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Effort in Chinese / Japanese...

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6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

Samyag Vyayama / Samma Vayama

 zhèng jīng jìn
 sei shou jin
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort Scroll

正精進 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Effort, along with Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

The proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake in each moment, the effort to overcome laziness and defilement, and the effort to make each activity of our daily meditation. This concept is about pursuing wholesome things that promote good karma.

Another definition: Cultivation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically unwholesome.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Noble Eightfold Path

Put out a burning wood cart with a cup of water

An utterly inadequate measure

 bēi shuǐ chē xīn
Put out a burning wood cart with a cup of water Scroll

杯水車薪 is a warning against a futile effort.

This proverb literally refers to one who is “trying to put out a burning cart of wood with a cup of water,” or “throw a cup of water on a cartload of wood.” The lesson to be learned is about using the right measure or tool for the job and not wasting your effort if you are inadequately equipped for the task at hand - in other words the postscript should be “go get a bucket or a fire hose.”

Where There is a Will, There is a Way

A determined effort can move a mountain

 yū gōng yí shān
Where There is a Will, There is a Way Scroll

愚公移山 is the Chinese proverb (also somewhat known in Japan and Korea) for “the silly old man moves a mountain.”

Figuratively, this means “where there's a will, there's a way.”

Based on a fable of Lord Yu (愚公). He moved the soil of the mountain in front of his house. After years of effort, he finally moved the entire mountain (some versions of the story have God seeing how determined the man was, and sending two angels to whisk the mountains away).

The moral of the story: Anything can be accomplished if one works at it ceaselessly.

The Japanese version of this is 愚公山を移す (gu kou yama wo utsu su). But better to get the Chinese version, since this is originally a Chinese proverb.

See Also:  Nothing is Impossible

Spare No Effort

 bù yí yú lì
Spare No Effort Scroll

不遺餘力 is a Chinese proverb that can be translated in many ways. Here are some of them: go to any lengths; with all one's might; spare no pain; do one's utmost.

If you feel hard work and holding nothing back is your philosophy, this is the phrase for you.

These search terms might be related to Effort:

6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

Air Force

Always Striving for Inner Strength

Always Try to Do Better

Blood Sweat and Tears

Conquering Yourself is a Sign of Strength

Control of Power

Courage and Strength

Determination to Achieve / Will-Power

Dynamic Energy / Enthusiasm

Energy / Capability

Energy Sword Body in Concert

Eternal Energy / Eternal Matter

Flexibility Overcomes Strength

Fortitude / Strength of Character

Girl Power / Woman Power

God Give Me Strength

Great Endeavor / to Strive

Great Power

Herculean Strength

Inner Strength

Inner Strength / Inner Well-Being and Health

Inner Strength / Self-Improvement

Inner Strength is Better Than Outward Appearance

Juggernaut / Absolute Power

Let Us Try

Life Energy / Spiritual Energy

Life Force

Love Faith Strength

Perseverance / Will-Power

Physical Strength

Power / Strength

Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient

Power of Understanding and Wisdom

Psychic Energy

Psychic Power

Self-Discipline / Will-Power

Spiritual Strength / Strength of Spirit

Strength / Ability

Strength / Vigor / Energy

Strength and Courage

Strength and Honor

Strength and Love

Strength and Love in Unity

Strength Love Honor

Strength: Strong and Solid

Strive / Struggle

Strong / Powerful / Force

Supernatural Energy

The Force

The More We Sweat in Training, the Less We Bleed in Battle

The Spirit of the Dragon Horse and Power of a Tiger

Will-Power / Self-Control

With All the Strength of Your Heart

Not the results for effort that you were looking for?

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


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition

see styles
 kyou / kyo

More info & calligraphy:

Strong / Powerful / Force
to force; to compel; to strive; to make an effort
(suffix) (1) (ant: 弱・1) a little over; a little more than; (2) (ant: 弱・2) strength; the strong; (suffix) (3) powerhouse; one of the biggest; one of the most powerful; (suffix) (4) (after a number on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale; e.g. 5強) (ant: 弱・3) -upper (seismic intensity); (personal name) Tsuyomi
Strong, forceful, violent; to force; to strengthen.

see styles
 tomi; ton; toni
    とみ; とん; とに

More info & calligraphy:

to stop; to pause; to arrange; to lay out; to kowtow; to stamp (one's foot); at once; classifier for meals, beatings, scoldings etc: time, bout, spell, meal
(n,adj-nari) (1) (archaism) (See 頓に・とみに,頓と・とんと・1) sudden; abrupt; unexpected; (n,adj-nari) (2) (とん only) (archaism) stupid; foolish; (3) (とん only) {Buddh} attaining enlightenment in one effort (without ascetic practices, etc.); (surname) Tomi
To fall headlong, prostrate; at one time, at once; suddenly; immediate; a pause; to stamp; make ready; used chiefly in contrast with 漸 gradually.


