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- noun a certain kind of Chinese
set phraseoriginating in Classical Chinese, typically four or five charactersin length
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
China's many chengyu, or idiomatic phrases derived from traditional fables and classical texts, present a high hurdle for learners.
Some experts put the number of chengyu expressions at 5,000, though others settle for no fewer than 20,000.
McDonald's website, hosted by Professor Ronald, offers "Happy Courses" for multiplication and "chengyu fun" i.e., classical four-character classical Chinese phrases, the usage of which, even today, is a sign of a keen mind.