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A popular topic in today’s China: culture of wolf instinct – to be a lamb, or to be a wolf?

Posted by Grace Feng on April 15, 2012

China today: culture of wolf instinct - to be a lamb, or to be a wolf?Have you ever heard of a best selling book called “Wolf Totem” by Jiang Rong from China? Since the day it was released, it sold well. The “wolf” spirit the book described was even perseived as new culture for corporate employees in big companies in China, such as Huawei. The new culture was named as “Culture of Wolf Instinct” (COWI).

In brief, COWI advocates the following mentality and abilities that were learned from wolf in “Wolf Totem”:

1. Strong ability of observation, undivided target, harmonious tacit cooperation, great curiosity, detail-awareness, steadfast patience.

2. Motivated to struggle with unyielding spirit.

3. United and support each other – the decisive factor to success.

“Wolf Instinct” is the English translation of “狼性 láng xìng” in Chinese. In the following dialogue from a Chinese TV episode “Beijing Love Story”, you’ll hear how “狼性 láng xìng” was discussed between an ambitious business man Wu and his assistant Hua in Beijing. Chinese annotation, pinyin and English translation are provided to help you understand and study the dialogue. Wu’s lines are in black, and Hua’s lines are in green.

I’d suggest that you study and listen to the material first. Once you’ve completely understood, imitate the way of speaking with the recording. Start from low speed, repeat your way up to a comfortable speed. Remember, practising is your fastest path to fluency. I’ll cheer for you like always.

Feel free to put your thoughts in the comment area, thanks, my friends.

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huá yǒng ā, jīnnián duōdà le?
华勇啊, 今年多大了?

Hua Yong, how old are you now?

 

èrshí bā.
二十八.

28.

 

zài zhège chéngshì, kào zìjǐ de shuāngshǒu, dǎpīn chū jīntiān de chéngjì, yī liàng chē, liǎng tàofáng, nǐ juéde zìjǐ suàn chénggōng?
在这个城市, 靠自己的双手, 打拼出今天的成绩, 一辆车, 两套房, 你觉得自己算成功?

In this city (Beijing), all on your own, to reach your current state, a car and two properties, do you consider yourself to be successful?

 

(smile)

 

méicuò! yàokàn hé shénmerén bǐ. hé xiànzài dàduōshù niánqīngrén bǐ, nǐ dāngrán suàn chénggōng de.
没错! 要看和什么人比. 和现在大多数年轻人比, 你当然算成功的.

That’s right! Depends on who you compare to. Compared to most people your age, of course you’re successful.

 

dànshì nǐ yào hé zìjǐ bǐ. hé zìjǐ huīhuáng de guòqu bǐ.
但是你要和自己比. 和自己辉煌的过去比.

However, you should compare to yourself, to your own past.

 

nǐ jiǔ suì jiù niàn wán le xiǎoxué de quánbù kèchéng, shísì suì kǎorù Qīnghuá Dàxué. nǐ shì gè shéntóng, shì gè tiāncái.
你九岁就念完了小学的全部课程, 十四岁考入清华大学. 你是个神童, 是个天才!

You finished elementary school at 9, enrolled into Qinghua University at 14. You’re super gifted, a genius!

 

dànshì xiànzài, nǐ èrshí bā suì le, què háishi wǒ de zhùshǒu. zhīdào wèishénme?
但是现在, 你二十八岁了, 却还是我的助手. 知道为什么?

However, you’re 28 now, you’re still my assistant, do you know why?

 

lǎodà, nǐ yòu yàoshuō wǒ xìnggé shàng de wèntí.
老大, 你又要说我性格上的问题?

Boss, you gonna talk about the weakness in my personality again?

 

duì! xìnggé juédìng mìngyùn.
对! 性格决定命运.

Yes! Personality determines your fate.

 

nǐ hé wǒ nàge dìdi yīyàng, xìnggé lǐ quēshǎo láng xìng.
你和我那个弟弟一样, 性格里缺少狼性.

You’re similar as my brother, lack of wolf instinct.

 

nǐ kànkan zhège chéngshì, bù zhīdào cóng shénmeshíhou kāishǐ yǐjīng biànzuò yī zuò zhànchǎng.
你看看这个城市, 不知道从什么时候开始已经变作一座战场.

Look at this city, can’t remember since when, it has turned into a battle field.

 

fǎngfú zhǐ shèngxià liǎng zhǒng dòngwù, xiǎo bùfèn de láng hé dàbùfen de yáng.
仿佛只剩下两种动物, 小部分的狼和大部分的羊.

It seems only two kinds of animals are left, the minority of wolves, and the majority of lambs.

 

nǐmen de xìnggé dōu tài tāntú ānyì, tài nuòruò! shì zhè chéngshì de yáng.
你们的性格都太贪图安逸, 太懦弱! 是这城市的羊.

You and my brother both favour ease and comfort too much. Too soft! You are the lambs of this city.

 

rúguǒ nǐ bù shìtú qù gǎibiàn xìnggé zhōng zhèzhǒng ruǎn lèi, shì zhùdìng nán chéng dàshì de!
如果你不试图去改变性格中这种软肋, 是注定难成大事的!

If you don’t try to change that aspect in your personality, you won’t be able to achieve great accomplishments.

 

shuō dé yǒudàoli. kěshì lǎodà, wǒ juéde mùqián zài nǐ shēnbiān tǐnghǎo de, néng xué dào hěn duō dōngxi.
说得有道理. 可是老大, 我觉得目前在你身边挺好的, 能学到很多东西.

You do have some points. But boss, I’m happy to be around you at this stage, I can learn a lot from you.

 

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