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中国人的面子 Chinese Face

作者: 录入:tmx 来源:对外汉语学习网 2019-02-22 11:27:45 

Simon feels mad with Chinese 面子(miàn zǐ), which literally means "face", but the connotation is abstract and hard to understand. However, he found it is vital in the Chinese philosophy of interpersonal relationships and appears in daily conversation frequently.
lì lì jīn tiān hěn nán shòu,yīn wéi lǎo bǎn dāng zhòng pī píng tā le
A: 丽丽今天很难受,因为老板当众批评她了。
    Lily is unhappy today, because her boss criticized her in public.
    tā nà me ài miàn zǐ,kěn dìng jiào dé tài méi miàn zǐ le
B: 她那么爱面子,肯定觉得太没面子了。
    She is very concerned about her face; this means she feels she has lost face.
    shì ā ,lǎo bǎn de huà tài shāng tā miàn zǐ le
A: 是啊,老板的话太伤她面子了。
    Yeah, what her boss said has hurt her face very much.
     bú guò tā tiān tiān shàng bān chí dào ,nán guài lǎo bǎn bú gěi tā miàn zǐ
B: 不过她天天上班迟到,难怪老板不给她面子。
But she is almost late every day, no wonder her boss didn’t save her face.
面子(miàn zi)  really refers to pride, reputation, prestige or honor. Related concepts include:
爱面子(ài miàn zi): be concerned about face-saving
要面子(yào miàn zi): be keen on face-saving
没面子(méi miàn zi): lose one' s face
伤面子(shāng miàn zi): hurt one' s face
给面子(gěi miàn zi): save one' s face/offer a kind of honor
As an old saying goes "Men rest on their face just as trees rest on their bark"(人活一张脸,树活一张皮). Why is 面子(miànzi) so vital to Chinese people? Historically speaking, it is closely related with Confucianism, which has influenced Chinese people’ thinking for thousands of years. Its core is that harmony matters most. So we would not embarrass others in public by any way, even when someone make mistakes, we usually pull punches instead of pointing out directly.
Besides trying to avoid losing face, Chinese people also aspire to“gain face” as well: some parents let their kids go to well-known universities like other kids in order to gain 面子(miànzi) for themselves; stars and bosses donate for charities sometimes for face-saving; some Chinese purchase luxuries though their salaries are low.
This sounds complicated, but there’s no need to despair. There is nothing good or bad in the issue of 面子(miànzi), as long as you don't do harm to others' interests. It is just a reflection of Chinese culture in one aspect.

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