the-art-of-war

THE ART OF WAR 孙子兵法英文版音频

Chinese

Verses from the book occur in modern daily Chinese idioms and phrases, such as the last verse of Chapter 3:

故曰:知彼知己,百戰不殆;不知彼而知己,一勝一負;不知彼,不知己,每戰必殆。

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be put at risk even in a hundred battles.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.

This has been more tersely interpreted and condensed into the Chinese modern proverb:

知己知彼,百戰不殆。 (Zhī jǐ zhī bǐ, bǎi zhàn bù dài.)

If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win numerous (literally, “a hundred”) battles without jeopardy.

English

Common examples can also be found in English use, such as verse 18 in Chapter 1:

兵者,詭道也。故能而示之不能,用而示之不用,近而示之遠,遠而示之近。

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

This has been abbreviated to its most basic form and condensed into the English modern proverb:

All warfare is based on deception.