濫竽充數

戰國時,齊宣王喜歡聽竽,通常是三百人的大合奏。

齊宣王給予樂師們非常優厚的待遇。

所以有一個叫南郭的人儘管並不擅長吹竽,也設法混進了樂隊。

當樂隊演奏時,他就站在隊伍裡假裝也在吹。沒有人注意到其實他連一點聲音也沒吹出來,所以南郭也享受到和其他樂師一樣的待遇。

齊宣王死後,他的兒子繼承了王位。他也喜歡聽竽,可是他喜歡聽獨奏,所以他讓樂師一個個吹給他聽,於是南郭不得不逃跑了。

 

“濫竽充數”這個成語用來嘲笑那些沒有真正才幹,卻混在行家裡的人。人們有時也用“濫竽充數”來表示自謙。

be there just to make up the number/pretend to be an expert

During the Warring States Period (475-221BC), the King of the State of Qi was very fond of listening to yu ensembles. He often got together 300 yu players to form a grand music.

The king treated his musicians very well.

A man named Nanguo heard about that and he managed to become a member of the band, even though he was not good at playing the instrument at all.

Whenever the band played for the king, Nanguo just stood in the line and pretended to play. Nobody realized he was making no sound at all. As a result, he enjoyed his treatment just as the other musicians did.

When the king died, his son became the new ruler who also liked the music played on the yu. However, he preferred solos so that he ordered the musicians to play the yu one by one. Therefore, Nanguo had to run out of the palace.

The idiom "be there just to make up the number" is used to mock someone who pretend to be a specialist. You can also hear people saying it about themselves to show their modesty.