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《三十六计》中英文对照 Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Attacking Stratagems 第三套:攻战计

第十三计 打草惊蛇 beating the grass to frighten the snake ▌原文



Do something unaimed, but spectacular ("hitting the grass") to provoke a response of the enemy ("startle the snake"), thereby giving away his plans or position, or just taunt him.

Do something unusual, strange, and unexpected as this will arouse the enemy's suspicion and disrupt his thinking.

More widely used as "[Do not] startle the snake by hitting the grass". An imprudent act will give your position or intentions away to the enemy.

第十四计 借尸还魂 resurrecting a dead soul by borrowing a corpse ▌原文



Take an institution, a technology, a method, or even an ideology that has been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose.

Revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose or bring to life old ideas, customs, or traditions and reinterpret them to fit your purposes.

第十五计 调虎离山 luring the tiger out of his den ▌原文



Never directly attack an opponent whose advantage is derived from its position. Instead lure him away from his position thus separating him from his source of strength.

第十六计 欲擒故纵 letting the enemy off in order to catch him




Cornered prey will often mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom.

His will to fight is thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is proven a falsehood the enemy's morale will be defeated and he will surrender without a fight.

第十七计 抛砖引玉 giving the enemy something to induce him to lose more valuable things ▌原文



Bait someone by making him believe he gains something or just make him react to it ("toss out a brick") and obtain something valuable from him in return ("get a jade gem").

第十八计 擒贼擒王 capturing the ringleader first in order to capture all the followers ▌原文



If the enemy's army is strong but is allied to the commander only by money, superstition or threats, then take aim at the leader.

If the commander falls the rest of the army will disperse or come over to your side.

If, however, they are allied to the leader through loyalty then beware, the army can continue to fight on after his death out of vengeance.