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11. Live Free or Die
This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word holds the dictionary definition of "determination" but literally means, "determined heart".
The first character means "to determine" or "determined".
The second character means "heart", "mind" or "soul", so you can imagine that this form of "determination" partially means to put your heart into something. It can also be translated as resolve, resolution, or decision (as in a decision made and followed).
This Chinese, Korean, and Japanese word means, "determination to achieve". It can also be translated as: will; willpower; determination; volition; intention; intent.
In Japanese, this can also be the given name Ishi.
The first two characters mean resolute with firm determination.
The second two characters mean reliable.
Together, this creates a 4-character expression that clearly means dependable.
This phrase can mean either "strong hearted", "strong willed" or "determination".
The first two characters can be translated as "will", "willpower", "determination", "volition", "intention", or "intent". But, it should be noted that this first part possess the element of "heart" in the lower portion of both characters (they also partially carry the meaning "with whole heart").
The last two characters mean "strong" or "staunch".
Chinese word order and grammar is a bit different than English, so in this case, they are in reverse order of English but have the correct meaning in a natural form.
These two characters together mean "Tenacious", "Hard to Defeat", or "Dogged".
Alone, the first character means mischievous, obstinate or stubborn. But it loses some of the mischievous meaning when the second character is added.
The second character means strength, force, powerful or better.
意志力 is the form of will power or self-control is about having the determination or tenacity to keep going.
In Japanese, this is the power of will, strength of will, volition, intention, intent, or determination.
やる気 means motivation in Japanese.
It also can be translated as willingness (e.g. to do something), eagerness, inspiration, determination, totally willing, fully motivated, and high aspirations.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
不自由毋寧死 means, "Give me liberty or give me death", in Chinese.
This is also the best way to say, "Live free or die".
The characters break down this way:
不 = Not; none; without.
自由 = Freedom; liberty; freewill; self-determination.
毋寧 = Rather; would rather; rather be.
死 = Dead; death.
This will go nicely next to your, "Don't tread on me", flag. This phrase is known well enough in China that it's listed in a few dictionaries. Though I doubt you will find too many Chinese citizens willing to yell this on the steps of the capital in Beijing.
See Also: Death Before Dishonor
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|kesshin / keshin||jué xīn / jue2 xin1 / jue xin / juexin||chüeh hsin / chüehhsin|
|Esprit de Corps|
|志気||shi ki / shi ge|
shiki / shige
|Determination to Achieve|
|意志||ishi||yì zhì / yi4 zhi4 / yi zhi / yizhi||i chih / ichih|
|Determination to Achieve||一念発起||ichi nen ho kki|
ichi nen ho ki
Firm and Persistent
|jiān yì / jian1 yi4 / jian yi / jianyi||chien i / chieni|
|jiān yì kě kào|
jian1 yi4 ke3 kao4
jian yi ke kao
|chien i k`o k`ao
chien i ko kao
|yì zhì jiān qiáng|
yi4 zhi4 jian1 qiang2
yi zhi jian qiang
|i chih chien ch`iang
i chih chien chiang
|gan kyou / gankyou / gan kyo / gankyo||wán qiáng|
|意志力||ishi ryoku / ishiryoku||yì zhì lì|
yi4 zhi4 li4
yi zhi li
|i chih li
|Live Free or Die||不自由毋寧死|
|bú zì yóu wú nìng sǐ|
bu2 zi4 you2 wu2 ning4 si3
bu zi you wu ning si
|pu tzu yu wu ning ssu
|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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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.
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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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