Seeing as how I just got back from a trip to the Wall myself, I figured I’d stay on that theme. This traditional and very famous story, called 孟姜女哭长城 mèng jiāng nǚ kū cháng chéng, is set in the Qin Dynasty, and is super sad in the way that only East Asian stories can be sad (are we noticing a trend, here?). If you’re the “watches a lot of anime” type, you’ll easily find the beauty here (which lies in the power of tears – where else?), but if you like your fairy-tale endings, prepare for a big downer.

Learn to Read Chinese Characters - Intermediate Chinese ReadingI happen to enjoy sad stories as long as there’s some sweetness in them, and this one is paced very nicely, so I’m translating it for you here, though it’s much longer than my usual fare (I seem to be trending towards longer stuff these days).

This story happens between 259 B.C. and 210 B.C., and describes two characters, our heroine 孟姜女mèng jiāng nǚ, and her love, 范喜良 fàn xǐ liáng, who live under the rule of emperor 秦始皇 qín shǐ huáng during the building of the Great Wall. The story describes how they meet and how they finally part, and dwells on the strength of 孟姜女’s love for her man. There are a few specialized words here pertaining to weddings. One is 喜酒 xǐ jiǔ, meaning “happiness wine”, which is alcohol drunk at weddings to wish the bride and groom well. Another is 洞房 dòng fáng, or “marriage chamber” (literally “cave room”). And yet another is 成亲, meaning “to get married”.

An interesting word here is 眼看 yǎn kàn, which means “in a moment”, or “when ____ is just about to happen”, not “the eye sees” or “to look”, as may be supposed.

One difficult few words to puzzle out here is in the second paragraph, when it’s stated that some soldiers “不容分说” bù róng fēn shuō charge into the room. 不容 here means “without tolerating” or “would not tolerate”, and 分说 means “to explain”. So we can imagine that this means the soldiers barged in and though people tried to explain the situation to them, they weren’t interested in listening.

Click to Listen

连连 – lián lián – Again and again
逃难 – táo nàn – Run away from trouble
抓 – zhuā – Grab, catch, seize
知书达理 – zhī shū dá lǐ – Educated and well-balanced
眉清目秀 – méi qīng mù xiù – Good-looking with delicate features
心心相印 – xīn xīn xiāng yìn – Two hearts beat as one
成亲 – chéng qīn – To get married
张灯结彩 – zhēng dēng jié cǎi – Decorated with lanterns and colored banners
满堂 – mǎn táng – jam-packed, a full house
喜气洋洋 – xǐ qì yáng yáng – Full of joy
干着急 – gān zhán jí – Worry needlessly
跋涉 – bá shè – To trek, trudge
顽强 – wán qiáng – Tenacious
工地 – gōng dì – Construction site
踪影 – zōng yǐng – A trace (no trace of sthg)
尸首 – shī shou – Corpse
噩耗 – è hào – News of someone’s death
猛烈 – měng liè – fierce / violent
血肉模糊 – xuè ròu mó hu – Badly mutilated
残暴 – cán bào – Cruelty





During the Qin dynasty, there was a kind and beautify woman, called Meng JiangNv. One day, she was in her garden doing housework, when she suddenly realized that someone was hiding in the grape arbor. She was hugely startled, and was about to call out, when she saw the person repeatedly wave his hands, and begged her, “Don’t call out, don’t call out, save me! I am Fan XiLiang, and I’m running away from trouble.” Well, during this time, [Emperor] Qin Shi Huang, in order to build the great wall, was seizing people from everywhere to [force them to] do labor, and he’d already worked and starved countless people to death! Meng JiangNv rescued Fan XiLiang, and when she saw that he was well educated and sensible, and good looking with delicate features as well, she began to love him, and Fan XiLiang also liked Meng JiangNv. Their two hearts beat as one, and after seeking the approval of their parents, prepared to become husband and wife.

On the wedding day, the Meng house was lit with lanterns and colored banners, and was jam-packed with guests – it was a joyous scene. When it was almost dark out, and those that had come to drink the marriage wine slowly scattered, the bride and groom prepared to enter the marriage chamber, suddenly came the sounds of birds crying and dogs barking, and soon after a company of fierce officers and soldiers charged in, and without listening to any explanation, locked up Fan XiLiang in iron chains and hauled him off to the Great Wall to work. The lovely wedding had come to nothing, and Meng JiangNv felt both grief and indignation, and she longed for her husband day and night. She thought: Instead of sitting here worrying hopelessly, it’s better if I go to the Great Wall and search for him. Yes! That’s what I’ll do! So Meng JiangNv immediately prepared her traveling clothes and set out on the road.

