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  1. Read

  2. Read / Study

  3. Read / Reading

  4. Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles

  5. Better to Travel 10,000 Miles than Read 10,000 Books

  6. Mindfulness

  7. Wisdom / Intelligence


Read

China yuè
Read Vertical Wall Scroll

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.

Read

China lǐ dé
Read Vertical Wall Scroll

里德 is the transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Read.

Read / Study

China
Japan doku
Read / Study Vertical Wall Scroll

This Chinese character means, "to read out loud," or "to study books."

Very seldom used in Japanese anymore (except occasionally in Buddhism).

Read / Reading

China yuè dú
Read / Reading Vertical Wall Scroll

This Chinese word clearly refers to the act of reading, or a suggestion to read (presumably books but could refer to any reading materials, or text).

Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles

China dú wàn juǎn shū, xíng wàn lǐ lù
Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles Vertical Wall Scroll

This is a lifelong suggestion for expanding your horizons by gaining knowledge, experience, and seeing the world.

Of course, this was written long ago when it was hard to travel 10,000 miles (at least 1000 years before the invention of the airplane).
With air travel and the business I'm in, I often achieve that lifetime goal on a monthly basis.
However, I am a little behind in the book count.

Note: An ancient Chinese mile (里 or lǐ) referred to in this proverb is about a third of a British/American mile. However, at that time, this was a great distance to travel.

Better to Travel 10,000 Miles than Read 10,000 Books

China xíng wàn lǐ lù shèng dú wàn juǎn shū
Better to Travel 10,000 Miles than Read 10,000 Books Vertical Wall Scroll

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.

Mindfulness

China niàn
Japan nen
Mindfulness Vertical Wall Scroll

念 is the simplest way to write "mindfulness" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

念 can be defined these ways: To read; to study (a degree course); to read aloud; to miss somebody (keeping them in your mind); idea; remembrance; sense; thought; feeling; desire; concern; attention; recollection; memory; to think on/about; reflect; repeat, intone; a moment.

Obviously, the context in which the character is used determines which definition or meaning is perceived. As a single character, it's open and perhaps ambiguous. Thus, it can be read with any or all of these meanings.

念 is used in a Buddhist context (often written as 正念 or "right mindfulness") with similar meanings of thought and contemplation.

In Japanese, this character is sometimes used as a name "Nen."


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Wisdom / Intelligence

China huì
Japan e / kei
Wisdom / Intelligence Vertical Wall Scroll

This single character can be translated as wisdom but it has more of an "intelligent" flavor. This can also mean cleverness or wit.

Japanese note: 慧 is understood in Japanese but seldom seen as a lone Kanji.


See Also:  Knowledge | Learning | Read




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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
Read
yuè / yue4 / yueyüeh
Read里德lǐ dé / li3 de2 / li de / lideli te / lite
Read
Study

dokudú / du2 / dutu
Read
Reading
閱讀
阅读
yuè dú / yue4 du2 / yue du / yueduyüeh tu / yüehtu
Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles讀萬卷書行萬里路
读万卷书行万里路
dú wàn juǎn shū, xíng wàn lǐ lù
du2 wan4 juan3 shu1 xing2 wan4 li3 lu4
du wan juan shu xing wan li lu
duwanjuanshuxingwanlilu
tu wan chüan shu hsing wan li lu
Better to Travel 10,000 Miles than Read 10,000 Books行萬里路勝讀萬捲書
行万里路胜读万卷书
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
Mindfulnessnenniàn / nian4 / niannien
Wisdom
Intelligence
e / keihuì / hui4 / 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.