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This Chinese proverb implies that having great 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 really 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.
努力 means great effort; to strive; to try hard; great effort; great exertion; great endeavor (endeavour); great effort; to strive.
This "striving endeavor" word is valid in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
大洋 is a rarely-used word for ocean in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. 大洋 is here mostly for reference - please order a different ocean for your custom calligraphy wall scroll.
The first character means "big" or "great."
The second means "ocean" or "body of water" (it can sometimes mean "foreign" but not in this case).
The first character designates that you are talking about a great or huge body of water (certainly a major ocean and not a smaller sea).
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.
大師 is a way to title a great master, grand master, or great teacher.
This can be used in the context of martial arts or a Buddhist teacher. Thus, it can be used to title a living Buddha, Bodhisattva or high-ranking monk.
長城 is the Chinese name for the Great Wall.
Built at the northern border of China to protect from Mongol attack.
In Japanese, this can be a surname Nagaki. Japanese often use a longer title for the Great Wall of China.
In Korean, this refers to Changsŏng (a city in Changsŏng-kun county, Chŏllanam-to province).
大君 is the Japanese word Taikun. It's defined directly as liege, lord, or an alternate title for a shogunate.
The sound of this Japanese word entered the English lexicon by the 1800's but took the spelling of "tycoon." Even President Lincoln was referred to as a Tycoon in the 1860's.
In Japan, this is still understood to be "Great Lord" or "Big Boss." In America, it means, "Bill Gates" and "Warren Buffet."
大望 is one of a few ways to write "dream big" in Japanese.
大望 is a good title if you want that to inspire ambition or high aspirations. 大望 is also a way to say "great expectations."
望 holds the ideas of ambition, hope, desire, aspiring to, expectations, looking towards, to gaze (into the distance), and in some context full moon rising.
望 is one of those single characters that is vague but in that vagueness, in 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.
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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|
|hóng hú zhī zhì|
hong2 hu2 zhi1 zhi4
hong hu zhi zhi
|hung hu chih chih
|大志を抱||tai shi wo idaku|
|努力||doryoku / doryoku||nǔ lì / nu3 li4 / nu li / nuli|
|Great Sea||大洋||tai you / taiyou / tai yo / taiyo||dà yáng / da4 yang2 / da yang / dayang||ta yang / tayang|
|ei koku / eikoku|
|dà bù liè diān|
da4 bu4 lie4 dian1
da bu lie dian
|ta pu lieh tien
|Door of Great Wisdom||大智慧門|
|dai chi e mon|
|dà zhì huì mén|
da4 zhi4 hui4 men2
da zhi hui men
|ta chih hui men
|chéng fēng pò làng|
cheng2 feng1 po4 lang4
cheng feng po lang
|ch`eng feng p`o lang
cheng feng po lang
|大名||dai myou / daimyou / dai myo / daimyo||dà míng / da4 ming2 / da ming / daming||ta ming / taming|
|The Great Wall of China||万里の長城||ban ri no chou jou|
ban ri no cho jo
|daishi||dà shī / da4 shi1 / da shi / dashi||ta shih / tashih|
|The Great Wall of China||長城|
|chou jou / choujou / cho jo / chojo||cháng chéng|
|大君||tai kun / taikun|
|雄心||yuushin / yushin||xióng xīn|
|大望||tai mou / taimou / tai mo / taimo|
|Great Expectations||望||bou / nozomi|
bo / nozomi
|wàng / wang4 / wang|
|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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Great Kanji, Great Characters, Great in Mandarin Chinese, Great Characters, Great in Chinese Writing, Great in Japanese Writing, Great in Asian Writing, Great Ideograms, Chinese Great symbols, Great Hieroglyphics, Great Glyphs, Great in Chinese Letters, Great Hanzi, Great in Japanese Kanji, Great Pictograms, Great in the Chinese Written-Language, or Great in the Japanese Written-Language.
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