Open the door and see the mountain – 开门见山


to open the door and see the mountain
to get right to the point

Idioms IndexIdioms Link

In modern Mandarin (from chinese-tools chengyu dictionary):

就能 [就能] / dǎkāi mén jiù néng kànjiàn shān

[] / dǎkāi / to open
[] / mén / door
就 [] / jiù / at once
能 [] / néng /be able
[] / kànjiàn / to see
[]/ shān / mountain

I was thinking about doing a whole bunch of illustrations of idioms. But then I didn’t actually manage to find many that were suitable for my purposes. Still, I did two (will post the other one tomorrow) and I like how they turned out so maybe I will come back to that idea at some point.

Regardless, I do want to point out that for a beginner like me there are some issues with using idioms and/or proverbs for learning purposes. For one thing, they do not necessarily use standard modern grammar or vocabulary.

Also, using them appropriately can be tricky. When you look up a word in the dictionary there is a slight possibility that is has some kind of problematic double meaning or has the wrong tone feel, but mostly you can just go with it. With idioms (excepting the super common ones) I’d at least want a few usage examples before feeling comfortable about using them.

Point being: I think this idiom makes a nice little mini practice text for these characters, but I have no idea whether actually using it would impress people, make them go “huh?” or consider you a massive tool.


2 thoughts on “Open the door and see the mountain – 开门见山

  1. Reblogged this on Wordsummit and commented:
    My general philosophy is that mnemonics are a very personal thing, so it’s often better if you come up with your own mnemonics; having said that, Cornelious continues to come up with fantastic logical images that certainly seem to ‘stick’ for me.

    Cornelius– to your point about Chinese idioms not using modern grammar or vocabulary, I would counter that idioms are used much much more widely in Putonghua than they are in English, so a good portfolio of 4-character idioms that you recognize is a core skill that all learners should work on (I could improve in this area for sure).

    Another visual idiom I can think of is 水落石出; if you’re taking requests, I’d definitely offer this one up for consideration!


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