To Be Accustomed To – Chinese idioms

Recently we’ve looked at Chinese idioms, or 成語 (成语 chéng yŭ)(see 10 Chinese idioms to do with animals), but other than this it’s been a part of learning Chinese that we haven’t covered in great detail. So it’s about time we rectified that! From now on, in some regularity, we’ll be posting about idioms. The first idiom we’ll be looking at describes how something becomes common place through force of habit:

習以為常(习以为常)

Pinyin: xí yǐ wéi cháng
English: to be accustomed to; literally: by habit become convention, or, to become accustomed to something through habit.
Notes: Here, 習 is 習慣 (习惯 xí guàn)which means habit, and 常 is 常規(常规 cháng guī)which means convention. 以 simply means ‘by way of’ and 為 is from 成為(成为 chéng wéi), which means ‘to become’.

We’ve got an example below using this idiom to describe how what the web browser is, so here’s the rest of the vocabulary you’ll need for reading the example:

Browsers

Vocabulary

網頁(网页)

Pinyin: wǎng yè
English: a web page

瀏覽器(浏览器)

Pinyin: liú lǎn qì
English: a web browser

上網(上网)

Pinyin: shàng wǎng
English: to go online

工具(工具)

Pinyin: gōng jù
English: a tool; an appliance etc.

Example

Traditional
網頁瀏覽器是我們習以為常的上網工具

Simplified
网页浏览器是我们习以为常的上网工具

Pinyin
wǎng yè liú lǎn qì shì wǒ men xí yǐ wéi cháng de shàng wǎng gōng jù

English
The web browser is a tool we have become accustomed to for accessing the Internet

Example source

A very useful idiom and one that you could use to describe a lot of things. Keep checking back over the coming weeks as we look more into useful idioms!