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Opportunity in Chinese / Japanese...

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Start your custom "Opportunity" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Opportunity" title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Opportunity
  2. Fate / Opportunity / Chance
  3. Opportunity / Good Luck
  4. Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?


Opportunity

China jī huì
Japan kikai
Opportunity

機會 is a common way to express "opportunity" in Japanese. The first character means "chance" and the second can be translated as "meeting." So in Japanese business a "chance meeting" represents a real "opportunity."

Note that this also means opportunity in Chinese but it's more an oral or informal word in Mandarin. Also, the second Kanji is the same as the simplified version of the hui Chinese character.

Opportunity

Opportune Time
China shí jī
Opportunity

時機 is a common way to express day-to-day opportunities. It's sometimes used to express "an occasion."

Opportunity

China
Japan hata
Opportunity

機 is an odd one. I've seen this on coffee cups and posters with the meaning of "opportunity." 機 is a correct definition but this character also means "machine." In fact, if you put the character for "flying" in front of this character, you have the Chinese word for "airplane" (literally: flying machine). Alone, on a wall scroll, it will be generally understood as "opportunity" but I want you to know this extra information before you make your selection. Note that in Japanese and Korean, this has a similar meaning but can also mean machine or loom.


See Also:  Success

Fate / Opportunity / Chance

Buddhist idea of Fate
China yīn yuán
Japan in nen
Fate / Opportunity / Chance

因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.

Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.

It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.

因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a "fate / chance" meaning by a Chinese person, or a Korean person who can read Hanja.

The more complex definition of this word would be, "Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things."

This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or "hetu and prataya") which I believe is Pali.


Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji: 縁
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you'll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.


See Also:  Buddhism

Opportunity / Good Luck

China jī yù
Opportunity / Good Luck

機遇 is the kind of opportunity that comes via good luck or good fortune.

機遇 is sometimes translated as "stroke of good luck."

While there are other ways to express "opportunity," I think this version is best for a calligraphy wall scroll or portrait.

Note: In Korean Hanja, this would also mean "Meeting someone under strange circumstances."


See Also:  Good Luck

Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?

China wēi jī
Japan kiki
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?

Separately, the first character here does mean "danger" or "to endanger" and the second character can mean "opportunity."

However, I want to debunk a myth that was propagated by some westerners who did not have a clear understanding of Asian languages...

While often, Chinese/Japanese/Korean compound words (words of two or more characters) are the sum of their parts, this is not always the case. The compound is often understood with a completely different meaning than the two characters individually.

Many have said that the Chinese/Japanese/Korean word for Crisis is made up of the characters for "danger" and "opportunity." This is true when phrased this way.
However, it's not absolutely correct to say that "danger + opportunity = crisis" in Asian cultures.

English example:
If I tell you that...
Bovine creature + Guy behind the plate in baseball = Locomotive protection
...you would think I was mad. But consider that "cow + catcher = cowcatcher," which is the device that used to be found on steam engines to protect them if they hit an animal on the tracks. When we hear the word "cowcatcher" we don't separate the words into their individual meanings (necessarily).
The same is true with the word for crisis in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. While you can separate the characters, few Asian people would automatically do so in their minds.

The final answer:
It is a half-truth to say, "danger plus opportunity equals crisis" in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. Use this statement and concept with caution.

Also, the second character can mean "secret" or "machine" depending on context so I guess you have to say "a dangerous machine = crisis" or "danger + a secret = crisis." Both of these are only slightly more ridiculous than the first premise.

PS: This is probably not a great word for a scroll, unless you have a special use for it.

Search for Opportunity in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Opportunity 機會
机会
kikaijī huì / ji1 hui4 / ji hui / jihui chi hui / chihui
Opportunity 時機
时机
shí jī / shi2 ji1 / shi ji / shiji shih chi / shihchi
Opportunity
hatajī / ji1 / ji chi
Fate
Opportunity
Chance
因緣
因缘 / 因縁
in nen / innenyīn yuán / yin1 yuan2 / yin yuan / yinyuan yin yüan / yinyüan
Opportunity
Good Luck
機遇
机遇
jī yù / ji1 yu4 / ji yu / jiyu chi yü / chiyü
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity? 危機
危机
kikiwēi jī / wei1 ji1 / wei ji / weiji wei chi / weichi
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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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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