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Brave the wind and the waves
乘風破浪 is a Chinese proverb that represents having great ambitions.
The British might say “to plough through.” Another way to understand it is “surmount all difficulties and forge ahead courageously.”
This can also be translated as “braving the wind and waves,” “to brave the wind and the billows,” “to ride the wind and crest the waves,” or “to be ambitious and unafraid.”
Literally, it reads: “ride (like a chariot) [the] wind [and] break/cleave/cut [the] waves,” or “ride [the] wind [and] slash [through the] waves.”
乘風破浪 is a great proverb to encourage yourself or someone else not to be afraid of problems or troubles, and when you have a dream, just go for it.
There is an alternate version, 長風破浪, but 乘風破浪 is far more common.
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.”
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.
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.
野望 means ambition or aspiration in Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.
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.”
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.”
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|chéng fēng pò làng|
cheng2 feng1 po4 lang4
cheng feng po lang
|ch`eng feng p`o lang
cheng feng po lang
|Realize Your Ambitions|
Ride on the Crest of Success
|dà jiǎn hóng tú|
da4 jian3 hong2 tu2
da jian hong tu
|ta chien hung t`u
ta chien hung tu
|Realize Your Ambitions|
Embrace Your Ambition
|大志を抱く||taishi wo Idaku|
|Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions||不怕人窮隻怕志短|
|bú pà rén qióng zhǐ pà zhì duǎn|
bu2 pa4 ren2 qiong2 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa ren qiong zhi pa zhi duan
|pu p`a jen ch`iung chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa jen chiung chih pa chih tuan
|hóng hú zhī zhì|
hong2 hu2 zhi1 zhi4
hong hu zhi zhi
|hung hu chih chih
|大志を抱||tai shi wo idaku|
|雄心||yuushin / yushin||xióng xīn|
|joushin / joshin||shàng jìn|
|Ambition||野望||yabou / yabo||yě wàng / /|
|Without a big net, how can you catch fish?||不撒大網不得大魚|
|bù sā dà wǎng bù dé dà yú|
bu4 sa1 da4 wang3 bu4 de2 da4 yu2
bu sa da wang bu de da yu
|pu sa ta wang pu te ta yü
|Fear not long roads; Fear only short ambition||不怕路遠隻怕志短|
|bú pà lù yuǎn zhǐ pà zhì duǎn|
bu2 pa4 lu4 yuan3 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa lu yuan zhi pa zhi duan
|pu p`a lu yüan chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa lu yüan chih pa chih tuan
|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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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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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