March 12

The ‘Weiji’ Myth Debunked, No Opportunity in Crisis

I worked for almost 15 years for a Japanese company, and we learned that the Chinese characters for crisis–weiji–meant "danger and opportunity." It’s since become urban legend to look for opportunity in every danger.

Now, all this has been debunked by Victor H. Mair, a professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

You can read his rather full explanation of why weiji means only crisis (no opportunity, but plenty of danger) on his blog.

He sounds authoritative to me, but I’m no China hand.

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Posted March 12, 2009 by Gary McCarty in category "Grammar Sucks

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