see styles
gōng fu
    gong1 fu5
kung fu
 kanfuu; kunfuu / kanfu; kunfu
    カンフー; クンフー

More info & calligraphy:

Kung Fu / Gong Fu
skill; art; kung fu; labor; effort
(kana only) {MA} kung fu (chi: gōngfu); (male given name) Norio


see styles
nǔ lì
    nu3 li4
nu li

More info & calligraphy:

Great Endeavor / To Strive
to make an effort; to try hard; to strive; hard-working; conscientious
(n,vs,vi) effort; exertion; endeavour; endeavor; hard work; striving; (surname) Nuriki
to strive



see styles
xié lì
    xie2 li4
hsieh li
 kyouryoku / kyoryoku

More info & calligraphy:

to unite in common effort
(n,vs,adj-no) cooperation; collaboration



see styles
jīng jìn
    jing1 jin4
ching chin
 shoujin(p); soujin(ok); shouji(ok); souji(ok) / shojin(p); sojin(ok); shoji(ok); soji(ok)
    しょうじん(P); そうじん(ok); しょうじ(ok); そうじ(ok)
to forge ahead vigorously; to dedicate oneself to progress
(n,vs,vi) (1) concentration; diligence; devotion; (n,vs,vi) (2) {Buddh} (See 六波羅蜜) asceticism; zeal in one's quest for enlightenment; (n,vs,vi) (3) adherence to a vegetarian diet; (surname) Shoujin
vīrya, one of the seven bodhyaṅga; 'vigour,' 'valour, fortitude,' 'virility' (M.W.); 'welldoing' (Keith). The Chinese interpretation may be defined, as pure or unadulterated progress, i.e. 勤 zeal, zealous, courageously progressing in the good and eliminating the evil.; vīrya, zeal, unchecked progress.



see styles
zì qiáng
    zi4 qiang2
tzu ch`iang
    tzu chiang
 jikyou / jikyo

More info & calligraphy:

Inner Strength / Self-Improvement
to strive for self-improvement
(noun/participle) strenuous effort



see styles
zhèng jīng jìn
    zheng4 jing1 jin4
cheng ching chin
 shoushoujin / shoshojin
{Buddh} (See 八正道) correct effort
samyagvyāyāma, right effort, zeal, or progress, unintermitting perseverance, the sixth of the 八正道; 'right effort, to suppress the rising of evil states, to eradicate those which have arisen, to stimulate good states, and to perfect those which have come into being. ' Keith.


see styles
dī shuǐ chuān shí
    di1 shui3 chuan1 shi2
ti shui ch`uan shih
    ti shui chuan shih

More info & calligraphy:

Dripping Water Penetrates Stone
dripping water penetrates the stone (idiom); constant perseverance yields success; You can achieve your aim if you try hard without giving up.; Persistent effort overcomes any difficulty.

see styles
to go out; to come out; to arise; to occur; to produce; to yield; to go beyond; to exceed; (used after a verb to indicate an outward direction or a positive result); classifier for dramas, plays, operas etc
(n,n-suf) (1) coming out; going out; outflow; efflux; rising (of the Sun or the Moon); (n,n-suf) (2) attending (work); appearing (on stage); one's turn to go on; (n,n-suf) (3) start; beginning; (n,n-suf) (4) origins; background; person (or item) originating from ...; graduate of ...; native of ...; member of ... (lineage); (n,n-suf) (5) architectural member that projects outward; (n,n-suf) (6) highest point of the stern of a ship; (n,n-suf) (7) (kana only) (usu. after the -masu stem of a verb as 〜出がある or 〜出がない, etc.) amount (comprising something); amount of time or effort required to do something; (surname) De
To go out, come forth, put forth; exit; beyond.

see styles
to row; to paddle; profitable; worth (the effort); it pays (to do something)

see styles
 kou / ko
meritorious deed or service; achievement; result; service; accomplishment; work (physics)
(1) merit; success; meritorious deed; (2) achievement; accumulated experience; (male given name) Tsutomu
Merit, meritorious; achievement, hence 功力 achieving strength, earnest effort after the good).