On the road, though she couldn’t count how many times she endured wind, frost, rain and snow, trudged across dangerous mountains and treacherous rapids, Meng JiangNv never spoke one word of complaint, never spilled one tear, and finally, drawing strength from her tenacious willpower, and drawing strength from her deep love for her husband, she reached the Great Wall. The Great Wall at this time was made up of many small construction sites that had been strung together to form a long city wall, and Meng JiangNv went from each construction site to the next, but she never saw a trace of her husband. Finally, she drummed up her courage, and asked a group of workers who were just about to begin work: “Do any of you know a Fan XiLiang?” The workers said, “Yes, there was a man like that, he’d just arrived.” When Meng JiangNv heard that, she was indescribably happy! She immediately asked, “Where is he?” The worker said, “He’s dead, his corpse has already been tossed into the wall.”

When Meng JiangNv heard this grievous news, it was like a clap of thunder from a clear sky, Meng’s eyes went dark, and [she felt] a burst of sadness, and began to sob. She cried for a full three days and three nights, she cried until the sky was twilight and the earth was dark, [until] even Heaven and Earth were moved. The sky became more and more gloomy, the wind more and more fierce, and then there was a great “crash”, and a section of the Wall had been cried down, and Fan XiLiang’s corpse was revealed; Meng JiangNv’s tears dripped on his badly mutilated face. She finally was able to see the husband she loved, but he wasn’t able to see her, because he had already been killed by the cruel Qin ShiHuang.

47 comments to "Meng JiangNv Cries the Great Wall Down"

  1. Reply rolling clothing rack says: April 22, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Howdy! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. With thanks!

  2. Reply Yasuko Yantzer says: January 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    You actually revealed that adequately.

  3. Reply Xochitl Cambria says: May 3, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Based on the success of Play – Kids and Movile’s expanding roster of popular apps, it’s quite likely that companies in Silicon Valley will be more than eager to shake hands with Latin American entrepreneurs as well. – Released in 2012 by Ndemic Creations, this game combines high strategy and realistic simulation, and definitely belongs in the top ten strategy games list. You can build up your village and live a peaceful existence.

  4. Reply psychoterapia psychodynamiczna bydgoszcz says: May 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    było by super gdybyś mogła zdobyć ten numer oraz jakieś wstępne informacje za ile, gdzie itd.Boję się że jeżeli spróbuję to nie poradzę sobie z lękiem.Pozdrowionka. Czekam z niecierpliwościąPigmej

  5. That’s just a sad story. :(

  6. Reply Joetta Klunk says: May 20, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Over the years it became quite popular and went on to become an American science fiction franchise. Regarding makeup, if you prefer not to be a human, you can go for the Vulcan look and make or buy prosthetic ears. With so much experience as an All Star it would only make sense that Nike would create some of the most memorable Kobe Bryant shoes.

  7. Reply Remote sex toys says: October 9, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you so much for giving everyone such a splendid opportunity to check tips from here. It is often so fantastic and as well , full of amusement for me and my office colleagues to search your web site at minimum thrice a week to find out the latest things you will have. Not to mention, I’m so always happy for the impressive knowledge you give. Certain 4 tips on this page are unquestionably the most beneficial we’ve had.

  8. Reply Organic Food says: November 10, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Hello.This post was really fascinating, especially since I was looking for thoughts on this topic last week.

  9. The story touch my heart.after finishing the reading,my eyes full with tears

    • Reply Ngọc Diệp says: November 6, 2019 at 2:04 am

      Why do you droptears?The life have many changes and have many things to do and don’t droptears and considered as book and many …..many another books

  10. Reply modern home decor says: November 30, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I precisely wished to appreciate you once more. I’m not certain the things that I would have accomplished without those ways documented by you regarding this theme. It has been a very fearsome crisis in my opinion, nevertheless observing a professional approach you processed the issue made me to leap over gladness. I am just thankful for the advice and then believe you find out what a great job that you are undertaking instructing people today by way of your webpage. I know that you’ve never come across all of us.

  11. Reply trademark law says: December 21, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thank you, I¡¦ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

  12. Reply Carpet Tiles says: December 21, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you are speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally visit my web site =). We will have a hyperlink exchange agreement among us!

  13. Reply energy saving says: December 21, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Good web site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  14. Reply fashion ideas says: December 21, 2015 at 7:56 am

    There is obviously a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain good points in features also.

  15. Reply home restoration says: December 25, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks , I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

  16. Reply decoration ideas says: December 25, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my website :)

  17. Reply Computer Technology says: December 25, 2015 at 9:00 am

    As a Newbie, I am constantly browsing online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  18. Reply Fashion Style says: December 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Thank you so much for giving everyone such a remarkable chance to read critical reviews from here. It is always so sweet plus stuffed with fun for me and my office acquaintances to search the blog at minimum three times every week to learn the newest guidance you have got. And lastly, I am just certainly contented concerning the beautiful strategies you serve. Certain 2 tips in this posting are undeniably the most beneficial we’ve ever had.

  19. Reply modern kitchen says: January 3, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    A lot of thanks for all of your hard work on this website. My aunt takes pleasure in going through internet research and it’s really easy to see why. Most of us learn all regarding the dynamic means you present great thoughts by means of the website and in addition attract response from other people on the subject matter and our own girl is always starting to learn a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re performing a dazzling job.

