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what are the most common chengyu? which ones would you recommend learning first?
This website, there are many Chengyu, with a simple English interpretation.
If you are interested in Chengyu, be sure to learn Chinese characters.Chinese characters is a graphical text, each character has its own meaning, but the combination：word is another meaning. However, they are related. Learning Chinese characters, can help you understand the meaning of the Chengyu. This is very interesting.
There are a lot of common chengyu ：勤学好问，持之以恒，开花结果，功成名就
You can learn this one at first: 万事开头难 (wan shi kai tou nan)
it's means: all the things are difficult at begining.
@ana I'm studying Chinese at university so I do learn chinese characters (although never enough, I guess^^), fact is lately we find more and more chengyu in the texts we have to translate for homework, so I guess the time has come to seriously start learning some :D) thank you very much for the website, there's a lot of interesting stuff :)
@yuzhi thank you, I think 万事开头难 indeed is the best one to start with :D
In fact, we don't use so many chengyu in our life now, so there are only some basic ones you should learn for your study and communication.
Since you can read Chinese charaters, I recommend you reading some books or watching some cartoons that talks about the stories of the origins of chengyu for Chinese children. I'm sure there are enough materials in libraries and on the Internet(search 成语故事). Learning what the Chinese pupils study will be much more fun with less efforts, which also helps a lot for you to grasp the meaning of unfamiliar Chinese words.
Ancient Chinese is not easy even for Chinese students now, so keep on fighting!