十八年後又一条好汉

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Hyperpolyglot, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    English
    I don't get this phrase, I was watching an ancient Chinese martial arts drama and this guy says 我十八年後又一条好汉, he's saying something like "I'll also be a good guy in 18 years." What exactly does he mean? Is this some kind of idiom phrase in Chinese? Like you can say that you'll be a good person in whatever year?
     
  2. bayan112 Junior Member

    Chinese
    1. Is this some kind of idiom phrase in Chinese?
    it's simply a line comes originally from buddhist scripture

    2. Like you can say that you'll be a good person in whatever year?
    Buddhists firmly believe that though one is dead, his soul is still alive, and he can be reincarnated as a new body right after he dies, here in China, only when a guy turns 18 years old can he be considered an adult (a boy becomes a real man). that's why we say in 18 years rather than any other year

    NOTE: These words often come out of a dying hero/role model's mouth, which implies, I am not afraid to die at all! and ya'll got to realize that I will be a great guy again in 18 years! Anyway, the words are more used in movies and novels than in real life, and it is only said when a man is about to die or at the last moment of his life
     
  3. stellari Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    BTW, 好汉 does not mean 'good/nice/kind guy'. It is more like 'strong/tough/brave man', many of whom are not nice or kind at all. For instance, in the classic novel 'Outlaws n the Marsh', all the 'outlaws' are constantly referred to as 好汉.
     
  4. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    English
    Yes, this makes perfect sense, the guy is about to get killed and he tells his killer this very phrase.
    Thanks
     
  5. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    ……我现在才知道原来是这么回事啊!!!:eek:
     
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    十八年後又是一条好汉 ==> an expression usually said by a daring, rebellious male convict on his way to the scaffold for decapitation.
    十八年 ==> The age of majority has been customarily 18 since the Han Dynasty (《汉书.东方朔传》:”至年十八而冠"). Some people say 二十年后又是一条好汉 perhaps because the Confucian canon prescribes the age of majority to be 20 (e.g., 《礼记.曲礼上》:男子二十,冠而字).
    一条好汉 (in contrast to 一位好汉, 一名好汉, or 一个好汉) ==> The measure word 条 has the effect of dehumanization (e.g., 一条強龙, 一条地头蛇), hinting at the beast-like toughness and yet at the same time the existence of a soul (e.g., 一条命, 一条心).
    好汉 literally means "good fellow", an act of euphemism to refer to an outlaw. It reminds me of Robin Goodfellow presumably associated with the heroic outlaw Robin Hood.

    我十八年後又是一条好汉 "I will be a brave man again in 18 years" (I am a heroic outlaw right now, and I will be a heroic outlaw again in 18 years after my reincarnation) ==> The main purpose of this saying is to claim oneself as being brave and heroic in the face of the impending death.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  7. jason1st New Member

    China
    Chinese
    Hi stellari
    1. 好汉 is definitely a good/nice guy, but more than that, in China, 好汉 is like a USA hero, help people and make big things happen.
    2. usually this phrase will be happen like this: a hero who was set up is going to be executed by a bad guy, then hero say "我十八年後又一条好汉"
    3. Chinese think we will rebirth after we died, and will be another man, then the 好汉/hero say he will still becoming a 好汉/hero after he died even he will be killed again.
    4. why 18 years? it's because normally Chinese think 18 years old people is a grown man/adult/responsible person.


    so this phrase mean: I will still become/act as a good guy/hero after I was set up and killed by bad guy.

    PS: I'm Chinese, live in Shanghai, like most Chinese people, I have broken spoken English, just like 3 years old native English speakers.
     
  8. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    The classic novel 'Outlaws in the Marsh' makes a clear distinction between 好汉 "good fellow" (Robin Hood type of heroes) and 强人"robber, strong/tough man'.
     
  9. jason1st New Member

    China
    Chinese
    呃。。。我是菜鸟,请问你的意思是我错了吗? 我是说好汉不是单纯的nice guy,而是强悍的好人
     
  10. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    不, 我是赞同你的意见, 好汉是好人. For example, 宋江文武無過人之處, 非强悍之类, 却是顶天立地的一条好汉.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  11. jason1st New Member

    China
    Chinese
    佩服!兄台言语中透出文人骚客之风采
     

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