  20. Reply backyard garden says: January 4, 2016 at 12:41 am

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i like studying your posts. Keep up the great paintings! You recognize, many persons are searching round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  21. It¡¦s really a great and helpful piece of info. I¡¦m satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Reply contract law says: January 6, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I¡¦ve recently started a website, the info you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  23. Reply Online University says: January 25, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Thank you so much for giving everyone remarkably pleasant possiblity to check tips from this web site. It can be so cool and also jam-packed with amusement for me and my office acquaintances to visit your website on the least 3 times a week to see the new secrets you have. And definitely, I am also at all times astounded with all the spectacular tips you give. Selected 1 ideas on this page are basically the most beneficial I have ever had.

  24. Reply decoration ideas says: January 25, 2016 at 9:10 am

    I would like to express some appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from such a scenario. After checking throughout the online world and obtaining techniques that were not beneficial, I believed my life was gone. Living without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you’ve solved by way of your good write-up is a serious case, and the ones which might have badly damaged my entire career if I hadn’t discovered your web site. That mastery and kindness in dealing with all areas was crucial. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t discovered such a point like this. I’m able to now relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for your reliable and result oriented help. I won’t hesitate to suggest your web sites to any individual who should have tips on this issue.

  25. Reply Priscilla Deturenne says: December 24, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I needed to send you this bit of note so as to thank you so much as before just for the superb knowledge you’ve featured at this time. It was so tremendously open-handed of you to offer easily just what most of us could have distributed for an electronic book in order to make some cash on their own, even more so since you might have tried it if you ever wanted. The thoughts additionally acted to provide a fantastic way to realize that the rest have the identical zeal much like mine to understand more in respect of this problem. I believe there are some more fun periods up front for those who looked at your site.

  26. Reply gopro extended battery says: February 24, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Sorry, I not speak good english.I have been checking out a few of your posts and i can state pretty clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog.

  27. Reply Minneapolis Dog Urine Cleaner says: March 6, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Sorry, I not speak good english.Someone essentially help to make critically posts I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual post amazing. Wonderful activity!

  28. Reply your car is topped up says: June 9, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that
    I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any
    case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and
    I hope you write again very soon!

  29. Reply pay day loans says: July 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact was once a enjoyment account it.
    Glance complex to more added agreeable from
    you! By the way, how could we keep in touch?

  30. Reply network com port says: July 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Please forgive my bad English.Wow, amazing weblog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make running a blog glance easy. The full glance of your site is fantastic, as smartly as the content material!

  31. Hi there colleagues, good piece of writing and fastidious arguments commented at this place, I am actually
    enjoying by these.

  32. Reply Cryptocurrency Institute says: October 8, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specially the final part :) I take care of such info much.

    I was seeking this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  33. Reply Fonda Gutter says: June 18, 2019 at 4:09 am

    There is noticeably big money to understand this. I assume you’ve made certain nice points in functions also.

  34. Reply Debera Baeskens says: June 24, 2019 at 4:16 am

    I have taken note that of all different types of insurance, medical insurance is the most questionable because of the issue between the insurance policy company’s need to remain adrift and the client’s need to have insurance policies. Insurance companies’ revenue on health and fitness plans are very low, as a result some companies struggle to gain profits. Thanks for the strategies you talk about through this site.

  35. Reply Harrison Disbrow says: July 11, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my website thus i got here to return thechoose?.I am trying to to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!| Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it?s really informative. I?m going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!|

  36. Reply past life regressionists says: July 22, 2019 at 9:13 am

    This page reminds me of the other comment I was looking at

  37. Reply Sunny Leone Sex says: July 26, 2019 at 11:32 am

    It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Reply Tristan Endersbe says: July 30, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Can I merely say thats a relief to uncover someone who actually knows what theyre dealing with over the internet. You definitely discover how to bring a worry to light and work out it critical. Lots more people must ought to see this and can see this side on the story. I cant believe youre no more common simply because you certainly contain the gift.

  39. This is Quicken’s best phone number, the real-time current wait on hold and tools for skipping right through those phone lines to get right to a Quicken agent. Visit Here:

  40. Reply situs agen slot online says: September 4, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Tetapi mengena cara beruntung dalam bermainan slot online joker123 secara online. Tentunya ada banyak sekali sistem-cara yang telah beredar di dunia dunia maya. Melainkan yang menjadi dilema di sini ialah tak ada sama sekali jenis strategi dan trik terbaik yang bisa mempertimbangkan bahwa tips atau metode tersebut bisa berjalan dengan baik. Namun anda tidak perlu cemas, dibawa ini yaitu sebagian tips terbaik ketimbang mengenai cara main situs slot online joker123 agar selalu memang.

  41. Reply Melaine Nathan says: September 8, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Everything is very open with a very clearclearprecisereally clear explanationdescriptionclarification of the issueschallenges. It was trulyreallydefinitely informative. Your website isYour site is very usefulvery helpfulextremely helpfuluseful. Thanks forThank you forMany thanks for sharing!

2 trackbacks to "Meng JiangNv Cries the Great Wall Down"

Leave Comment: