Thursday, July 8, 2010

Six Plus 六甲樂團 - Taike Song 台客Song translation

This song has a ton of footnotes, which is understandable because it's all about Taiwanese culture, and a lot of Taiwanese culture is fairly obscure, even to people who know something about the Sinosphere and Chinese.

I'm not exactly sure what's going on in the music video. I think they're supposed to be skanking, but it looks like they're doing some kind of black suit and tie Riverdance up there. Nor do I know why they are floating around in the air. It's a bit odd.

Six Plus only ever released one album in 2004, plus a couple of songs on the Smile Pasta soundtrack. Their sound is rap-rock, their lyrics tend to be aggressive, and the content is unmistakeably Taiwanese, especially in this song.

I should explain taike first. Two characters, tai from Taiwan, and ke which means "guest". This term originating as basically a condescending term used for people born in Taiwan by the nationalists who retreated to the island in 1949. To the KMT at that time, everything Taiwanese was backwards, the Taiwanese people hicks and fools who had rolled over under the Japanese occupation. You could compare the term to "redneck".

In recent times, the term taike has been reclaimed as a term of pride (much like "redneck" and other such terms). It's hard to define what "taike" is... it's one of those "know it when you see it" kind of things, much of the time. The examples people typically give are things like riding a moped with plastic slippers on... keeping your cigarettes in your sleeve... drinking Taiwan Beer and chewing betel nut... wearing grungy wifebeaters... You'll notice these are all male things. The female term is taimei.

And of course, speaking Taiwanese (aka Holo aka Hoklo aka Taiwanese Hokkien aka Taiwanese Min Nan aka probably a few other things I've forgotten) instead of Mandarin.

I can't speak Taiwanese or understand it. I would like to learn it sometime but that's a daunting task. Primarily because it has a 3-way distinction between voiced/voiceless unaspirated/voiceless aspirated ([b/p/ph] if you know IPA) and I cannot, for the life of me, produce voiceless unaspirated at the beginning of a word. Also Taiwanese has very complicated tone sandhi rules, which are the rules governing when tones change to other tones.

Some people don't like calling it Taiwanese, because they feel like this denigrates the other languages spoken on Taiwan, particularly the languages spoken by the aboriginal Taiwanese.

You can't get away from politics in studying anything related to a Chinese language. I didn't have these problems when I took Latin! LOL.

In the pinyin, things in italics are in Taiwanese. I got the romanization of the Taiwanese by using this dictionary, and I have no idea if it's accurate.

