Hope you’re all doing great 😉
As mentioned in our previous post, we are trying out a new YouTube series of videos (“Learn Chinese Through Songs”) and we posted our lucky first song last time out (Jay Chou – Suan Shen Me Nan Ren).
Feel free to check out the Monkey Mandarin YouTube channel.
Anyway today guess what? We are posting our next song which is by Wanting Qu who is a a Chinese-born singer-songwriter and pianist who is now based in Canada.
So this is a somewhat sad song. Wanting is talking about how she met someone who suddenly appeared in her life and basically turned her life upside down.
But just as suddenly as he appeared in her life, he disappeared, leaving no trace behind except for the painful memories…
I think you get the gist of it now so here’s the video for you to hear the song first before we dive into some of the interesting vocabulary you can learn from this song.
Chinese/Pinyin Lyrics + English translation
Artist: Wanting Qu (曲婉婷)
Song: 我的歌声里 (Wǒ de gēshēng lǐ)
Méiyǒu yī diǎndiǎn fángbèi
Without any protection
Yě méiyǒu yīsī gùlǜ
And without any concern
Monkey Comments: 一丝 in this case means “a trace” or a “slice” or “slither” – so Wanting is saying “without any trace of concern”
Nǐ jiù zhèyàng chūxiàn zài wǒ de shìjiè lǐ
Just like this you appeared in my world
Dài gěi wǒ jīngxǐ qíng bù zìyǐ
Brought me surprise (so that I) couldn’t help (but falling in love)
Kěshì nǐ piān yòu zhèyàng
But you are like this
Zài wǒ bùzhī bùjué zhōng qiāoqiāo de xiāoshī
Quietly disappeared when I was not even aware of it
Monkey Comments: 不知不觉 is a Chengyu that means “without noticing” – so she is trying to say that it just happened so subtly that without her realizing, before she knew it, he was already gone. 😔
Cóng wǒ de shìjiè lǐ méiyǒu yīnxùn
(Left) no trace in my world
Shèng xià de zhǐshì huíyì
All that’s left is memory
Nǐ cúnzài wǒ shēn shēn de nǎohǎi lǐ
You exist deeply in my mind
Monkey Comments: 存在 means exist. 脑海 is a way Chinese people refer to your brain/mind. 脑 = head/brain. 海 = ocean/sea. Think of the metaphor of your head housing a sea of thoughts and memories. So this is sort of a clever play on words. An artistic use of 脑海 using the metaphor of the sea in your brain. Wanting is saying that the memories of this guy is still existing deeply in her 脑海.
我的梦里 我的心里 我的歌声里
Wǒ de mèng lǐ wǒ de xīnlǐ wǒ de gēshēng lǐ
In my dreams, in my heart, in my songs
Monkey Comments: he exists so deeply in her mind that it manifests into everything she does. In her dreams she sees him, in her heart she thinks of him and even when she writes songs, she has him in mind.
Hái jìde wǒmen céngjīng
(I) still remember we used to
Jiānbìngjiān yīqǐ zǒuguò nà duàn fánhuá xiàngkǒu
side by side, walk past by that prosperous alley
Monkey Comments: 肩并肩 literally translates to “shoulder to shoulder” – so she is recalling the times they walked shoulder to shoulder by some alleyway that now brings back memories of him.
Jǐnguǎn nǐ wǒ shì mòshēngrén shì guòlùrén
Although you and me are strangers, are passengers
Monkey Comments: 尽管 is another way to say 虽然 which means although/despite. Note that the next few lines should be read together to understand it.
Dàn bǐcǐ háishì gǎnjué dàole duìfāng de
But each of us (or we) still felt each other’s
Monkey Comments: so she is saying (from the previous line) that although they were just strangers/passers-by in each others lives, for a moment they still felt each other’s gaze and heartbeat and so for a time they had a form of unexpected happiness.
Yīgè yǎnshén yī ge xīntiào
One gaze, one heartbeat
Yī zhǒng yì xiǎngbùdào de kuàilè
One kind of unexpected happiness
Hǎoxiàng shì yī chǎng mèngjìng mìngzhòng zhùdìng
Seems like (we were in) a dreamland, destined
Monkey Comments: she feels their meeting was destined/fated. Because the world is so big with millions of people yet somehow they met and spent some part of their lives together (see next line).
Shìjiè zhī dà wéi hé wǒmen xiāng yù
How big the world is! why we encounter (each other)
Nándào shì yuánfèn nándào shì tiānyì
Could it be fate, could it be God’ will (?)
What do you think?
Are you excited about our new ongoing category/series “Learning Chinese Through Songs?”
Have you also tried learning Chinese through songs?
Are you a Wanting Qu fan? Or have you even heard of her before?
If you haven’t then it’s fine too. One of our aims of this series is (besides teaching you Chinese) also to introduce you to good Chinese songs and new Chinese artists you might not have heard of.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this so please leave a message in the comments below.
David & Nicole
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