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Ambition in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Great Aspirations / Ambition

  2. Great Expectations

  3. Without a big net, how can you catch fish?

  4. Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33

  5. Dream Come True / Enjoy Success

  6. Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition

  7. Big Dream / Great Hope

  8. Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition

  9. Progress / Ambition

10. Fear not long roads; Fear only short ambition

11. Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions

12. Realize Your Ambitions / Ride on the Crest of Success

13. Ambition


Great Aspirations / Ambition

 hóng hú zhī zhì
Great Aspirations / Ambition Scroll

鴻鵠之誌 is a Chinese proverb that implies that having grand ambitions also means that others will not understand your great expectations and ideas.

Though the actual words come from a longer saying of Confucius, which goes, “The little swallows living under the eaves wouldn't understand the lofty ambitions of a swan (who flies far and wide).”

This Confucius quote has led to this idiomatic expression in China that means “think big.” What you'd be saying is “The lofty ambitions of a swan.”

Note that Chinese people sometimes refer to the little swallow as one who does not “think big” but is, instead, stuck in a rut or just leading a mundane life. Therefore, it's a compliment to be called a swan but not a good thing to be called a swallow.

Great Aspirations / Ambition

 tai shi wo idaku
Great Aspirations / Ambition Scroll

大志を抱 is a single Japanese word that kind of reads like a short proverb.

It suggests that you should have “high aims,” “ambitions,” or “aspirations” in your life.

Great Expectations

 wàng
 bou / nozomi
 
Great Expectations Scroll

望 holds the ideas of ambition, hope, desire, aspiring to, expectations, looking towards, to gaze (into the distance), and in some contexts, full moon rising.

望 is one of those single characters that is vague but in that vagueness, it also means many things.

望 is a whole word in Chinese and old Korean but is seldom seen alone in Japanese. Still, it holds the meanings noted above in all three languages.

Without a big net, how can you catch fish?

 bù sā dà wǎng bù dé dà yú
Without a big net, how can you catch fish? Scroll

不撒大網不得大魚 is a Chinese proverb that literally translates as: [if one does] not cast a big net, [one can] not get big fish.

Figuratively, this means: One cannot make great accomplishments without making great efforts or taking great pains.

This is sort of the fishing version of, “No pain, no gain.”

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33

 zhī rén zhě zhī yě zì zhī zhě míng yě shèng rén zhě yǒu lì yě zì shèng zhě qiáng yě zhī zú zhě fù yě qiáng xíng zhě yǒu zhì yě bù zhī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ yě sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu yě
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33 Scroll

This is referred to as passage or chapter 33 of the Dao De Jing (often Romanized as “Tao Te Ching”).

These are the words of the philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu).

The following is one translation of this passage:
To know others is wisdom;
To know oneself is acuity/intelligence.
To conquer others is power,
To conquer oneself is strength.
To know contentment is to have wealth.
To act resolutely is to have purpose.
To stay one's ground is to be enduring.
To die and yet not be forgotten is to be long-lived.
Another translation:
To understand others is to be knowledgeable;
To understand yourself is to be wise.
To conquer others is to have strength;
To conquer yourself is to be strong.
To know when you have enough is to be rich.
To go forward with strength is to have ambition.
To not lose your place is to be long-lasting.
To die but not be forgotten -- that's true long life.
A third translation of the second half:
He who is content is rich;
He who acts with persistence has will;
He who does not lose his roots will endure;
He who dies physically but preserves the Dao
will enjoy a long after-life.


Notes:

During our research, the Chinese characters shown here are probably the most accurate to the original text of Laozi. These were taken for the most part from the Mawangdui 1973 and Guodan 1993 manuscripts which pre-date other Daodejing texts by about 1000 years.

Grammar was a little different in Laozi’s time. So you should consider this to be the ancient Chinese version. Some have modernized this passage by adding, removing, or swapping articles and changing the grammar (we felt the oldest and most original version would be more desirable). You may find other versions printed in books or online - sometimes these modern texts are simply used to explain to Chinese people what the original text really means.

This language issue can be compared in English by thinking how the King James (known as the Authorized version in Great Britain) Bible from 1611 was written, and comparing it to modern English. Now imagine that the Daodejing was probably written around 403 BCE (2000 years before the King James Version of the Bible). To a Chinese person, the original Daodejing reads like text that is 3 times more detached compared to Shakespeare’s English is to our modern-day speech.

