TVBspace Academy - Learn Chinese!
Friday, September 29, 2006
Husband and Wife
Sorry things have been really slow on the TVBspace academy - but as it's September, I ought to start lessons again!
I was sent this little extract from Sidney a while back, so I thought I'd post this as a little aside and add my notes behind it for a little bit of explanation. Yes the jokes are a little chauvinistic so apologies to any feminist readers we may have!
Shut up - 住口
If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first?
The dog of course...at least he'll shut up after you let him in!
狗 - dog (Mandarin: gou / Cantonese: gow)
妻子 - wife (Mandarin: qi zi / Cantonese: chai jee) not to be confused with the colloquial 老婆 (Mandarin: lao po / Cantonese: lo por)
後門 - back door (Mandarin: hou men / Cantonese: how mun)
前門 - front door (Mandarin: qian men / Cantonese: cheen mun)
Three Children - 三個孩子
A couple had three children. Two of them were bright, smart and handsome but the third child was dull, ugly and stupid.
One day the hubby got suspicious and asked, Tell me the truth, dear.
Is this third child really mine?
Yes, dear, replied the wife, but the other two are not.
是的，親愛的。 "妻子答道： "可是另外兩個不是。 "
孩子 - child (Mandarin: hai zi / Cantonese: hai jee)
聰明 - smart, intelligent (Mandarin: cong ming / Cantonese: chung ming)
英俊 - handsome (Mandarin: ying jun / Cantonese: ying jun)
醜 - ugly (Mandarin: chou / Cantonese: chow)
笨 - stupid (Mandarin: ben / Cantonese: bun)
親愛的 - dearest (Mandarin: qin ai de / Cantonese: chan ngoi dik)
Wishing Well - 許願井
A couple came upon a wishing well.
The husband leaned over, made a wish and threw in a penny.
The wife decided to make a wish, too. But she leaned over too much, fell into the well, and drowned. The husband was stunned for a while but then smiled and said, It really works!
許願 - make a wish (Mandarin: xu yuan / Cantonese: hui yuen)
井 - well [the kind you pull water out of] (Mandarin: jing / Cantonese: jeng)
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
TVB's Red Ladies?
In the next few posts, I will be taking a look at the song titles for the tracks on "Lady in Red", TVB's latest musical presentation, featuring songs by top singer Miriam Yeung as well as some renditions by their own artistes such as Myolie Wu, Bernice Liu and Charmaine Sheh.
We start by dissecting the title of the album:
The literal translation of this is 'Gold Label Red Females' so the recognised translation of "Lady in Red" is not far off, but is in fact totally wrong from the original meaning of the title.
Breaking this down further gives:
金 (Canto: gum / Mandarin: jin) - gold
牌 (Canto: pai / Mandarin: pai) - label or sign
女 (Canto: nui / Mandarin: nu) - female
兒 (Canto: yee / Mandarin: er) - child or son
女兒 means daughter, you can often hear this term referred to in ancient dramas as it is the more traditional way of referring to daughter. In modern times, the 兒 is dropped from general conversation.
紅 (Canto: hung / Mandarin: hong) - red
女兒紅 is the name of a famous Chinese wine, again you will hear this a lot in ancient dramas. The name is usually linked to the finest quality, rather like the XO of modern times.
Overall, the name of the album is supposed to reflect a gold label fine wine, something to be savoured that is top quality. The creatives have tied this in with the literal meaning of the words by dressing the 'daughters' in red, hence leading to the misinterpretation during translation.
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