马不停蹄

Fan bingbing

Fan Bing Bing by mamattew

It’s been quite a while now since I was first introduced to the 成语 (chéngyǔ) idiom, 马不停蹄 (mǎbùtíngtí). It stuck instantly. Yet surprisingly I’ve never seen it used in context, until now.

最近这一周,范冰冰马不停蹄地活跃于戛纳电影节的各大活动,在向世界展示她个人风格的同时,也在推广她所代言的L’Oreal和Chopard。

Last week, Fan Bing Bing continued her relentless schedule at the Cannes Film Festival, showing the world her personal style, whilst also promoting her endorsement of L’Oreal and Chopard.
– Jing Daily, May 22, 2013

I’m still not sure I completely understand how the phrase is used as, whenever I try, I’m told it doesn’t sound natural. The best I’ve managed to arrive at is:

最近我马不停蹄地出差。
Zuìjìn wǒ mǎbùtíngtí dì chūchāi.
Recently I’ve been travelling for work non stop.

And the relevance of the photo? None at all. But it almost certainly kept you reading this far. I’d love to hear of any other examples of how 马不停蹄 is used in every day spoken Chinese. If you have any, the comments are all yours.

Vocabulary

horse
(negative prefix) / not / no
tíng to stop / to halt / to park (a car)
hoof / pig’s trotters
马不停蹄 mǎbùtíngtí unrelenting / without stopping to rest
de -ly / structural particle: used before a verb or adjective, linking it to preceding modifying adverbial adjunct
  • Jeff Lau

    The relevance of the photo made me laugh :)

    On a completely separate note I recently tore down my site and put on the 2013 wordpress theme. You probably need to make some edits to make disqus look better as it currently goes width 100%. I made it the same size as the content of the post. Looks much better

    • http://billglover.co.uk/ Bill

      Many thanks for the tip. Things should look a bit better now. I’m not entirely happy with the theme but haven’t found anything to replace it with just yet.