China’s Most “Ambitious” Chengyus

As a reader of this blog, we already know you are an ambitious type.

You’re probably also using FluentU as a resource.

As profiled in a certain learner interview from the spring, as a student of the Chinese language, you “recognize and respect the enormity of the task you are humbly undertaking”, and after coming to terms with the “Sisyphean task of memorizing thousands of characters before you can read any simple newspaper headlines”, you “aren’t likely to turn back“.

Yes, the Chinese language attracts some of the most industrious, enterprising, resourceful, and zealous students in the world.  

Today we’ll look at five chengyus which describe ambition in Chinese.  Who knew there could be so many ways to describe a 有上进心 (yǒu shàng jìn xīn- highly motivated) person?

1. 野心勃勃 (yě xīn bó bó)- To harbor great ambitions, to think big

野心 (yě xīn) – wild ambition
– (bó)- thriving, vigorous

Example

野心勃勃地高调宣称要在10年内成为真正的跨国公司

yě xīn bó bó de gāo diào xuān chēng yào zài 10 nián nèi chéng wéi zhēn zhèng de kuà guó gōng sī

Ambitiously declare that within 10 years, it will become a true multinational corporation

 

2.  奋发图强 (fèn fā tú qiáng)- To go all out pursuing success

奋发 (fèn fā)- work hard, exert onceself
(tú)- plan, scheme
(qiáng)- strong, powerful

Example

李大智的奋发图强是因为看清了家庭和身上的负担…他只能咬着牙去前进

li dà zhì de fèn fā tú qiáng shì yīn wèi kàn qīng le jiā tíng hé shēn shang de fù dān… tā zhǐ néng yǎo zhe yá qù qián jìn

Li DaZhi’s great efforts originated from his clear recognition of his family’s burdens…he had no choice but to grit his teeth and go on

 

3. 志向远大 (zhì xiàng yuǎn dà)- Far reaching aspirations

志向 (zhì xiàng)- ambition
远大 (yuǎn dà)- far reaching

Example

年轻人很少没有不志向远大,二十岁时,总觉得世界都在我手上

nián qīng rén hěn shǎo méi yǒu bù zhì xiàng yuǎn dà, èr shí suì shí, zǒng jué de shì jiè dōu zài wǒ shǒu shàng

Rarely are young people not very ambitious, when you are 20 years old, you feel the entire world is in your hands

 

4. 雄心壮志 (xióng xīn zhuàng zhì)- To have noble aims and soaring ambitions

雄心 (xióng xīn)- great ambitions
壮志 (zhuàng zhì)- high ideals

Example

越来越多的国内的众多中小企业面对企业发展的瓶颈都怀着一颗占领海外市场的雄心壮志

yuè lái yuè duō de guó nèi de zhòng duō zhōng xiǎo qǐ yè miàn duì qǐ yè fā zhǎn de píng jǐng dōu huái zhe yī kē zhàn lǐng hǎi wài shì chǎng de xióng xīn zhuàng zhì

As more and more domestic small and medium enterprises face development bottlenecks, many hold great ambitions of capturing overseas markets

 

5. 开拓进取  (kāi tuò jìn qǔ) – To blaze new trails in pursuit of a goal

开拓 (kāi tuò)- open up, broaden
进取 (jìn qǔ)- forge ahead, aggressive

Example

成立以来公司始终开拓进取,追求卓越,积极服务四川经济社会发展

chéng lì yǐ lái gōng sī shǐ zhōng kāi tuò jìn qǔ, zhuī qiú zhuó yuè, jī jí fú wù sì chuān jīng jì shè huì fā zhǎn

Since inception, the company has always aggressively pursued excellence, actively advancing Sichuan’s socio-economic development

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