Happy Thanksgiving! We're doing a short family vacation right now. Orders for in-stock items will shipped on Monday Nov 26th.
Before you see all of the listings below, you should note that there are several ways to say "Grandfather". And you might as well learn about some of the complexities of other family terms in Chinese...
Unlike English, in Chinese, there is a different name for every family member depending on if they are on your mother's side or father's side. For some family titles such as brothers, sisters, and cousins, the names vary depending on age differences. For instance, a male cousin on your mother's side who is older than you is your "biao ge". If this cousin was younger, female, or on your father's side, the title-name changes.
Luckily for grandparents, there is not an older or younger issue. However, there are northern and southern terms for grandparents in China. I guess this is like in America, you might say "sofa" or "couch" depending on where you are from, and if you are from a generation ago, a "sofa" is a "davenport".
For "Grandfather", there is paternal and maternal term which is set in stone. You would NEVER use a paternal term for your maternal grandfather, and vice versa.
Things in Northern China:
Beijing, The Great Wall, Inner-Mongolia,
Tsing Tao Beer, bad weather.
Things in Southern China:
Shanghai, Guilin's Li River, Pandas,
Szechuan (Sichuan) cooking, Hong Kong.
The northern and southern Chinese terms are more flexible - sometimes they are mixed depending on the family. And if there was a marriage between a northern family and southern family, all bets are off as to what someone is going to call their grandfather.
Neither the northern nor southern terms are incorrect - and no matter where they are from, north or south, everybody knows both terms. I will leave it to you if you feel more northern or sothern Chinese.
You'll also find one case of an informal grandfather term which is probably the English equivalent of saying "grandpa" or "pappy"
It would "feel strange" to just have "grandfather" on a wall scroll alone. To be a proper gift, and to "feel right", you need to say something about your grandfather. Therefore you will find the Chinese word for "dear" or "loving" in front of each grandfather term. If you really want just a plain "grandfather" without the adjective, or you want a different adjective, just email me - we'll be happy to help.
Please note that the characters in the boxes below are written in the traditional way, vertically from right to left - so it works out that the term for grandfather appears in the left column.
It's a little tough to correctly display and explain passages of Chinese characters for an English audience when we read English from left to right, and are not used to seeing something in written form that starts on the right.
祖父 is a title for grandfather in Japanese. In Chinese, this is specifically paternal grandfather.
This title alone is not normal for a calligraphy wall scroll.
祖先崇拜 means "Appreciation and honor of your ancestors." This can refer to anyone from your grandparents and beyond.
The first two characters mean ancestors or forefathers.
The last two characters mean adore, worship, adoration, or admiration.
祖先崇拜 is the kind of wall scroll that a filial son or daughter in China or Japan would hang to honor their ancestors who paved the way for the new generation.
Japanese use a slight variation on the last Kanji. If you want this specifically Japanese version, just click on the Kanji image to the right (instead of the button above). Note that Japanese people would easily be able to identify the original Chinese form of that Kanji anyway.
They also have a similar phrase in old Korean but the first two characters are reversed - just let me know if you want that version when you place your order.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Grandfather||祖父||so fu / sofu||zǔ fù / zu3 fu4 / zu fu / zufu||tsu fu / tsufu|
|cí xiáng de lǎo ye|
ci2 xiang2 de lao3 ye
ci xiang de lao ye
|tz`u hsiang te lao yeh
tzu hsiang te lao yeh
|qín ài de lǎo ye|
qin2 ai4 de lao3 ye
qin ai de lao ye
|ch`in ai te lao yeh
chin ai te lao yeh
|Loving Grandfather||慈祥的外祖父||cí xiáng de wài zǔ fù|
ci2 xiang2 de wai4 zu3 fu4
ci xiang de wai zu fu
|tz`u hsiang te wai tsu fu
tzu hsiang te wai tsu fu
|Loving Grandfather||慈祥的外公||cí xiáng de wài gōng|
ci2 xiang2 de wai4 gong1
ci xiang de wai gong
|tz`u hsiang te wai kung
tzu hsiang te wai kung
|qín ài de wài zǔ fù|
qin2 ai4 de wai4 zu3 fu4
qin ai de wai zu fu
|ch`in ai te wai tsu fu
chin ai te wai tsu fu
|qín ài de wài gōng|
qin2 ai4 de wai4 gong1
qin ai de wai gong
|ch`in ai te wai kung
chin ai te wai kung
|cí xiáng de yé ye|
ci2 xiang2 de ye2 ye
ci xiang de ye ye
|tz`u hsiang te yeh yeh
tzu hsiang te yeh yeh
|qín ài de yé ye|
qin2 ai4 de ye2 ye
qin ai de ye ye
|ch`in ai te yeh yeh
chin ai te yeh yeh
|Loving Grandfather||慈祥的祖父||cí xiáng de zǔ fù|
ci2 xiang2 de zu3 fu4
ci xiang de zu fu
|tz`u hsiang te tsu fu
tzu hsiang te tsu fu
|qín ài de zǔ fù|
qin2 ai4 de zu3 fu4
qin ai de zu fu
|ch`in ai te tsu fu
chin ai te tsu fu
|Honor for Ancestors||祖先崇拜|
祖先崇拜 / 祖先崇拝
|so sen suu hai|
so sen su hai
|zǔ xiān chóng bài|
zu3 xian1 chong2 bai4
zu xian chong bai
|tsu hsien ch`ung pai
tsu hsien chung pai
|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.
All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
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!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
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.
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.
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.
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.