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The name Ability to Adapt in Chinese / Japanese...

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Personalize your custom “Ability to Adapt” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Ability to Adapt” title below...

  1. Ability to Adapt

  2. Adapt Oneself

  3. Improvise Adapt Overcome

  4. Mind Like Water

  5. Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation

  6. Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Ability to Adapt

 ouhen nouryoku
Ability to Adapt Scroll

応変能力 is “the ability to take proper steps to meet the situation,” “the ability to adapt oneself to the requirement of the moment,” “the ability to adapt to circumstances,” or “adapt and overcome,” in Japanese Kanji.

Adapt Oneself

 yìng biàn
 ou hen
Adapt Oneself Scroll

應變 means “to meet a contingency,” “to adapt oneself to changes,” or “to adapt to changes” in Chinese.

It's also used in Japanese but usually only in the context of Buddhism. 應變 is probably the shortest way to express the idea of adapting and overcoming whatever circumstances present themselves.

Improvise Adapt Overcome

 jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
Improvise Adapt Overcome Scroll

即興發揮即刻適應即時克服 is the coolest way to put together this famous word list, “Improvise Adapt Overcome.”

There are shorter ways to write “adapt,” and “overcome,” but “improvise” needs a four-character word to be expressed accurately in Chinese. To match them up, the other two are using four-character words as well. This makes it sound more natural in Chinese (though word lists are not a natural construct in Chinese grammar).

The words break down like this: 即興發揮, 即刻適應, 即時克服. I suggest the 3-column option when you customize your wall scroll. That way, the words will occupy one column each.

A great gift for a U.S. Marine, or anyone who follows this mantra.

Mind Like Water

Mizu No Kokoro

 mizu no kokoro
Mind Like Water Scroll

水の心 is the Japanese Buddhist and martial arts phrase, “Mizu no Kokoro,” which means “mind like water” or “heart of water.”

The phrase is a metaphor describing the pond that clearly reflects its surroundings when calm but whose images are obscured once a pebble is dropped into its waters.

Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation

 bīng lái jiàng dǎng shuǐ lái tǔ yǎn
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation Scroll

This Chinese military proverb means, counter soldiers with arms and counter water with an earthen dam.

兵來將擋水來土掩 is about how different situations call for different actions. You must adopt measures appropriate to the actual situation.

To explain the actual proverb, one would not attack a flood of water with gunfire, nor would you counter-attack soldiers by building an earth weir. You must be adaptable and counter whatever threatens with relevant action.

Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Soldiers need a fluid plan

 bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll

This literally translates as: Troops/soldiers/warriors have no fixed [battlefield] strategy [just as] water has no constant shape [but adapts itself to whatever container it is in].

Figuratively, this means: One should seek to find whatever strategy or method is best suited to resolving each individual problem.

This proverb is about as close as you can get to the military idea of “adapt improvise overcome.” 兵無常勢水無常形 is the best way to express that idea in both an ancient way, and a very natural way in Chinese.

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Not the results for ability to adapt that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your ability to adapt search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
 ouhennouryoku / ohennoryoku

More info & calligraphy:

Ability to Adapt
ability to take proper steps to meet the situation; ability to adapt oneself to (the requirement of) the moment



see styles
yìng biàn
    ying4 bian4
ying pien

More info & calligraphy:

Adapt Oneself
to meet a contingency; to adapt oneself to changes
adapt to changes


see styles
huà yòng
    hua4 yong4
hua yung
to adapt (an idea etc)
transformative workings



see styles
yīn yìng
    yin1 ying4
yin ying
to respond accordingly to; to adapt to; to cope with


see styles
gǎi chéng
    gai3 cheng2
kai ch`eng
    kai cheng
to convert; to turn into (something else); to adapt (a story to another medium)



see styles
gǎi biān
    gai3 bian1
kai pien
to adapt; to rearrange; to revise
(noun, transitive verb) reorganization; reorganisation


see styles
xiè lǐ
    xie4 li3
hsieh li
to harmonize; to adapt; to adjust


see styles
yí yòng
    yi2 yong4
i yung
 iyou / iyo
to use (something) for a purpose other than its original one; to adapt (tools, methods etc) for another purpose
(noun, transitive verb) transfer of a budget appropriation from one (government) section to another


see styles
fān pāi
    fan1 pai1
fan p`ai
    fan pai
to reproduce photographically; to duplicate; to adapt (as a movie); to remake (a movie); adaptation; reproduction; remake



see styles
tiáo shì
    tiao2 shi4
t`iao shih
    tiao shih
to adapt (to an environment etc); to make something suitable; adaptation; adjustment; adaptive



see styles
zhuǎn yòng
    zhuan3 yong4
chuan yung
to adapt for use for another purpose



see styles
shì huà
    shi4 hua4
shih hua
To adapt teaching to circumstances.



