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世事難料 is a polite Chinese version of, "shit happens." This phrase just suggests that things happen (for no reason, and for which we have no control).
The first two characters mean: the affairs of life; things of the world; worldly affairs; ways of the world.
The third character means: disaster; distress; problem; difficulty; difficult; hardships; troubles; defect.
The last character in this context means: to expect; to anticipate; to guess.
If you put this back together, you have something like, "In life, troubles (should be) expected."
This is an old Chinese proverb that is sometimes compared to the English saying "Shit Happens."
It's a reflection that there are risks in life, and you should not be surprised when things don't go your way.
A secondary translation might be, "When walking by a river, often one cannot avoid wet shoes."
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|shì shì nán liào|
shi4 shi4 nan2 liao4
shi shi nan liao
|shih shih nan liao
|One who walks by the river|
may end up with wet feet
|cháng zài hé biān zǒu nǎ néng bù shī xié|
chang2 zai4 he2 bian1 zou3 na3 neng2 bu4 shi1 xie2
chang zai he bian zou na neng bu shi xie
|ch`ang tsai ho pien tsou na neng pu shih hsieh
chang tsai ho pien tsou na neng pu shih hsieh
|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.
Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...
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.
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