Extended notes:

While on this Biblical text comparison, it should be noted, that just like the Bible, all the original texts of the Daodejing were lost or destroyed long ago. Just as with the scripture used to create the Bible, various manuscripts exist, many with variations or copyist errors. Just as the earliest New Testament scripture (incomplete) is from 170 years after Christ, the earliest Daodejing manuscript (incomplete) is from 100-200 years after the death of Laozi.

The reason that the originals were lost probably has a lot to do with the first Qin Emperor. Upon taking power and unifying China, he ordered the burning and destruction of all books (scrolls/rolls) except those pertaining to Chinese medicine and a few other subjects. The surviving Daodejing manuscripts were either hidden on purpose or simply forgotten about. Some were not unearthed until as late as 1993.

We compared a lot of research by various archeologists and historians before deciding on this as the most accurate and correct version. But one must allow that it may not be perfect, or the actual and original as from the hand of Laozi himself.

Dream Come True / Enjoy Success

 dé zhì
Dream Come True / Enjoy Success Scroll

得誌 is a Chinese word that means to accomplish one's ambition, a dream come true, or to enjoy your success.

Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition

 taishi wo Idaku
Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition Scroll

大志を抱く is a Japanese proverb that suggests you should embrace, pursue, and realize your ambitions.

The first part means ambitions or aspirations.

The last part means to embrace or to hold in your arms.

Here's the character breakdown:
大志 (taishi) ambition; aspiration.
を (o) particle
抱く (idaku) to embrace; to hold in the arms (e.g. a baby); to hug; to harbor/harbour; to bear (e.g., a grudge); to entertain (e.g., suspicion); to sleep with; to sit on eggs.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Big Dream / Great Hope

 tai mou
Big Dream / Great Hope Scroll

大望 is one of a few ways to write “dream big” in Japanese.

This is a good title if you want that to inspire ambition or high aspirations. 大望 is also a way to say “great expectations.”

Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition

 xióng xīn
 yuushin
Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition Scroll

雄心 are the Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji for great ambition, lofty aspiration, or heroic spirit.

Progress / Ambition

 shàng jìn
 joushin
Progress / Ambition Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese word means to make progress, to do better, ambition to improve oneself, to move forward, to advance.

This should be romanized as Joushin but is often romanized as Joshin from Japanese. It can also be a given name in Japanese.

Fear not long roads; Fear only short ambition

 bú pà lù yuǎn zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
Fear not long roads; Fear only short ambition Scroll

不怕路遠隻怕志短 is a Chinese proverb that literally translates as “Fear not long roads; fear only short ambition,” or “Don't fear that the road is long, only fear that your will/ambition/aspiration is short.”

Figuratively, this means: However difficult the goal is, one can achieve it as long as one is determined to do so.

Others may translate the meaning as “Don't let a lack of willpower stop you from pressing onward in your journey.”

Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions

 bú pà rén qióng zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions Scroll

不怕人窮隻怕志短 is a Chinese proverb that literally translates as: It is not poverty that is to be feared; It is low ambition.

Figuratively, this means: It is not poverty but a lack of lofty aspiration that is to be regretted.

Realize Your Ambitions / Ride on the Crest of Success

 dà jiǎn hóng tú
Realize Your Ambitions / Ride on the Crest of Success Scroll

大展宏圖 is a four-character proverb used in Chinese to mean “realize your ambitions” or “exhibit your ambition and success.”

It's used to talk about someone with great career ambitions. Almost literally, it expresses the idea of someone unfolding a great career like a map or a set of blueprint plans.

Very literally translated, these four characters mean “Great unfolding of a huge map” or “Great exhibition of a colossal plan.”

 yě wàng
 yabou
Ambition Scroll

野望 means ambition or aspiration in Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.


These search terms might be related to Ambition:

...And This Above All to Thine Own Self Be True

A Life of Happiness and Prosperity

Abundance and Prosperity

Accept the Situation and Move On

Acupuncture and Moxibustion

Antigua and Barbuda

Appreciation and Love for Your Parents

Aspire / Burning Desire

Benevolent and Skilled Doctor

Big Dream

Big Dream / Great Hope

Blessings and Good Wishes

Blessings and Protection

Blood Sweat and Tears

Body and Earth in Unity

Body and Mind

Brief and to the Point

Bright and Promising Future

Brother and Sister

Brotherly and Sisterly Love

Brothers and Sisters

Calm and Collected

Calm and Open Mind

Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment

Content and Motionless

Correct and Proper

Courage and Strength

Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity

Desire

Desire / Craving

Desire / Longing / Craving

Desire / Wish / Aspiration

Determination

Determination to Achieve

Determination to Achieve / Will-Power

Distinguish Good and Evil

Dragon and Phoenix

Dragon and Phoenix Brings Luck

Drain the Pond to Get All the Fish

Dream / Dreams

Dream / Vision

Dream Big / Big Dreams

Dream Come True / Enjoy Success

Drink Up! / Cheers!

