Chengyu of the Week - 谈何容易 [tánhéróngyì]

The chengyu for this week means “easier said than done” 谈何容易 [tánhéróngyì]. In terms of pronunciation, tone, and understanding the words within the chengyu, it’s actually quite an easy one, and most practical.

谈 means ‘to talk’ or ‘chat’

何 variously means ‘how’ or ‘why’

容易 means ‘easy’

So in order to use this, we first state the issue at hand, then 谈何容易.

For example:

Breaking up with her is easier said than done.

跟她分手谈何容易. [Gēn tā fēnshǒu tánhéróngyì]

(note: 分手 [fēnshǒu] means ‘to break up w/ someone’ as in end an amorous relationship, and the structure is 跟sb.分手)

谈何容易 is also variously translated as ‘by no means easy’ or ‘difficult’, so you don’t necessarily have to wait for someone to mischaracterize a problem as easily solvable to show off using this one.

One more example:

Changing oneself is by no means easy.

改变自己谈不容易 [Gǎibiàn zìjǐ tánhéróngyì]

There you go! You shouldn’t have any problem finding an opportunity to use this 成语, so go nuts with it! 再见!