Consume more salt than we have of rice

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Oswinw011

Senior Member
Chinese
But this shallow perspective on aging infantilizes the elderly and neglects to preserve their dignity. They are people who have “consumed more salt than we have of rice,” as the saying goes. They deserve better.

Hello, wordreferencers here
Is the bold sentence wrong? I found it a little off, because the author might wanted to compare salt with rice. But if so, it should be "consumed more salt than rice that we have"?
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  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The word "of" should not be there.

    They have consumed more salt than we have [consumed*] rice.

    * The word consumed is implied but not included.

    That saying is not known where I live.
     
    Last edited:

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    It's presumably a direct translation of a Chinese proverb, and the writer flags it as such. I don't know what it means but have several guesses. I agree the of is not necessary.

    NYT has cut me off free articles :) so I can't view the original.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    This is the quote:

    But this shallow perspective on aging infantilizes the elderly and neglects to preserve their dignity. They are people who have “consumed more salt than we have of rice,” as the saying goes. They deserve better.

    It means nothing to me. I assume it does in the original Chinese.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    My guess as to the meaning is that since salt is not a main food like rice it is only added to dishes in comparatively small quantities. Rice is eaten in large quantities.

    But these people have been alive so long and have eaten so many meals that the total quantity of salt they have consumed in their lifetime (even when consumed in much smaller quantities than rice) is higher than the total amount of rice consumed by much younger people, even though the young people eat a lot of rice. It highlights just how much older these old people are.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    My guess as to the meaning is that since salt is not a main food like rice it is only added to dishes in comparatively small quantities. Rice is eaten in large quantities.

    But these people have been alive so long and have eaten so many meals that the total quantity of salt they have consumed in their lifetime (even when consumed in much smaller quantities than rice) is higher than the total amount of rice consumed by much younger people, even though the young people eat a lot of rice. It highlights just how much older these old people are.
    :thumbsup:

    That is exactly how I understand this.
     

    Oswinw011

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    My guess as to the meaning is that since salt is not a main food like rice it is only added to dishes in comparatively small quantities. Rice is eaten in large quantities.

    But these people have been alive so long and have eaten so many meals that the total quantity of salt they have consumed in their lifetime (even when consumed in much smaller quantities than rice) is higher than the total amount of rice consumed by much younger people, even though the young people eat a lot of rice. It highlights just how much older these old people are.
    Yes, but in addition, the old age also indicates the rich experiences and lifehacks of an elderly in the original Chinese context.
     
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