Archive for July, 2010


the surprise is all mine…

Here I am in the motherland, and I am accessing teh internets and my blog. Has the world turned upside down? Sure, the Expo is on, but one day in the fall the Expo will be no longer.

Well, nothing to do but keep going with my posts, can’t stop now what with the absence of a good excuse.

More posting later.


Blogging to Cease…

I like to blog. Alot. And so, it’s a bummer that I’m going to a place tomorrow where there aren’t blogs. Well, at least free blogs.

I guess I’ll have to get a domain name of my own. Til then folks, enjoy.


沙拉裴林準備2012年選總統?Is Sarah Palin Gunning for 2012?

Here is another car-crash of journalism from NMA news.  Just from watching the video you will actually know what they are talking about, as it is amusing to read the English “jokes” left in (teabaggers, the news ticker) but it’s actually interesting to read and listen to the Chinese text to see how much they have gotten wrong in simplifying this news story.  For example, this news source makes it seem like Palin is some kind of internet star like Justin Bieber and not the creation of an organized right-wing conglomerate, as though she was just lucky in getting involved with Fox and not directly involved herself.

It’s upsetting to see news so distorted and simplified in this ocean of mediocrity and dispassion, but it’s funny to finally see Palin snipe at galloping bears from a helicopter piloted by John McCain and mud wrestle Barack Obama in a bikini.

I know NMA News has one about Apple and Steve Jobs wearing a Darth Vader costume, but I didn’t translate that one because there’s no slave Leia outfit anywhere to be seen.  NMA, you’re slipping in your exploitation!

沙拉裴林準備2012年選總統?Is Sarah Palin Gunning for 2012?
Is Sarah Palin Getting Ready for the 2012 Presidential Election?

In 2008

Republican presidential candidate McCain chose Palin to be his assistant

At that time, few people had heard of her

The two went their separate ways after they had lost the election

Palin became the hot and spicy queen for the Conservative right

She became more and more famous

A television channel with a distinguished reputation invited her to be its famous television host

to discuss various current popular topics

like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Her family life has become a public focus of attention

There is a rumor

That Palin’s daughter and father

Will become characters on a reality TV show

Some people are worried that she doesn’t have enough experience

But she has said she has much international experience

Palin is becoming more and more famous

and has involved herself in local New York politics

Not only has she invented a new word

but also she has compared herself to Shakespeare

This year, her political operation committee SarahPAC

has already raised 1.3 million USD in funds

Such vigorous fund-raising

has caused some people to wonder

whether or not she is getting ready for the 2012

American presidential general election

and start a war with Obama

If Palin is indeed elected

This will represent that Americans value right-wing conservatism

And “refudiate” Obama

共和黨gong4he2dang Republican Party
候選人hou4xuan3ren2 candidate
副手fu4shou3 assistant
分道揚鑣fen1dao4yang2biao1 to each go their own way
保守bao3shou3 to guard, protect; to be (politically) conservative
右派pou4pai4 rightist (political); right wing
人氣ren2qi4 human spirit
信譽xin4yu4 prestige, distinction, reputation
卓著zhuo2zhu4 distinguished
名嘴ming2zui3 a famous TV or radio host
話題hua4ti2 subject (of a talk or conversation), topic
公眾gong1zhong4 public
矚目zhu3mu4 to focus on
焦點jiao1dian3 focus, focal point
插手cha1shou3 to involve oneself in
行動xing2dong4 operation, action; to move; mobile
委員會wei3yuan2hui4 committee
幕mu4 to canvass for contributions, to recruit, to collect, to raise
積極ji1ji2 vigorous, active, positive (outlook)
募款mu4kuan3 to raise funds, fund raising
猜測cai1ce4 to guess, to surmise
主義zhu3yi4 -ism, ideology
當選dang1xuan3 to be elected


漂移 – 周杰伦

I really have some memories with this one.  When I first started learning Chinese years ago, there was a time when I was very determined to learn despite the fact that I didn’t know anything.  It was a weird time when I wrote down many many things but didn’t understand them.  Now that I have this blog, it’s odd that I re-visit these former “lessons” with such a different understanding.

I understand the words now; perhaps not completely, but it isn’t like before when I actually wrote the dictionary definition for every single word.  I mentioned this before, and it’s embarrassing, but it’s true.  Now as I come back to review it all seems unnecessary, but at the same time I’ve only gotten to where I am now by studying the way that I have – which is insanely hard.

