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6. Don’t Panic
This translates a few ways:
To travel ten-thousand miles beats reading ten-thousand books.
Better to travel ten thousand li than to read ten thousand books. (a "li" is an ancient Chinese mile)
Travelling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books.
No matter how you slice it, this Chinese proverb is claiming that experience is more profound and meaningful than what you can get from a book. Go do it! Don't just read about it.
提携 varies a bit depending on which language you are reading it in.
提携 means to guide and help (younger people) in Chinese.
Cooperation or "working in concert" in Korean.
And, cooperation, tie-up, joint business, link-up in Japanese.
This Chinese proverb reads, "river of literacy, sea of learning"
This suggests that there is a lot to learn in the world, with an eternal amount of reading and things to study.
文江學海 is one way to translate the quote from Hippocrates, "ars longa, vita brevis", meaning, "it takes a long time to acquire and perfect one's expertise".
See Also: Learning is Eternal
If you need a strange homage to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this might be it.
This simply says "Don't Panic" in Chinese. A Chinese person who is not familiar with this masterpiece of a book, will not see the humor but that will be your chance to suggest reading some Douglas Adams (which has been translated into Chinese).
靜 is the simplest way to convey the meaning of inner peace and serenity.
靜 is often translated as "serenity". It can also be used to express the ideas of still, calm, serene, quiet, silent, stillness, not moving or tranquility.
In the old days, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean people might hang a wall scroll with this character in their reading room to bring about a sense of peace in the room.
While they once used the same character form in Japan, they now use a slightly-simplified version in modern Japan (after WWII). This version is shown to the right, and can be selected for your wall scroll by clicking on that Kanji instead of the button above.
See Also: Peace
混沌 is the Japanese, Korean and Chinese word that means absolute confusion, disorder and chaos.
This more directly refers to primal chaos or primeval chaos.
When reading something about Chinese mythology, you may find this term used to describe the formless mass before creation.
Chinese scientists sometimes use this word to refer to the nebulous state before the universe was formed or nebulosity.
In some context, this could mean "a state of confusion".
This Chinese character means to read. It can also refer to observing (the world, and learning from it), or gaining life experiences. 閱 is a good character to relay the idea of being "well read", which can include reading books, studying, and learning through experience.
The dictionary definition also includes: to inspect; to review; to peruse; to go through; to experience.
Technically, this is also a Japanese Kanji but it only used by some Japanese Buddhists (most of the population will not recognize it).
In both Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, this means: Examine, inspect, look over.
When reading an account of some battles in China, I came across this Chinese word. As it turns out, it's only used in military circles to describe neat, orderly, and well-disciplined troops. Perhaps this is actually closer to the meaning I was taught while in the U.S. Marines.
The first character literally means stern, serious, strict, or severe (it can also mean "air tight" or "water tight".
The second character means exact, in good order, whole, complete, and orderly.
Together, these two characters multiply each other into a word that expresses the highest military level of discipline.
學生 is how to write "student" in Chinese, pre-WWII Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
If you are a "student of life", this might be an interesting wall scroll to hang in your reading room.
The first character means "study" or "learning".
The second character means "life" or "birth". Don't read too much into that second character, unless you decide that this means "the birth of studies" or "the life of learning". Everyone in China, Japan, (and those who can read Hanja in Korea) will just read this word with the meaning of "student".
If you put the character for "little" in front of this word, it becomes "elementary school student". Prefixed with "middle" it becomes "middle school student". Prefixed with "big" it becomes "university student" (though when these two characters for student are seen alone, it often suggests "university student"). The term "high school student" is written differently.
There is a very common simplified version of the first character for this word. You will see this form in modern Japan and mainland China, Singapore, and other places. If you want this simplified version, please click on the character shown to the right instead of the "select and customize" button above.
This Chinese proverb means, "Bore a hole on the wall to make use of the neighbor's light to study".
鑿壁偷光 is a nice gift for a very studious person.
Kuang Heng was born during the Western Han period. He was very fond of reading ever since he was young. However, he could not go to school since his family was poor, and he had to borrow books from people to learn.
In order to borrow these books he normally did chores for people who had them. When he became older, he had to work in the field from sunrise to sunset since his family's financial situation did not get any better. Thus, he tried to study at night but he had no lamp.
One day, he noticed that there was light from the neighbor's house coming through a crack in the wall. This made him very happy, so he dug a larger hole from the crack and read in the light that shone through. This diligent study eventually made him an accomplished person.
This is the last line of a famous poem. It is perceived as a tribute or ode to your parent's or mother from a child or children that have left home.
The poem was written by Meng Jiao during the Tang Dynasty (about 1200 years ago). The Chinese title is "You Zi Yin" which means "The Traveler's Recite".
The last line as shown here speaks of the generous and warm spring sun light which gives the grass far beyond what the little grass can could ever give back (except perhaps by showing its lovely green leaves and flourishing). The metaphor is that the sun is your mother or parents, and you are the grass. Your parents raise you and give you all the love and care you need to prepare you for the world. A debt which you can never repay, nor is repayment expected.
The first part of the poem (not written in the characters to the left) suggests that the thread in a loving mother's hands is the shirt of her traveling offspring. Vigorously sewing while wishing them to come back sooner than they left.
...This part is really hard to translate into English that makes any sense but maybe you get the idea. We are talking about a poem that is so old that many Chinese people would have trouble reading it (as if it was the King James Version of Chinese).
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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|
|yuè dú / yue4 du2 / yue du / yuedu||yüeh tu / yüehtu|
|Better to Travel 10,000 Miles than Read 10,000 Books||行萬里路勝讀萬捲書|
|xíng wàn lǐ lù shèng dú wàn juǎn shū|
xing2 wan4 li3 lu4 sheng4 du2 wan4 juan3 shu1
xing wan li lu sheng du wan juan shu
|hsing wan li lu sheng tu wan chüan shu|
|seihitsu||jìng mì / jing4 mi4 / jing mi / jingmi||ching mi / chingmi|
|提携||tei kei / teikei||tí xié / ti2 xie2 / ti xie / tixie||t`i hsieh / tihsieh / ti hsieh|
|River of Literacy, Sea of Learning||文江學海|
|wén jiāng xué hǎi|
wen2 jiang1 xue2 hai3
wen jiang xue hai
|wen chiang hsüeh hai
|Don’t Panic||不要恐慌||bú yào kǒng huāng|
bu2 yao4 kong3 huang1
bu yao kong huang
|pu yao k`ung huang
pu yao kung huang
|shizu / sei||jìng / jing4 / jing||ching|
|Chaos||混沌||konton||hùn dùn / hun4 dun4 / hun dun / hundun||hun tun / huntun|
|yuè / yue4 / yue||yüeh|
|Diligent Study Proverb||鑿壁偷光|
|záo bì tōu guāng|
zao2 bi4 tou1 guang1
zao bi tou guang
|tsao pi t`ou kuang
tsao pi tou kuang
|Appreciation and Love for Your Parents||誰言寸草心報得三春暉|
|shuí yán cùn cǎo xīn bào dé sān chūn huī|
shui2 yan2 cun4 cao3 xin1 bao4 de2 san1 chun1 hui1
shui yan cun cao xin bao de san chun hui
|shui yen ts`un ts`ao hsin pao te san ch`un hui
shui yen tsun tsao hsin pao te san chun hui
|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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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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