Duty to Defend and Protect Country

Each Time You Stumble and Fall, You Gain Experience and Wisdom

Eat Drink and Be Merry

Eat Drink and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We Die

Endure and Survive

Esprit De Corps / Determination

Eternity / Always and Forever

Even a Fool May Sometimes Come Up With a Good Idea

Faith Hope Love

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

Family and Friends

Father and Daughter

Father and Son

Fight for a Goal

Fire and Water Have No Mercy

Flourish and Blossom Everywhere

Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall

Flowers Bloom and Flowers Wither

Forgive and Forget

Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment

Four Noble Truths: Elimination of Desire or Attachment

Freedom From Anger and Worry Yields Longevity

Give Up Desire

Glory and Honor

Go Kan Ryu

Go With the Flow

Go-Dan / 5th Degree Black Belt

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

Good and Evil

Good Good Study, Day Day Up

Green Plum and Bamboo Horse

Hardships and Joys

Heart and Soul

Heaven and Earth

Honor and Integrity

Hope

Husband and Wife

Impartial and Fair to the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the World

Inner Bliss and Peace From Meditation

Inner Strength / Inner Well-Being and Health

Integrity: Sincere Honest and Faithful

Kama - Desire Wish Longing

Karma - Cause and Effect

Kindness and Forgiving Nature

Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles

Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose

Kyojitsu: Falsehood and Truth

Life is but a Dream

Light / Bright and Promising Future

Listen to Both Sides and Be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and Be in the Dark

