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The name Men Die for Wealth Birds Die for Food in Chinese / Japanese...

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Men Die for Wealth, Birds Die for Food

 rén wèi cái sǐ niǎo wèi shí wáng
Men Die for Wealth, Birds Die for Food Scroll

人為財死鳥為食亡 is a Chinese proverb that literally states that human beings will die for riches, just as birds will for food.

Figuratively it means that man will do anything in his means to become rich. Personally, I think dying for food is a more noble cause.

Often translated as “Men die in pursuit of wealth, birds die in pursuit of food. The 人 in this proverb just means human, so “men” is a placeholder for human with that translation - an English language problem that we have no easy gender-neutral nouns.

This proverb is meant to serve as a warning about the follies of greed.




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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Men Die for Wealth, Birds Die for Food人為財死鳥為食亡
人为财死鸟为食亡
rén wèi cái sǐ niǎo wèi shí wáng
ren2 wei4 cai2 si3 niao3 wei4 shi2 wang2
ren wei cai si niao wei shi wang
jen wei ts`ai ssu niao wei shih wang
jen wei tsai ssu niao wei shih 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.


Dictionary

Lookup Men Die for Wealth Birds Die for Food in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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.

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