Ability to Adapt in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Ability to Adapt

  2. Adapt Oneself

  3. Improvise Adapt Overcome

  4. Warriors Adapt and Overcome

  5. Mind Like Water

  6. Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation


Ability to Adapt

ouhen nouryoku
Ability to Adapt Scroll

応変能力 is, "the ability to take proper steps to meet the situation", "the ability to adapt oneself to the requirement of the moment", "the ability to adapt to circumstances", or "adapt and overcome", in Japanese Kanji.

Adapt Oneself

yìng biàn
ou hen
Adapt Oneself Scroll

應變 means, "to meet a contingency", "to adapt oneself to changes", or "to adapt to changes" in Chinese.

It's also used in Japanese but usually only in the context of Buddhism. 應變 is probably the shortest way to express the idea of adapting and overcoming whatever circumstances present themselves.

Improvise Adapt Overcome

jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
Improvise Adapt Overcome Scroll

即興發揮即刻適應即時克服 is the coolest way to put together this famous word list, "Improvise Adapt Overcome".

There are shorter ways to write "adapt", and "overcome", but "improvise" needs a four-character word to be expressed accurately in Chinese. To match them up, the other two are using four-character words as well. This makes it sound more natural in Chinese (though word lists are not a natural construct in Chinese grammar).

The words break down like this: 即興發揮, 即刻適應, 即時克服. I suggest the 3-column option when you customize your wall scroll. That way, the words will occupy one column each.

A great gift for a U.S. Marine, or anyone who follows this mantra.

Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Soldiers need a fluid plan

bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll

This literally translates as: Troops/soldiers/warriors have no fixed [battlefield] strategy [just as] water has no constant shape [but adapts itself to whatever container it is in].

Figuratively, this means: One should seek to find whatever strategy or method is best suited to resolving each individual problem.

This proverb is about as close as you can get to the military idea of "adapt improvise overcome". This is best way to express that idea in both an ancient way, and a very natural way in Chinese.

Mind Like Water

Mizu No Kokoro

mizu no kokoro
Mind Like Water Scroll

水の心 is the Japanese Buddhist and martial arts phrase, "mizu no kokoro", which means, "mind like water" or "heart of water".

The phrase is a metaphor describing the pond that clearly reflects it's surroundings when calm but whose images are obscured once a pebble is dropped into its waters.

Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation

bīng lái jiàng dǎng shuǐ lái tǔ yǎn
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Scroll

This Chinese military proverb means, counter soldiers with arms, and counter water with an earthen dam.

This is about how different situations call for different action. You must adopt measures appropriate to the actual situation.

To explain the actual proverb, one would not attack a flood of water with gunfire, nor would you counter-attack soldiers by building an earth weir. You must be adaptable and counter whatever threatens with relevant action.


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Ability to Adapt応変能力ouhen nouryoku
ouhennouryoku
ohen noryoku
Adapt Oneself應變
应变
ou hen / ouhen / o hen yìng biàn
ying4 bian4
ying bian
yingbian
ying pien
yingpien
Improvise Adapt Overcome即興發揮即刻適應即時克服
即兴发挥即刻适应即时克服
jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
ji2 xing4 fa1 hui1 ji2 ke4 shi4 ying4 ji2 shi2 ke4 fu2
ji xing fa hui ji ke shi ying ji shi ke fu
chi hsing fa hui chi k`o shih ying chi shih k`o fu
chi hsing fa hui chi ko shih ying chi shih ko fu
Warriors Adapt and Overcome兵無常勢水無常形
兵无常势水无常形
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
bing1 wu2 chang2 shi4 shui3 wu2 chang2 xing2
bing wu chang shi shui wu chang xing
ping wu ch`ang shih shui wu ch`ang hsing
ping wu chang shih shui wu chang hsing
Mind Like Water水の心mizu no kokoro
mizunokokoro
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation兵來將擋水來土掩
兵来将挡水来土掩
bīng lái jiàng dǎng shuǐ lái tǔ yǎn
bing1 lai2 jiang4 dang3 shui3 lai2 tu3 yan3
bing lai jiang dang shui lai tu yan
ping lai chiang tang shui lai t`u yen
ping lai chiang tang shui lai tu yen
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.


Many custom options...


Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Scroll
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Scroll
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Scroll
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Scroll


And formats...

Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Vertical Portrait
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Horizontal Wall Scroll
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Ability to Adapt in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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.
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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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