About the song – this is one of the two songs 周杰伦Jay Chou made for the 头曼子D (Initial D) sound track, a movie he made his film acting debut in.  It was the first time I’d ever seen him, as well as the first time I heard Chinese rapping.  While I think his acting in this movie is still among his best roles, no hard feat as it involves portraying a Keanu Reeves-type clueless slacker, this song has aged hard.  After the novelty has worn off and I can, you know, read Chinese now, I have to say this song is quite stilted and has bad flow.  I always thought his diction was syncopated and cool, but now I see that he was just following the short staccato pretentious phrases.  Dude, I am happy you’ve since moved on to better things, but I’m still not looking forward to the Green Hornet.

漂移 周杰伦





记录ji4lu4 to take notes, to record
绕圈rao4quan1 round the buoy
绕rao4 to revolve, move round, circle etc
圈quan1 n circle, ring, group v to enclose, to circle
兜dou1 to move round; n pocket
引擎yin3qing2 engine (transliteration)
擎qing2 to raise hand
呼啸hu1xiao4 to scream, to whistle
仔细zi3xi4 careful, attentive, cautious
第一人称di4yi1ren2cheng1 “in the first person” (narrative, perspective)
分寸fen1cun4 tact, the limits of proper speech, propriety
精准jing1zhun3 exact, very accurate
踏上ta4shang4 to set foot on
人生ren2sheng1 life
实力shi2li4 actual strength, strength
模拟mo2ni3 imitation, v to simulate, to imitate
一体yi1ti3 whole, integral
点火dian3huo3 to light a fire; to agitate, to stir up trouble; ignition
荣誉rong2yu4 honor, credit, glory, honorable reputation
咿yi1 NA
萧萧xiao1xiao1 whistle, neigh, whinny

Find a pen, write in your diary about my heroism
I can face the wall and go around the bend in half a click
My body breathes, the glass of the sky roof is open,
Here the engine sounds like a musical instrument
And so the wind whistles past very excitedly, and therefore I drift around the corner
I add more foot to the horsepower until at last I look very carefully
From zero to one hundred Km/H, who is brave enough to be my enemy

I use a first person perspective in the youthfulness of my drifting
The tact of losing or winning is calculated very precisely
I step on wheels of wind and fire in the youthfulness of my drifting
In the story of us we perform again my life

There is no way to imitate my strength, man and machine together are one in drifting
I laugh as I see myself in the rear view mirror
Once the ignition has started it’s all about the glory, besides myself taking first place, no one else has any interest
Drifting, drifting, drift-ing, I calmly take a drink and have a relaxed laugh

Drifting, drifting, drift-ing
I circle the mountain as the rain splatters against my windshield
Drifting, drifting, drift-ing
As I once again go into the tunnel, the wind whistles past


Kung Fu Panda, Despite the Kung Fu and the Panda, Isn’t the Least Bit Chinese

I know “Kung Fu Panda”(2008) came out two years ago, and I also know that it actually doesn’t have anything to do with China specifically, but it hasn’t stopped Chinese from stopping me in the middle of the street all this time to specifically tell me, “Hey, did you know that ‘Kung Fu Panda’ is a Chinese movie?”  No, I didn’t know that because it isn’t true.

Meanwhile for the past two years I’ve tried to deny its existence because then at last I would have to accept the fact that this is China’s movie.  Well, it isnt’, and now since I’ve finally seen it I can say why.  Furthermore, since I’ve been teaching myself Chinese I can finally say it in Chinese.

Who’s to say if this argument actually penetrates the thick “中国加油!”part of the cerebellum, but I do have an argument.  Also, it’s worth reading because this movie is actually advertising the triump of Western values over Chinese ones.  Yes, this cartoon movie.  Anyways, enjoy.


你可以说,“熊猫是中国的,所以熊猫功夫是中国的!”亲爱的读者,你说到哪儿去了?因为这个电影包括一个中国的因素,这是中国的?是吗?中国人看外国电影,买日本的电子东西,买外国的化妆,外国的红葡萄酒,请老外来叫英语,都是外国的因素,就是说,不多的本来事情是中国的,其实,国外的东西比国内的东西珍贵!最有名的例子是中国人常常说“阿凡达”(2009)的电影是中文的。什么?全部的电影是假的,是电脑数码的技术做出来的。中有蓝色皮肤猫人吗?中国有天空飞的山吗?大家,“阿凡达”不是中国的,还有,“熊猫功夫”不是中国的。别的例子是“木栏”(1998)和成龙的“Rush Hour”电影片。这样说,中国人应该不写关于其它国家的故事因为这是“他们的故事”。哪儿有公平?










因素yin1su4 element
数码shu4ma3 digital
反面人物 fan3mian4ren2wu4 villain (in a play)
原理yuan2li3 principles, theories

Hey China, does this bear belong to you too?


海闊天空 – Beyond

A Classic. Beyond, the awesome 80’s Hong Kong band that existed in an era of matinee idol crooners and pinup singers, once famously modestly declared that all they want to do is become the Beatles of Asia. Me, all I want to do become Beyond. In 80’s terms, they are bodaciously radical.

While they would hit the silver screen in their finest moments with Andy Lau in 天若有情 in that movie, this song will remain Beyond’s crowning glory. A thousand lit lighters is not enough to tribute this power ballad which must have been the “getting ready” music for tens of thousands of coiffed haircuts through the ages.

I’m joking, but it doesn’t diminish the amazing impact this song has had on Hong Kong culture. What is diminishing this song are the new Mandopop lyrics that makes every mainlander think this is a mainland song. You can do that with 月亮代表我的心 and 甜蜜蜜,but keep your hands off this Cantopop classic. I haven’t learned the Mandopop version and don’t care to, but can emphasize the meaning of the original song: only through freedom with the individual triumph. Take that, bland modern re-make.

Beyond: Now, then and forever. Whoohoo, I’m getting Jersey on ya!






駒keui1(ju1) fleet footed horse; the sun
冷卻laang5keuk3 cooling off
窩wo1 nest
風雨fung1yu5 the elements
追趕jeui1gon2 to pursue, to chase after
霧mou6 fog
影蹤ying2jung1 shadow, image, reflection; footprints, trail
冷眼laang5ngaan5 to give someone the eye
嘲笑jaau1siu3 to ridicule
放棄fong3hei3 to give up
心中sam1jung1 in one’s heart
理想lei5seung2 ideal
一剎那yat1saat3na5 a split second
恍惚fong2fat1 vaguely absently
若yeuk6 if
有所yau5so2 somewhat, to some extent
不知不覺bat1ji1bat1gok3 unconsciously
淡taam2 tasteless
不羈bat1gei1 uninhibited, unruly
放縱fong3jung3 to indulge, to let someone have their way
背棄bui3hei3 to abandon

Now, as I watch the drifting snow of the night
I remember the cooling off of my heart from afar
Through the elements I have pursued, as through the fog I have followed unclear footsteps
Under a wide sky and vast ocean, you and I may have changed (who would not change?)

How many times have I been welcomed with a cold stare and with jeering laughter
And yet never have abandoned the ideals within my heart?
Absently, in a split second, if there has been any loss of faith
Where unconsciously the love of my heart have become tasteless

Forgive me if my whole life I have indulged uninhibitedly in loving freedom
All while I fear of falling down
To abandon one’s ideals anyone can do
But I’m afraid one day there will be just you and me

Nevertheless, my free self
Forever will sing proud my song, everywhere for a thousand miles


东风破 – 周杰伦

I saw the new Green Hornet trailer for the movie coming out next year, and I was just floored.  While everybody else is confused whether or not this particular regurgitation of a previously used intellectual property of a major entertainment franchise will be successful — as in: Green Hornet – bad Batman rip-off, Seth Rogen – funny, Cameron Diaz – over the hill, gadgets and CGI – unlike, Diaz, doable — this just had me depressed. Jay Chou is in it starring as Kato.

The original Green Hornet was a star making vehicle for Bruce Lee, who made it so popular the show became re-named “The Kato Show” overseas.  However, the reason is pretty obvious: it was popular because Bruce Lee was in it.  Mr Lee could have starred in a piece of trash and it still would have succeeded.  Ladies and gentlemen, Green Hornet is that piece of trash.

While Jay Chou will now be seen as stepping into the role that made Bruce Lee a star, I think people forget Bruce Lee is a star because he just is.  Instead, people should see this movie for what it is: a movie and a story that succeeds on the back of a Chinese person carrying it.  Kato is the manservant that stereotypically serves his white master faithfully, even going so far as to be the better hand-to-hand combatant in both movies; on the other hand, the original Green Hornet fights like he looking for his keys while he juggles two bags of groceries outside his apartment door, and Seth Rogen is, well, fat and funny.  Also, while the original is solely memorable because of Bruce Lee, this current reiteration also has a Chinese person carrying more than his fair share of responsabilities: that is, Jay Chou is going to attract a lot of attention to this movie for being one of the biggest stars in Asia.

Yep, I’m not saying there isn’t other talent in this movie; this isn’t Jay Chou’s movie so much as it is Seth Rogen, who was funny in Superbad and 40 Year-Old Virgin and nothing else.  However, even if this is an astounding smash and breaks open the western market for Jay Chou, he’ll forever be known as Seth Rogen’s bitch.  Bruce Lee didn’t have this problem because he’s Bruce Lee.  Meanwhile, Jay Chou’s character in the movie is a motorcycling-kung fu-bad ass who is still loyal to some white guy he’s never met?  People are always going to remember you for being the yes-man to some fat funny loser, just as they are going to remember you Jay for being in that terrible Shaolin Soccer rip-off, Kung Fu Dunk.

(I’d honestly post the video here of the new Green Hornet movie to let yourselves decide, but as I just spent the last half an hour trying to learn how to embed video into a blog that seems fruitless, I’d just as soon not keep promoting a movie that doesn’t star me)

It wasn’t always so bad. Jay Chou is famous for writing really good songs like this one. This song brings back a lot of memories for me as I spent an inordinate amount of time learning the lyrics of this song.  I would be remiss to say that I honestly looked up every single word of this song in order to “crack open the hard outer shell ” to get at the “brains of soft, nougat meaning” within.  Yes.  Every. Single. Word.  Needless to say, it took me a long, long time to do.  As well, this was before I got savvy to using the internet to look up words (which is still actually not that great as compared to a book dictionary).

Compared to all the other songs that I was (am) still learning at the time, this song really had a lot of enjoyment and meaning to this.  I don’t quite completely understand all of the lyrics to this song (especially “荒烟漫草的年头”)but that okay – it a poem.  It’s up for interpretation.  This song alone gave me hope for Mandopop that there could possibly be some “art” to be had within the realm of modern popular culture.  I dug the way he kept a traditional Chinese five-tone harmonic scale and “jazzed” it up with a modern harmony with many chord substitutions (I don’t quite remember, but I think it’s a ii V of the seventh degree).

All the same, this is a “relaxing” song about how a man, once again, misses a woman because of a mistake he has done.  Traditional, you are here again.  Anyways, enjoy.

东风破 – 周杰伦





盏zhan3 a small container
离愁li2chou2 sorrow caused by departure
伫立zhu4li4 to stand still for a long time, motionless, stand still
游(遊)you2 to walk, to tour, to sight see, to travel for pleasure, to swim, to wander, to roam
烛火zhu2huo3 candle flame
苛责ke1ze2 criticize severely
漂泊drifter, wanderer
浪迹天涯lang4ji1tian1ya2 to wander all over the world
浪迹lang4ji1 to lead a wandering life
天涯tian1ya2 the ends of the earth, the remotest part of the Earth
喉hou2 the throat, larynx
弹奏tan2zou4 to play music
岁月sui4yue4 time, time and seasons
剥落bo1luo4 to peel off, to strip, exfoliate
犹you2 just as, just like, as if (also: 犹如)
幼you4 young, immature
幽幽you1you1 faraway, faint, distant
枫叶feng1ye4 maple leaves
将jiang1 FUTURE TENSE, to support, bring; to do sth, to handle a matter; etc
染色ran3se4 to dye to color
结局jie2ju2 ending, final result, outcome
看透kan4tou4 understand thoroughly, see through
荒huang1 desolate, barren; waste
烟yan1 smoke, mist
漫man4 unrestrained, free
草cao3 drafted, not final; grass

The East Wind Breaks

A container, sad from departure, stands still alone at the window sill
From behind the door I pretend that you haven’t gone yet
The old familiar place is as if the moon has roamed over it even more silently
At midnight the sober candle flame can not bear but to criticize me severely

A wandering pot that has travelled all over the world is hard to drink from
After you have left the wine has gotten warm and my memoires of you have become dim
When the water flows to the east it is difficult to steal
Once flowers bloom they are mature just once, I however have still done wrong

Who here is using the pipa to play the “East Wind Breaks”?
The years peel off the wall to reveal our childhoods
As if to remember that year when we were still very immature
But these days the instrument sound is very dim, you have not heard my waiting

Who here is using the pipa to play the “East Wind Breaks”?
By the way the maple leaves have used the story made up of dyes, I have seen clearly the ending
I held your hand as we walked down the old road outside the hedge
The desolate smoke and restrained growth of the early years has made even breaking up seem very silent