see styles
shì yìng
    shi4 ying4
shih ying
to adapt; to fit; to suit



see styles
qiān jiù
    qian1 jiu4
ch`ien chiu
    chien chiu
to yield to; to adapt to; to accommodate oneself to (something)



see styles
shùn huà
    shun4 hua4
shun hua
Hue, city in central Vietnam and capital of Thua Thien province
(noun/participle) acclimatization; naturalization; acclimation; (place-name) Junka
To accord with one's lessons; to follow the custom; to die.


see styles
(v5m,vi) (1) to melt into; to merge into; (2) to fit in; to adapt; to blend


see styles
(v5m,vi) (1) to melt into; to merge into; (2) to fit in; to adapt; to blend



see styles
shí shí wù
    shi2 shi2 wu4
shih shih wu
to have a clear view of things; to adapt to circumstances


see styles
 tekiouryoku / tekioryoku
adaptability; capacity to adapt; ability to adjust


see styles
(v5m,vi) (1) to become familiar with; to get used to; to become accustomed to; to adapt oneself to; to become attached to; to become friendly with; (v5m,vi) (2) to come to fit; to go (well) with; to suit; to match; to harmonize (with); to blend in (with); to agree with (e.g. one's skin)


see styles
(noun or participle which takes the aux. verb suru) to adapt


see styles
(v5m,vi) (1) to melt into; to merge into; (2) to fit in; to adapt; to blend



see styles
bù shí shí wù
    bu4 shi2 shi2 wu4
pu shih shih wu
to show no understanding of the times (idiom); cannot adapt to current circumstances; not amenable to reason



see styles
bù shí shí biàn
    bu4 shi2 shi2 bian4
pu shih shih pien
to show no understanding of the times (idiom); cannot adapt to current circumstances; not amenable to reason


see styles
 kunshihyouhen / kunshihyohen
(1) (yoji) the wise readily adapt themselves to changed circumstances; the wise are quick to acknowledge their mistakes and correct them; (2) (yoji) (in colloquial usage, ironically or as an excuse) the wise make no scruple in suddenly changing their demeanor



see styles
jiāng cuò jiù cuò
    jiang1 cuo4 jiu4 cuo4
chiang ts`o chiu ts`o
    chiang tso chiu tso
lit. if it's wrong, it's wrong (idiom); to make the best after a mistake; to accept an error and adapt to it; to muddle through


see styles
tóu qí suǒ hào
    tou2 qi2 suo3 hao4
t`ou ch`i so hao
    tou chi so hao
to adapt to sb's taste; to fit sb's fancy


see styles
nì gǔ bù huà
    ni4 gu3 bu4 hua4
ni ku pu hua
conservative and unable to adapt (idiom)


see styles
(v5m,vi) (1) to melt into; to merge into; (2) to fit in; to adapt; to blend


see styles
(v5m,vi) (1) to melt into; to merge into; (2) to fit in; to adapt; to blend

Click here for more ability to adapt results from our dictionary

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Ability to Adapt応変能力ouhen nouryoku
ohen noryoku
Adapt Oneself應變
ou hen / ouhen / o hen yìng biàn
ying4 bian4
ying bian
ying pien
Improvise Adapt Overcome即興發揮即刻適應即時克服
jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
ji2 xing4 fa1 hui1 ji2 ke4 shi4 ying4 ji2 shi2 ke4 fu2
ji xing fa hui ji ke shi ying ji shi ke fu
chi hsing fa hui chi k`o shih ying chi shih k`o fu
chi hsing fa hui chi ko shih ying chi shih ko fu
Mind Like Water水の心mizu no kokoro
Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation兵來將擋水來土掩
bīng lái jiàng dǎng shuǐ lái tǔ yǎn
bing1 lai2 jiang4 dang3 shui3 lai2 tu3 yan3
bing lai jiang dang shui lai tu yan
ping lai chiang tang shui lai t`u yen
ping lai chiang tang shui lai tu yen
Warriors Adapt and Overcome兵無常勢水無常形
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
bing1 wu2 chang2 shi4 shui3 wu2 chang2 xing2
bing wu chang shi shui wu chang xing
ping wu ch`ang shih shui wu ch`ang hsing
ping wu chang shih shui wu chang hsing
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.


Lookup Ability to Adapt in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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.

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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