異國的文化 一個家的文化 yi4guo2 de wen2hua4, yi4 ge jia1 de wen2hua4an exotic culture, a family's culture
不是花個幾兩銀子 七載八載 bu2 shi4 hua1 ge ji3 liang1 yin2zi qi1 zai3 ba1 zai3isn't a place where a couple bucks or a couple years
你就可以馬上被同化ni3 jiu4 ke3yi3 ma3shang4 bei4 tong2hua4will result in you being completely assimilated
人說讀萬卷書不如行萬里路 ren2 shuo1 du2 wan4 juan3 bu4 ru2 xing2 wan4 li3 lu4they say reading a thousand books isn't as good as walking a thousand miles
無論今日身在何處 異在他鄉 wu2lun4 jin1ri4 shen1 zai4 he2chu4, yi4 zai4 ta1xiang1no matter where you are today, whatever strange and foreign land
但是切記一定要回家dan4shi4 qie4ji4 yi2ding4 yao4 hui2 jia1always remember to come home
台客song 不爽 #tai2ke4 SONG, bô sóng#taike song, not good1
台客song 甲爽 tai2ke4 SONG, kah sóngtaike song, pretty good
台客song 真爽 tai2ke4 SONG, chin sóngtaike song, really good
台客song 有夠爽tai2ke4 SONG, ū-kàu sóngtaike song, good enough
美麗的寶島 人間的天堂 mei3li4 de bao3dao3, ren2jian1 de tian1tang2a beautiful gem of an island2, heaven on earth
身為台灣人就應該驕傲shen1 wei2 tai2wan1ren2 jiu4 ying1gai1 jiao4ao4as Taiwanese we ought to be proud
我們的國土 我們的家園 wo3men de guo2tu3, wo3men de jia1yuan2our country, our homeland
何必弄得滿身洋味he2bi4 nong4 de man3shen1 yang2wei4?why should should we make ourselves all Western?
你還不惜弄巧成拙 ni3 hai2 bu4 xi1 nong4 qiao3 cheng2 zhuo1you keep on rushing to outsmart yourself
惹得旁人覺得無味re3 de pang2ren2 jue2de wu2wei4so annoying that everyone around thinks you're tasteless
你那一付四不像的模樣 ni3 na4 yi2 fu4 si4bu2xiang4 de mo2yang4there's nothing about you that goes together
實在令人討厭shi2zai4 ling3 ren2 tao3yan4it really disgusts people!
*台客song 不爽 *(tai2ke4 SONG, bô-sóng)(taike song, not good)
本是同根生相煎何太急ben3shi4 tong2gen1sheng1 xiang1jian1 he2 tai4ji2we share the same roots, so why should we fight3
 台客 song 甲爽 (tai2ke4 SONG, kah sóng)(taike song, pretty good)
你可知道這是我們的文化ni3 ke3 zhi1dao4 zhe4 shi4 wo3men de wen2hua4do you understand, this is our culture
 台客song 真爽 (tai2ke4 SONG, chin sóng)(taike song, really good)
有什麼不滿你就大聲講you3 shen2me bu4 man3 ni3 jiu4 da4sheng4 jiang3if you're unsatisfied you immediately yell it out
 台客song 有夠爽 (tai2ke4 SONG, ū-kàu sóng)(taike song, good enough)
夜深了趕快回家ye4 shen1 le, gan3kuai4 hui2 jia1the night's gotten dark, return home at once
我說那些少數無知 wo3 shuo1 na4 xie1 shao3shu3 wu2zhi1I'm talking about that ignorant minority
頭殼有問題的ABCtou2ke2 you3 wen4ti3 de ABCof ABCs4 with something wrong with their heads
搞不懂你們為什麼要跩個二五八萬 gao3bu4dong3 ni3men wei4shen2me yao4 zhuai3 ge er4wu3ba1wan4I really don't get why y'all gotta swagger around like you've got four aces5
一付狗眼看人低yi2fu4 gou4 yan3 kan4 ren2 di3looking down on other people like dogs
揹負那些崇洋的文化 bei1fu2 na4 xie1 chong2yang2 de wen2hua4bearing those foreign cultures on your shoulders
實在已經看不下去shi2zai4 yi3jing1 kan4 bu4 xia4qu4I really can't stand to watch you anymore
難道你們甘願做一群 扶不起的阿斗ㄚnan2dao4 ni3men gan1yuan4 zuo4 yi4 qun2 fu3bu4qi3 de A1-Dou3 a?don't tell me y'all are willingly acting like a gang of pathetic morons6
講著奇怪的國語 滑稽的台語 jiang3zhe qi2guai4 de guo2yu3, hua2ji de tai2yu3speaking weird Mandarin and laughable Taiwanese
還有自以為很好的英文hai2you3 zi4 yi3wei2 hen3hao3 de ying1yu3but you think your English is great
就想來騙吃騙喝 隨便嚷嚷 唬弄過去jiu4 xiang3 lai2 pian4chi1pian4he2, sui2bian4 rang3rang3, hu3nong4 guo4qu4you're an obvious freeloader, always grumbling and doing everything half-assed
已經把耳朵豎起來聽 yi3jing1 ba3 er3duo1 shu4qi3lai2 ting1you've got your ears perked up to listen
聽的懂得沒來幾句 ting1dedong3 de mei2 lai2 ji3 ju4but you haven't even understood a few sentences7
你那一付四不像的模樣 ni3 na4 yi2fu4 si4bu2xiang4 de mo2yang4there's nothing about you that goes together
實在令人同情shi2zai4 ling3 ren2 tong2qing2!it really makes people feel sorry for you!
repeat # x 2repeat # x2repeat # x2
song 不爽 song 甲爽 SONG, bô sóng, SONG, kah sóngsong, not good, song, pretty good
song 真爽 有夠爽SONG, chin sóng, SONG, ū-kàu sóngsong, really good, song, good enough
在外地吃喝拉撒睡 zai4 wai4di4 chi1he1la1sa1shui4getting all your bodily needs in a foreign country8
比不上家鄉的魯肉飯 bi3bu4shang4 jia1xiang1 de lu3rou4fan4can't compare to a bowl of braised pork rice9 in your hometown
配著一瓶清涼又爽口的台灣啤酒pei2zhe yi4 ping2 qing1liang2 you4 shuang3kou3 de Tâi-ôan bì-luhpaired with a bottle of cold, refreshing Taiwan Beer10
接著抬頭一看 電視機會傳來一聲耳熟能詳的問候語 jie1zhe tai2 tou2 yi2 kan4 dian4shi4ji3 hui4 chuan2lai2 yi4 sheng1 er3shou2neng2xiang2 de wen4hou4yu3and looking up at the tv where there comes the familiar sound of the greeting11
朋友順啊pêng-iú, sūn a!follow along, my friends12
Repeat *Repeat *Repeat *
台客song 不爽 (tai2ke4 SONG, bô sóng)(taike song, not good)
少壯不努力老大徒傷悲shao4​zhuang4​bu4​nu3​li4​, lao3​da4​tu2​shang1​bei1​if you don't work hard when you're young, you'll regret it when you're old13
台客song 甲爽 (tai2ke4 SONG, kah sóng)(taike song, pretty good)
你可知道這是我們的故鄉ni3 ke3 zhi1dao4 zhe4shi4 wo3men de gu4xiang1do you understand, this is our homeland
台客song 真爽 (tai2ke4 SONG, chin sóng)(taike song, really good)
趁現在年輕回頭是岸chen4 xian4zai4 nian2qing1 hui2tou2 shi4 an1take advantage of your youth, it's not too late
台客song 有夠爽 (tai2ke4 SONG, ū-kàu sóng)(taike song, good enough)
同胞們趕快回家tong2bao1men, gan3kuai4 hui2 jia1my fellow countrymen, return home at once
異國的文化 一個家的文化 yi4guo2 de wen2hua4, yi4 ge jia1 de wen2hua4an exotic culture, a family's culture
不是花個幾兩銀子 七載八載 bu2 shi4 hua1 ge ji3 liang1 yin2zi qi1 zai3 ba1 zai3isn't a place where a couple bucks or a couple years
你就可以馬上被同化ni3 jiu4 ke3yi3 ma3shang4 bei4 tong2hua4will result in you being completely assimilated
台客songtai2ke4 SONGtaike song

