山水有相逢 - Patience is the key


Mountains and water

There are many ways to translate idioms and sayings, I think. When you're little, you get taught that there are certain ways that you can only ever interpret them, but I don't think that's always true. There is never a single way of interpreting something, because we're all different and we all have our points of view, but these 'sole meanings' at least give us something to work from. Plus meanings over time change.

Tonight my dad randomly asked me if I knew the meaning of a saying tonight: "山水有相逢", I don't even recall what was being discussed. I don't remember what it means, but it kind of literally translates to mountains and water eventually meet, even when you consider how far away they can be from each other.

I had a look around online, which gave me this:

(1) idiom: paths cross http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/paths+cross

Usage Examples: "Our paths will cross again someday"; "Their paths will cross"

(2) idiom: It's a small world http://www.goenglish.com/ItsASmallWorld.asp

Usually this idiom is used when you meet someone in an unexpected place, but it can also be used to refer to "it's always possible to meet again in the future, somewhere, someday", thus:

the usage: "We will meet again, it's a small world afterall !"

The meaning my parents seemed to give was somewhat different though. That if you waited long enough something would happen. It's just taking the concept of 'one day our paths will cross again' and taking a broader meaning to it, in a way that is interpreted as 'one day you will achieve what you want'.

I wonder if that's ironic coming from them, but I suppose it gives a reason to live in hope. One day you'll achieve what you want to. Your time will come. Things get better.

Eventually...

Fun bit of trivia, apparently there are lots of movies named after this saying, as one tends to do. How much would you bet it's about two people meeting again or meeting by chance with some coincidental tie?

Image from Flickr.