Chinese Saying: 十年树木,百年树人

十年Shínián — ten year

shù — (verb) to grow, cultivate; (noun) tree

— tree; wood

百年bǎi nián — one hundred years

rén — people

十 and 百 are used to mean a length of time, meaning it takes a long time to grow a tree, but even more time to cultivate a person. It is not meant to refer to a definite amount of time.

树 is usually used as a noun, meaning “tree“, but in this idiom, it is used as a verb, meaning to grow or to cultivate.

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