see styles
stimulate to effort
(female given name) Tsutomu

see styles
 rou / ro
Japanese variant of 勞|劳
labor; labour; toil; trouble; pains; work; effort; striving; (given name) Rou

see styles
to exhort; to make an effort
(given name) Masaru
to endeavor

see styles
put forth effort

see styles
hand; (formal) to hold; person engaged in certain types of work; person skilled in certain types of work; personal(ly); convenient; classifier for skill; CL:雙|双[shuang1],隻|只[zhi1]
(1) (occ. pronounced た when a prefix) (See お手・おて・1) hand; arm; (2) (colloquialism) (See お手・おて・3) forepaw; foreleg; (3) handle; (4) hand; worker; help; (5) trouble; care; effort; (6) means; way; trick; move; technique; workmanship; (7) hand; handwriting; (8) kind; type; sort; (9) (See 手に入る) one's hands; one's possession; (10) (See 手に余る) ability to cope; (11) hand (of cards); (12) (See 山の手・1) direction; (n,n-suf,ctr) (13) move (in go, shogi, etc.); (surname) Tezaki
pāṇī; hasta; kara; hand, arm.

see styles
(bound form) foreign (non-Chinese); barbarian; classifier for processes or actions that take time and effort; (classifier) a kind; a sort; (classifier) (used after the verb 翻[fan1] to indicate how many times a quantity doubles, as in 翻一番[fan1 yi1 fan1] "to double")
(n,n-suf) (1) number (in a series); (2) (one's) turn; (3) watch; guard; lookout; (suffix noun) (4) rank; standing; position; (n,n-suf) (5) {sumo} bout; match; (suffix noun) (6) pieces (in a collection); (surname) Ban
Barbarian, foreign; a time, a turn.

see styles
to sell; to betray; to spare no effort; to show off or flaunt
To sell.


see styles
yī xī
    yi1 xi1
i hsi
(1) one breath; (2) time of one breath; (3) pause; break; rest; breather; (4) (as 一息に) (doing in) one go; doing without stopping; (5) small amount of effort; a little more effort
A breath, i.e. inspiration-cum-expiration; a rest, or cessation.


see styles
yī shǒu
    yi1 shou3
i shou
a skill; mastery of a trade; by oneself; without outside help
(1) one's own effort; doing single-handedly; (2) a game (of go, shogi, etc.); a match; (3) a dance; a (musical) composition; (4) a company (e.g. of soldiers); a group; a party; (5) one hand
one hand


see styles
(adv,n) one effort; one action


see styles
 tansei / tanse
(noun/participle) working earnestly; sincerity; diligence; effort; pains


see styles
 tansei / tanse
(noun/participle) working earnestly; sincerity; diligence; effort; pains


see styles
rén lì
    ren2 li4
jen li
 jinriki; jinryoku
    じんりき; じんりょく
manpower; labor power
human power; human strength; human effort; human agency


see styles
rén shǒu
    ren2 shou3
jen shou
manpower; staff; human hand
(1) someone else's hands; someone else's possession; (2) hand (worker); aide; (3) labor; labour; work; manpower; effort; (4) help; assistance; (5) (human) hand; human act
a person's hand



see styles
rén wéi
    ren2 wei2
jen wei
artificial; man-made; having human cause or origin; human attempt or effort
(noun - becomes adjective with の) human work; human agency; art; artificiality


see styles
quán lì
    quan2 li4
ch`üan li
    chüan li
with all one's strength; full strength; all-out (effort); fully (support)
(noun - becomes adjective with の) all one's power (strength, energy, efforts); one's utmost


see styles
lì zuò
    li4 zuo4
li tso
 rikisaku(p); ryokusaku
    りきさく(P); りょくさく
to put effort into (work, farming, writing etc); a masterpiece
(1) (esp. りきさく) painstaking piece of work; work of great effort; tour de force; outstanding work; (noun/participle) (2) (form) (esp. りょくさく) toil; labor; labour; (given name) Rikisaku


see styles
lì cuò
    li4 cuo4
li ts`o
    li tso
to win as a result of tenacious effort; to fight off tough competition

Click here for more effort results from our dictionary

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
6. Right Effort
Right Endeavor
Perfect Effort
sei shou jin
sei sho jin
zhèng jīng jìn
zheng4 jing1 jin4
zheng jing jin
cheng ching chin
Put out a burning wood cart with a cup of water杯水車薪
bēi shuǐ chē xīn
bei1 shui3 che1 xin1
bei shui che xin
pei shui ch`e hsin
pei shui che hsin
Where There is a Will, There is a Way愚公移山yū gōng yí shān
yu1 gong1 yi2 shan1
yu gong yi shan
yü kung i shan
Spare No Effort不遺餘力 / 不遺余力
bù yí yú lì
bu4 yi2 yu2 li4
bu yi yu li
pu i yü li
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.


Lookup Effort in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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.

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

79 people have searched for Effort in Chinese or Japanese in the past year.
Effort was last searched for by someone else on Feb 28th, 2024