Chinese Idiom: Good at Identifying Talents

2012-08-02 14:29:30    Web Editor: Hanyueling

伯乐识马 (bó lè shí mǎ)

Bo Le is good at appraising horses --- good at identifying talents

Bo Le is a legendary star in charge of horses in heaven and is used as a metaphor for those who know horses well.

During the Spring and Autumn Period (770---476BC), there was a very good horse connoisseur called Sun Yang in the State of Qin. People named him after the legendary star.

Once Sun Yang, or Bo Le as people so called him, saw a bony old horse hauling a cartload of salt towards Taihang Mountains. The poor old beast strained to move on and was sweating all over, its hooves worn, its tail drooping tiredly, its mouth watering to the ground. The old horse could not move on any longer when the cart was halfway up the mountain. The cart driver had to stop there.

Bo Le saw a flying steed in the old beast and felt very sorry for the animal that condescended to haul a salt cart in the mountains. He sprang from his carriage, took off his linen robe and put it over the horse. As if meeting a bosom fried, the horse, breathing hard, lowered its head and snuggled up to Bo Le. Then, it raised tes head, and, in the manner typical of a real steed, neighed sonorously.

People use the metaphor 伯乐识马(bó lè shí mǎ) for those who are good at discovering or identifying talents and appointing qualified personnel to the right post.