Top Chengyus to Describe FluentU Launch!

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After months of humbly blogging away while quietly designing and building our buttery-smooth video engine featuring the web’s best authentic Chinese content, it has been a hectic few weeks welcoming hundreds of new users, while happily reading the awesome feedback pouring in from around the web.

Staying true to our Chinese-geek roots, amid all the excitement, we couldn’t help but think of the perfect chengyus to describe our current status.  As always, we found three we think aptly capture our recent emotions.

Top 3 Chengyus to describe the launch of FluentU

1. 别出心裁 (bié chū xīn cái)

(bié): other, another
(chū): out, come out
心裁 (xīn cái): idea, conception

This idiom means to take an original, unique approach when tackling a problem.  It has artistic connotations, emphasizing creativity and originality.  To depart from established practice when approaching a problem, somebody who 别出心裁 will find an ingenious method or solution.

As many of our users have noted, the very simple, yet profound idea of using fun, authentic Chinese content as the foundation for studying Chinese is quite original!

Example A:


suǒ ní ài lì xìn de shǒu jī xiàng lái zài wài xíng shè jì shàng bié chū xīn cái, qí dú tè de shí shàng qì zhí dà shòu nián qīng rén de huān yíng

Sony Ericsson phones have always used an original approach in their design, their unique and fashionable style has been popular with the youth

Example B:

“师生别出心裁用英语唱秦腔 外国人都能听懂”

shī shēng bié chū xīn cái yòng yīng yǔ chàng qín qiāng wài guó rén dōu néng tīng dǒng

Teacher and students take an original approach, sing Shaanxi Opera in English, foreigners can understand


2. 冰山一角 (bīng shān yī jiǎo)

冰山 (bīng shān): iceberg
一角 (yī jiǎo): one corner, a corner of

This idiom (or 俗语- sú yǔ- saying, not to split hairs…) can be directly translated as “tip of the iceberg”.  As in English, this means to have only a small part of a larger whole showing, indicating there is much more to be discovered.

With so many more features to introduce- from SRS vocab review, more intuitive video recommendations, to hyper-personalized learning experiences- we are just getting started. It starts with providing the best video-based Chinese learning experience, but the possibilities for this concept are great! This is just the beginning…

Example A:


“běi dà chǒu wén” zhǐ shì bīng shān yī jiǎo?

Could this “Beijing University scandal” just be the tip of the iceberg?

Example B:


duì yú shēn zhèn lóu shì wèi lái páng dà de jiù gǎi xiàng mù ér yán, zhè hái zhǐ shì bīng shān yī jiǎo

As for this Shenzhen property market redevelopment project, is this only the tip of the iceberg?


3. 拭目以待 (shì mù yǐ dài)

拭 (shì): wipe
 (mù): eyes
 (yǐ): preposition meaning “so”, “in order to”
 (dài): wait, stay

Ok, before we get ahead of ourselves, lets try a more modest one.  Literally to “rub eyes and wait”, this chengyu means to “eagerly await the result”. Although we are off to a good start, FluentU is still a brand new product from a new, ambitious team. Perhaps you are still a bit skeptical and don’t want to try a new product quite yet, and would rather give us some more time to prove ourselves before trying it out.  Great! If this is your attitude, you can say you prefer not to 趋新求异 (qū xīn qiú yì- pursue that which is new and different), but would rather 拭目以待.

Example A:

”拭目以待: 2015年白光LED成本降低80%“

shì mù yǐ dài: 2015 nián bái guāng LED chéng běn jiàng dī 80%

Worth looking forward to: By 2015, the costs of LED technology will decrease by 80%

Example B:

”拭目以待 2012第七届山东工业装备展即将登场“

shì mù yǐ dài 2012 dì qī jiè shān dōng gōng yè zhuāng bèi zhǎn jí jiāng dēng chǎng

Looking forward to the 2012 7th Shandong Industrial Equipment Exhibition’s coming debut

And One More Thing...

If you want to continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU.

FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life.

FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.

FluentU's Learn Mode turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.

The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a 100% personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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