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Crisis in Chinese / Japanese...

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Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?

wēi jī
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity? Scroll

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

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?危機
kikiwēi jī / wei1 ji1 / wei ji / weijiwei 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.

Not the results for crisis that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your crisis search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition



see styles
wēi jī / wei1 ji1
wei chi
 kiki / きき
crisis; CL:個|个[ge4]
crisis; critical situation; emergency; pinch; (female given name) Kiki



see styles
fēng bào / feng1 bao4
feng pao
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity? Scroll
storm; violent commotion; fig. crisis (e.g. revolution, uprising, financial crisis etc)

see styles
xx / xx5
 touge / toge / とうげ
(Japanese kokuji) mountain pass; (fig.) crisis point; pr. tōge
(n,n-suf) (1) (mountain) pass; ridge; peak; (2) peak (e.g. of summer); worst (e.g. of an illness); crisis; critical point; most difficult part; (surname) Dougesaki

see styles
/ ji2
 kyuu / kyu / きゅう
urgent; pressing; rapid; hurried; worried; to make (sb) anxious
(adjectival noun) (1) sudden; abrupt; unexpected; (2) urgent; pressing; (3) steep; sharp; precipitous; (4) rapid; swift; fast; (5) emergency; crisis; danger; (6) urgency; hurrying; haste; (7) (See 序破急) (in gagaku or noh) end of a song
Haste, urgency; promptly; haste

see styles
zài / zai4
 kon / こん    koto / こと
matter; affair
(out-dated kanji) (1) (kana only) thing; matter; (2) (kana only) incident; occurrence; event; something serious; trouble; crisis; (3) (kana only) circumstances; situation; state of affairs; (4) (kana only) work; business; affair; (5) (kana only) after an inflectable word, creates a noun phrase indicating something the speaker does not feel close to; (suffix noun) (6) (kana only) nominalizing suffix; (7) (kana only) pretending to ...; playing make-believe ...; (n,n-suf) (8) (kana only) alias; aka; nickname; alternative name; also known as


see styles
 sendo / せんど crisis in a battle; death; (place-name) Sendo


see styles
 bunri / ぶんり (noun - becomes adjective with の) crisis (in an illness)


see styles
 shodou / shodo / しょどう (1) initial response (e.g. to a crisis); action in the earliest stages; (2) initial shock (of an earthquake); preliminary tremor


see styles
wēi jú / wei1 ju2
wei chü
 kikyoku / ききょく
perilous situation


see styles
wēi jí / wei1 ji2
wei chi
 kikyuu / kikyu / ききゅう
critical; desperate (situation)
(1) emergency; crisis; imminent danger; (2) (obsolete) (See 絶滅危惧) vulnerable (1994 IUCN Red List category)


see styles
 kikyoku / ききょく crisis; grave danger; serious depression


see styles
 kokunan / こくなん national crisis; national disaster


see styles
dà shì / da4 shi4
ta shih
 daiji / だいじ
major event; major political event (war or change of regime); major social event (wedding or funeral); (do something) in a big way; CL:件[jian4],樁|桩[zhuang1]
(adjectival noun) (1) important; serious; crucial; (2) valuable; precious; (3) (See 大事・おおごと) serious matter; major incident; matter of grave concern; crisis; (4) great undertaking; great enterprise; great thing; (adjectival noun) (5) (Tochigi dialect) (See だいじょうぶ・1) safe; OK
(因緣) For the sake of a great cause, or because of a great matter―the Buddha appeared, i.e. for changing illusion into enlightenment. The Lotus interprets it as enlightenment; the Nirvana as the Buddha-nature; the 無量壽經 as the joy of Paradise.



see styles
jí nàn / ji2 nan4
chi nan
 kyuunan / kyunan / きゅうなん
misfortune; crisis; grave danger; critical situation; disaster; emergency; to be zealous in helping others out of a predicament
sudden or unexpected disaster



see styles
huǎn jiě / huan3 jie3
huan chieh
 kankai / かんかい
to bring relief; to alleviate (a crisis); to dull (a pain)
(noun/participle) (med) remission; cure; improvement; relief (of pain, symptoms, etc.)


see styles
 nozomu / のぞむ (v5m,vi) (1) to look out on; to overlook; to front onto; (2) to face (a situation, crisis, etc.); to meet (e.g. death); to be confronted by; (3) to deal with (an issue); (4) to attend (e.g. a function); to appear (e.g. in court); to be present at; to take part in


see styles
kǔ jìng / ku3 jing4
k`u ching / ku ching
 kukyou / kukyo / くきょう
grievance; dire straits
trouble; crisis; predicament; squeeze; pinch



see styles
kǔ kuàng / ku3 kuang4
k`u k`uang / ku kuang
 kukyou / kukyo / くきょう
wretched state; miserable plight
trouble; crisis; predicament; squeeze; pinch


see styles
bī pò / bi1 po4
pi p`o / pi po
 hippaku / ひっぱく
to force; to compel; to coerce
(noun/participle) (1) stringency (financial); (monetary) tightness; (2) impending (dangers); pressing (crisis)
pressure and constraint



see styles
yùn niàng / yun4 niang4
yün niang
(of alcohol) to ferment; (of a crisis) to be brewing; to mull over (an issue); to hold exploratory discussions



see styles
nán guān / nan2 guan1
nan kuan
difficulty; crisis



see styles
fēng bō / feng1 bo1
feng po
 fuuha / fuha / ふうは
disturbance; crisis; disputes; restlessness; CL:場|场[chang2]
wind and waves; rough seas; storm; dispute; quarrel; trouble; (female given name) Fuuha


see styles
 hippaku / ひっぱく (noun/participle) (1) stringency (financial); (monetary) tightness; (2) impending (dangers); pressing (crisis)


see styles
 pinchi / ピンチ (1) pinch; crisis; tough spot; predicament; (2) clothespin; (personal name) Pinch


see styles
 wakeme / わけめ dividing line; parting (of the hair); partition; crisis


see styles
 kikikan / ききかん sense of impending crisis; sense of danger


see styles
 kajidoro / かじどろ (1) (abbreviation) (See 火事場泥棒・1) looter; thief at the scene of a fire; (2) someone who takes advantage of a crisis to commit a crime


see styles
 gerupin / ゲルピン (abbreviation) money-shortage crisis (ger: Geld, eng: pinch)


see styles
 shokku / ショック (1) shock (psychological); (2) crisis (esp. financial); (3) shock (physical, mechanical); (4) {med} shock (e.g. due to lack of blood flow); (personal name) Schock; Shock


see styles
 sekaikyoukou / sekaikyoko / せかいきょうこう (See 世界大恐慌) worldwide financial crisis; global depression

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Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity? Scroll
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity? Scroll
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity? Scroll
Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity? Scroll

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