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紙上談兵 (Zhǐshàngtánbīng)


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紙上談兵 (Zhǐshàngtánbīng) - empty talk without actual experience

Literal meaning - Talk battle on paper.

During the Warring States, Qin is planning to attack Zhao and this news has gotten the King of Zhao really worried. His general 趙奢(Zhào shē) is too old to do battle with Qin so his son 趙括(Zhào kuò) volunteered to go to battle on his father's behalf. Because Zhào kuò has been studying about strategies since young he can even outwit his father in battle but only theoretically. The King of Zhao agreed and appointed him the supreme general.

While on the battlefield Zhao's army was being slaughtered, Zhào kuò was busy scouring his books for ways to retaliate. By the time he had found a plan his army already lost and he got killed in the end.

紙上談兵 (Zhǐshàngtánbīng) is used to describe that someone only knows how to talk but doesn't actually know what to do should the situation arise.


"你只是讀過書而已就去下水? 你這樣只是「紙上談兵」。 我看你連浮起來也不會."

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