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Only the Sleepless Know the Length of Night in Chinese / Japanese...

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Only the sleepless know the length of night

China bù mián zhī yè cháng jiǔ jiāo zhī rén xīn
Only the sleepless know the length of night

This literally translates as: [Only one who does] not sleep, learns how long the night is; [Only by] long acquaintance [does one] learn a person ['s true] character.

Basically, this proverb suggests that we really need to experience something intimately and for a long time to really know everything about it.

This can also be translated as, "Spending years with someone is the only way to know them."

Note: Sometimes this proverb is split into just the first or second idea alone (first 5 or last 5 characters only).

Search for Only the Sleepless Know the Length of Night in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersVarious forms of Romanized Chinese
Only the sleepless know the length of night不眠之夜長久交知人心
不眠之夜长久交知人心
bù mián zhī yè cháng jiǔ jiāo zhī rén xīn
bu4 mian2 zhi1 ye4 chang2 jiu3 jiao1 zhi1 ren2 xin1
bu mian zhi ye chang jiu jiao zhi ren xin
pu mien chih yeh ch`ang chiu chiao chih jen hsin
pu mien chih yeh chang chiu chiao chih jen hsin
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.



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When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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