hủ mộc bất khả điêu

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Vietnamese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Chinese: 朽木不可雕也,糞土之牆,不可杇也.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Hà Nội) IPA(key): [hu˧˩ mɜwʔk͡p̚˧ˀ˨ʔ ˀɓɜʔt̚˧ˀ˦ xaː˧˩ ˀɗiɜw˧˧]
  • (Huế) IPA(key): [hʊw˧˩ mɜwʔk͡p̚˨ˀ˨ʔ ˀɓɜʔk̚˦˥ xaː˧˩ ˀɗiɜw˧˧]
  • (Hồ Chí Minh City) IPA(key): [hʊw˨˦ mɜwʔk͡p̚˨ˀ˧ʔ ˀɓɜʔk̚˦ˀ˥ xaː˨˦ ˀɗiɜw˧˥]

Idiom[edit]

hủ mộc bất khả điêu

  1. (literally) A piece of rotten wood cannot be turned into something beautiful.
  2. (idiomatic) It is pointless to try to teach a lazy pupil.