Live and Let Die

Live in Peace and Contentment

Live Long and Prosper

Live Together and Help Each Other

Lost / Dazed and Confused

Love and Affection

Love and Devotion

Love and Happiness

Love and Hate

Love and Honor

Love and Protect

Love and Respect

Love and Respect / Kindness and Respect

Love Between Child and Parents

Love the House and Its Crow

Lust / Desire / Passion

Mentor: Teacher and Friend

Moral and Virtuous

Mother and Daughter

Mother and Son

Motivation

Mutual Welfare and Benefit

Nail Shop / Manicure and Pedicure Salon

Never Give Up

Omoi / Desire

One Heart / One Mind / Heart and Soul

One Who Walks by the River May End Up With Wet Feet

Oneness of Heaven and Humanity

Open and Calm Mind

Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind

Passionate Love / Ardent Love and Devotion

Past Future and Present

Peace and Good Health

Peace and Love

Peace and Tranquility

People’s Livelihood and Welfare

Power of Understanding and Wisdom

Prosperity and Happiness

Purpose / Aim / Goal

Reach Peace and Calm Through Meditation

Reality and Illusion

Realization and Knowledge

Release / Let Go

Respect and Loyalty

Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs

Rise Up With Thrift and Diligence

Safe and Sound

Safety and Well-Being of the Family

Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks

Seeing One’s Nature and Becoming a Buddha

Sincerity and Devotion

Sincerity and Faithfulness

Smooth and Steady

Stability / Calm and Orderly / Equilibrium

Strength and Courage

Strength and Honor

Strength and Love

Strength and Love in Unity

Strength: Strong and Solid

Strong and Beautiful

Sunny / Clear and Bright

Swift Fierce and Daring

Take Up a Challenge

Tension and Relaxation

The Game of Weiqi / Weichi / Go

The Law of Creation and Destruction

The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger

The Spirit of the Dragon Horse and Power of a Tiger

The Sun, Moon, and Stars

The True and Complete Enlightenment

The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel

There is No God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger

Through the Ups and Downs of Life

Time and Tide Wait for No Man

To Infinity and Beyond

Trinidad and Tobago

Truth Goodness and Beauty

Turks and Caicos Islands

Unswerving Determination / Firm and Persistent

Unwavering Determination and Resolve

Wake Up to Reality

Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Wind and Rain

Wisdom and Insight of the Buddha

Wise and Virtuous

Words and Deeds

Worldwide Wish for Peace and Prosperity

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Great Aspirations
Ambition
鴻鵠之誌
鸿鹄之志
hóng hú zhī zhì
hong2 hu2 zhi1 zhi4
hong hu zhi zhi
honghuzhizhi
hung hu chih chih
hunghuchihchih
Great Aspirations
Ambition
大志を抱tai shi wo idaku
taishiwoidaku
Great Expectationsbou / nozomi
bo / nozomi
wàng / wang4 / wang
Without a big net, how can you catch fish?不撒大網不得大魚
不撒大网不得大鱼
bù sā dà wǎng bù dé dà yú
bu4 sa1 da4 wang3 bu4 de2 da4 yu2
bu sa da wang bu de da yu
busadawangbudedayu
pu sa ta wang pu te ta yü
pusatawangputetayü
Daodejing
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33
知人者知也自知者明也勝人者有力也自勝者強也知足者富也強行者有志也不失其所者久也死而不亡者壽也
知人者知也自知者明也胜人者有力也自胜者强也知足者富也强行者有志也不失其所者久也死而不亡者寿也
zhī rén zhě zhī yě zì zhī zhě míng yě shèng rén zhě yǒu lì yě zì shèng zhě qiáng yě zhī zú zhě fù yě qiáng xíng zhě yǒu zhì yě bù zhī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ yě sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu yě
zhi1 ren2 zhe3 zhi1 ye3 zi4 zhi1 zhe3 ming2 ye3 sheng4 ren2 zhe3 you3 li4 ye3 zi4 sheng4 zhe3 qiang2 ye3 zhi1 zu2 zhe3 fu4 ye3 qiang2 xing2 zhe3 you3 zhi4 ye3 bu4 zhi1 qi2 suo3 zhe3 jiu3 ye3 si3 er2 bu4 wang2 zhe3 shou4 ye3
zhi ren zhe zhi ye zi zhi zhe ming ye sheng ren zhe you li ye zi sheng zhe qiang ye zhi zu zhe fu ye qiang xing zhe you zhi ye bu zhi qi suo zhe jiu ye si er bu wang zhe shou ye
chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che ch`iang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh ch`iang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih ch`i so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che chiang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh chiang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih chi so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
Dream Come True
Enjoy Success
得誌
得志
dé zhì / de2 zhi4 / de zhi / dezhite chih / techih
Realize Your Ambitions
Embrace Your Ambition
大志を抱くtaishi wo Idaku
taishiwoIdaku
Big Dream
Great Hope
大望tai mou / taimou / tai mo
Heroic Spirit
Great Ambition
雄心yuushin / yushinxióng xīn
xiong2 xin1
xiong xin
xiongxin
hsiung hsin
hsiunghsin
Progress
Ambition
上進
上进
joushin / joshinshàng jìn
shang4 jin4
shang jin
shangjin
shang chin
shangchin
Fear not long roads; Fear only short ambition不怕路遠隻怕志短
不怕路远只怕志短
bú pà lù yuǎn zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
bu2 pa4 lu4 yuan3 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa lu yuan zhi pa zhi duan
bupaluyuanzhipazhiduan
pu p`a lu yüan chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa lu yüan chih pa chih tuan
Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions不怕人窮隻怕志短
不怕人穷只怕志短
bú pà rén qióng zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
bu2 pa4 ren2 qiong2 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa ren qiong zhi pa zhi duan
buparenqiongzhipazhiduan
pu p`a jen ch`iung chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa jen chiung chih pa chih tuan
Realize Your Ambitions
Ride on the Crest of Success
大展宏圖
大展宏图
dà jiǎn hóng tú
da4 jian3 hong2 tu2
da jian hong tu
dajianhongtu
ta chien hung t`u
tachienhungtu
ta chien hung tu
Ambition野望yabou / yaboyě wàng / /
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.


Dictionary

Lookup Ambition in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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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.

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Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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

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Some people may refer to this entry as Ambition Kanji, Ambition Characters, Ambition in Mandarin Chinese, Ambition Characters, Ambition in Chinese Writing, Ambition in Japanese Writing, Ambition in Asian Writing, Ambition Ideograms, Chinese Ambition symbols, Ambition Hieroglyphics, Ambition Glyphs, Ambition in Chinese Letters, Ambition Hanzi, Ambition in Japanese Kanji, Ambition Pictograms, Ambition in the Chinese Written-Language, or Ambition in the Japanese Written-Language.

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