhì

You can translate this a couple of ways. One is: You can’t gain knowledge without practice. The second, and perhaps more popular way is: Wisdom comes from experience.

This proverb will be useful if only one can take warning and learn something from the setback.  It literally means if you are inattentive to your affairs or situations you encounter, you will not gain or grow any wisdom or intellect.

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