The lyrics makes a pun where 機 means both 機會 (chance) and 飛機 (airplane).
I don't know what Dr. Mair is talking about. Does he mean 機會 in 《三國演義》今操糧草已盡，正可乘此機會，兩路擊之 does not mean "opportunity"? Does he mean 羅貫中 was able to read English and coined the word 機會 as a translation? What does 機會 in 乘此機會 mean anyway?
I wish Dr. Mair, a responsible Sinologist, could have told us where John F. Kennedy got the idea that "in the Chinese language, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity." Evidently, it was from a Chinese person, not any Chinese person, but a well-versed scholar whose name was none other than Dr. Tsiang Tingfu (蔣廷黻博士, 中華民國駐聯合國代表, 台灣中央研究院院士).Victor H. Mair:
I first encountered this curious specimen of alleged oriental wisdom about ten years ago...the damage from this kind of pseudo-profundity has reached such gross proportions that I feel obliged, as a responsible Sinologist, to take counteraction...Finally, to those who would persist in disseminating the potentially perilous, fundamentally fallacious theory that “crisis” = “danger” + “opportunity,” please don't blame it on Chinese!
"危機就是危險加機會" challenges the audience to think outside of the box--outside of the usual meaning of 危機, outside of the conventional morphological analysis of the preexisting word. Unfortunately, Dr. Mair's article confined itself to the inside of the box (i.e., its conventional morphology) and failed to touch on or remind readers of the rhetorical-pragmatic analysis of that statement. It is regrettable because it is like treating a rhetorical question as a true question or deeming a metaphor untrue from a literal point of view--totally missing the point.Victor H. Mair on the notion that the Chinese word for “crisis” 危機 is composed of 危 "danger" and 機 "opportunity":
It appears, often complete with Chinese characters, on the covers of books, on advertisements for seminars, on expensive courses for “thinking outside of the box,”...This catchy expression (Crisis = Danger + Opportunity) has rapidly become nearly as ubiquitous as The Tao of Pooh...
The Chinese word for "crisis" 危機 consists of two characters, that is 危 and 機. The usual meaning of 危機 is 危險、困難的關頭, in which 危 means either 危險 ("danger") or 艱困 ("difficult, in hardship"), and 機 means 關頭 ("pivotal or crucial moment"). However, because the character 機 can also mean "opportunity" (as in 可乘之機), the word 危機 can be reanalyzed as 危險 + 機會 in a context that calls for a rhetorical-pragmantic effect of challenging the audience to think outside of "the box" (i.e., its usual meaning, its usual morphology).I love etymology and semantics, but I shrink back from "easy" or folk etymology. May I therefore ask whether it is correct that your kanji/ideogram for "crisis" can also mean "chance"?
You're the only one who keeps talking about "re-analysis". But we're not talking about word play here. We're not talking about punning here. We're talking about the misunderstanding about the morphology of the Mandarin word wēijī. We're talking about genuine misunderstanding here. We're not talking about "not getting the joke" here.the word 危機 can be reanalyzed as 危險 + 機會 in a context that calls for a rhetorical-pragmantic effect of challenging the audience to think outside of "the box" (i.e., its usual meaning, its usual morphology).
Thank you for providing some much-needed common sense. This is refreshing.It is true that “危” means “dangerous” in Chinese, but "机" here actually means "moment" or "occasion". So "危机" means dangerous moment. And in this case it is correct to translate it into "crisis".
"感覺很有哲理" is a pragmatic effect (語用效果) of the statement "危機就是危險加機會". The speaker obviously intends to wax philosophical about the term "危機". In the speaker's mind, the pragmatic effects outweigh its correct morphology. The latter is typically NOT the main point in a natural discourse where one may encounter the statement "危機就是危險加機會".理解成“危险加机会”感觉很有哲理
It would be an utter misunderstanding of the Chinese language if one thinks that due to the morphology of the term "危機" in its usual sense (i.e., "crisis"), the language bars philosophical waxing (to enhance profundity or out-of-the-box thinking) about the "機" of "危機" (i.e., reinterpreting 機 as "opportunity" instead of "pivotal moment"). When a Chinese speaker says "危機就是危險加機會" (a thought-provoking, profound statement in that the character 危 indeed can signify "danger" and the character 機 indeed can carry the sense of "opportunity"), it is usually meant to be taken "philosophically" (or figuratively) rather than literally in a natural discourse.
I keep talking about pragmatic usage because I think misunderstanding about the morphology of 危機 stems from literal interpretation of the statement "危機就是危險加機會". Don't forget you arbitrarily closed the thread and then arbitrarily conflated posts from multiple threads into one. Each thread had its own "here", and now you are arbitrarily forcing me to accept your "here".You're the only one who keeps talking about "re-analysis"...We're talking about the misunderstanding about the morphology of the Mandarin word wēijī. We're talking about genuine misunderstanding here.
機會 meaning "opportunity" is not a neologism: