Posts Tagged ‘歌词


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


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



This has got to be one of the easiest songs I have ever learned; it is for this reason that this song is so immensely popular in China.  At first I thought this was a 周杰伦 song since it seems he writes them all, but no, I found out much much later that this is 張震嶽; you know, I don’t even know any of his other stuff.

Not much to say about this except it is too simple and straight forward.  No, it really doesn’t make much sense, but you know, those girls need to have their fantasies.

Bleah.  I’m busy working on another transcript, so I thought I’d get away with posting this meager offering.  Enjoy.


作曲: 張震嶽
作詞: 張震嶽




迎面ying2mian4 head on, in one’s face
身影shen1ying3 silhouette, one’s shaddow
漫无目的man4wu2mu4di4 aimless, without direction, to flounder
温柔wen1rou2 gentle and soft, affectionate

Whenever I come to this time I’m always the same
In the loneliness of the night it is easy to call me saddened
I don’t dare to think too much, because I’m just one person

The moonlight that hits me head-on in my face lengthens my shadow
Directionless, I flounder walking about these cold, cold streets
I don’t have any word from you because I still miss you

Love me, don’t go if you say you don’t love me
I don’t want to hear you say utter the truth, please give me a little tenderness again like before




演唱: 朱哲琴、黃耀明

This is a very famous song that is beloved throughout China. Basically, this guy 王洛宾 lived among the 哈萨克 people in 新疆 and learned all their songs and set putonghua lyrics to them all, so yeah, be basically stole their music. He is now a hero among the 哈萨克 people for appropriating their music.

This isn’t the first time that Mainland culture has taken something from another culture and “re-assimilated” it for its own use and purposes. This has been going on for years with Hong Kong and Cantonese culture of every kind; this basically ensures that Cantonese will remain a local and diminished influence rather than have any impact upon the mainland. Also, we get a lot of Western songs “with Chinese characteristics”.

Anyways, about this song in particular, when I first actually learned what this song is about, I just said, “What? S+M?” In other parts of the world, people pay good money to pretend to be a domesticated animal that requires discipline and punishment.

Here is the song and then my translation and then a brief vocabulary of the words I’m not sure about. It jeeves me that I had translated this but now can’t find the copy. I need to find a stress-relieving lamb…






In that distant, far off place there is a good girl
When people pass by the curtained window of her home, they all turn around to give lingering glances that are reluctant to move on

Her pink face is like the red sun
Her lively eyes that move other people looks like the brilliant moon in the night sky

I am willing to give up all my possessions just to be with her to herd sheep
And to see her pink, smiling face each day as well as her beautiful gold-fringed clothes

I am willing to become a little sheep just to be by her side
I am willing to let her take a fine leather whip and continually beat me lightly upon my skin

留恋liu2 lian4 reluctant to part
帐zhang4 curtain
张望zhang1wang4 look around
财产cai2chan3 property
衣裳yi1shang clothes


HKFYG Hong Kong Melody Makers


Singer & Chinese Pipa player: 宗婷婷 ZONG Ting-ting






So, my mom is a big fan of the blog. Big fan. She goes, “Oh, you’re learning Chinese? Well, you gotta learn this song. This song is full of meaning! Chock full, you get me?”

Yes mom, I get you, chock full. I need more time to absorb the song’s lyrics more fully as the translation I have provided here is rather pedestrian and not illuminating. While it isn’t a poem, it is nevertheless just as hard as a poem to translate.

As for the song lyrics, as best as I can understand it’s a love song about some chick who pines for her man from far, far away and sings to the moon as a intermediary. The song is very notable in the way the meter is irregular and not conforming to 4/4 time. As for mom, I’m sure you found your man from far, far away; it’s just that he likes to go out fishing often. Enjoy.

重尋夢境何處求 ;



The light of the moon covers the vast four corners of the land,
Hanging at the edge of the sky, the new moon is like a hook
Recalling the past, it seems as though I suddenly fall into a dream
A dreamland in which I again search again but don’t know where to seek
We are separated by thousands of miles of distant roads
Before I ask from so far away, I already know your heart is already saddened
I beseech you, luminous moon, in my place please ask for me
For the recollection of humankind is often filled with tears

The hazy moonlight of the night does not shine so brightly
On my table the cold flame of the lantern flickers dimly
Accompanying me as I sit here alone in this painful solitude
We are separated by thousands of miles without any news
Alas, there is no answer to my longing from so far away
Oh please, bright moon, won’t you pass on my message for me?
And send my letter and comfort it as it hesitates leaving on this journey


Ye4se4 mang2mang2 zhao4 si4zhou1
Tian1bian1 xin1yue4 ru2 gou1
Hui2yi4 wang3shi4 huang3 ru2 meng4
重尋夢境何處求 ;
Chong2 xun4 meng4jing4 he2chu4 qiu2
Ren2 ge2 qian1li3 lu4 you1you1
Wei2ceng2 yao2wen4 xin1 yi3 chou2
Qing3 ming2yue4 dai4 wen4hou
Si1nian4 de ren2er lei4 chang2 liu2

Yue4se4 meng2meng2 ye4 wei4jin4
Zhuo1shang han4 deng1guang1 bu4 ming2
Ban4 wo3 du4 zuo4 ku3 gu1dan1
Ren2 ge2 qian1li3 wu2 yin1xun4
Yu4 dai4 yao2 wen4 zhong1 wu2 ping2
Qing3 ming2yue4 dai4 chuan2 xin4
Ji4 wo3 pian4zhi3er wei4 li2qing2

茫茫mang2mang2 vast
罩zhao4 cover
四周si4zhou1 all sides
鉤gou1 hook
往事wang3shi4 the past
恍huang3 suddenly, seemingly
梦境meng4jing4 dreamworld
何處he2chu4 Where…?
隔ge2 separate, be apart
悠悠you1you1 remote, unhurried
未曾wei4ceng2 not…before
遙yao2 distant
朦(胧)meng2(long2) hazy, misty
音訊yin1xun4 news
欲yu4 desire, want
凭 (憑, 凴)ping2 rely on, evidence, no matter, CONJ
傳 chuan2 to pass on, to send
慰wei4 to comfort
離情li2qing2 a sense of being hesitant to leave