1. This is in Taiwanese. Translating this word as "good" isn't really adequate, but it's the only way I know how to keep the same word in all four uses.
2. A probable reference to the Portuguese name "Ilha Formosa", which means "beautiful island".
3. A line from Cao Zhi.
4. The lyrics say "ABG" but that makes no sense. "ABC" is a common slang and works in context; I have searched, but I can't find anything, in Chinese or in English, using ABG to mean any kind of person; all I'm finding is about "arterial blood gas". I really doubt that the singer is dissing arterial blood gas. Errors in English in Chinese lyrics are not at all uncommon. I remember one that had "right" as "rihgt". That was in the CD booklet.
Oh and if you don't know "ABC" originally stands for "American-Born Chinese" but in practice is also used to describe Chinese-Canadians, Chinese-Australian, etc etc. This entire verse could be viewed as a description of the ABC stereotype in Chinese communities.
5. I substitute "four aces" (which most English speakers will recognize as a winning poker hand) for the original, which is a term for a similarly lucky hand in Mahjong.
6. "A-Dou" is the nickname of Liu Shan, the son of Liu Bei. His name has become a word for utterly incapable people who can't succeed even with someone holding their hand all the way. (I would translate "A-Dou" as "Scrappy", both having a meaning like "fighting" and both sounding childlike, which is funny, because Scrappy Doo and A-Dou are similarly held in contempt by most people.)
7. I'm guessing this is because the lyrics use a lot of convoluted grammar and references to literature that an ABC would not necessarily get, plus he's speaking fast. Like I understood maybe... a third?.. before looking at the lyrics.
8. Literally "eating drinking shitting pissing sleeping". LOL.
9. A very simple snack.
10. TAIWAN BEER WOOHOO. Sorry, nostalgia. He pronounces it in Taiwanese instead of Mandarin, and apparently the Taiwanese word for beer is a loanword from English "beer" via Japanese "biiru".
11. Lots of low-end restaurants in Taiwan have tvs. Only instead of being tuned to sports like they would be in the US, they are usually tuned to the news. I don't know why.
12. This line is in Taiwanese. Probably a reference to something that I would know if I spoke Taiwanese. LOL.
13. STAY IN CHINESE SCHOOL, KIDS. Oh this is another idiom btw.

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