Daniel Goldman

Artwork

Daniel Goldman

A song in Chinese

art posts

One way of practicing language is to sing songs, but with Chinese this isn’t necessarily a great way to practice. For one, the Chinese pretty much don’t apply tones when they are singing, so without a text (which often accompany videos) Chinese songs can be rather difficult to understand. Another thing is, you need to find songs you like, and so far, I haven’t found many. One however that I do like a lot is called 春天里 (Chuntian Li, In Spring) by 往峰 (Wang Feng) which you can check out on YouTube here. I’ve given a shot at covering it and although it doesn’t quite hold up to the original, I kind of like it anyway so I’ll share it anyway. Recorded on my phone.

Here is the text, including the 3rd verse which I skipped. I based my translation on one from www.chinesetolearn.com

汪峰Wang Feng 春天里 Chun tian li – In Spring

Verse 1

还记得许多年前的春天
hái jìde xǔduō nián qián de chūntiān
I still remember the spring many years ago

那时的我还没剪去长发
nà shí de wǒ hái méi jiǎn qù chángfà
When I hadn’t yet cut my long hair

没有信用卡没有她
méiyǒu xìnyòngkǎ méiyǒu tā
I didn’t have a credit card, I didn’t have her

没有24小时热水的家
méiyǒu èrshísì xiǎoshi rèshuǐ de jiā
I did not have a home with 24 hours of hot running water

可当初的我是那么快乐
kě dāngchū de wǒ shì nàme kuàilè
However, back then I was so happy

虽然只有一把破木吉他
suīrán zhǐyǒu yī bǎpò mù jíta
Although I only had a broken wooden guitar

在街上,在桥下 在田野中
zài jiēshang ,zài qiáoxià zài tiányě zhōng
On the streets, under the bridges, and in the fields

唱着那无人问津的歌谣
chàngzhe nà wúrénwènjīn de gēyáo
I was singing ballads no one cared about

Chorus:

如果有一天 我老无所依
rúguǒ ( yě xǚ) yǒu yī tiān, wǒ lǎo wú suǒ yī
If the day comes when I’m old with no one to rely on

请把我留在 在那时光里
qǐng bǎ wǒ liú zài, zài nà shí guāng lǐ
Please let me stay (back) in that time

如果有一天 我悄然离去
rúguǒ yǒu yī tiān, wǒ qiāorán líqù
If the day comes that I quietly leave

请把我埋在 这春天里
qǐng bǎ wǒ máizài,(zai) zhè chūntiān lǐ
Please bury me in this spring

Verse 2

还记得那些寂寞的春天
hái jìde nàxiē jìmò de chūntiān
I still remember those lonely spring days

那时的我还没冒起胡须
nà shí de wǒ hái méi mào qi húxū
Back when I hadn’t yet grown a mustache

没有情人节 没有礼物
méiyǒu qíngrénjié méiyǒu lǐwù
No Valentine’s Day, no gifts

没有我那可爱的小公主
méiyǒu wǒ nà kě ài de xiǎo gōngzhǔ
I didn’t have my cute little princess

可我觉得一切没那么糟
kě wǒ juéde yīqiè méi nàme zāo
But I didn’t feel everything was so bad

虽然我只有对爱的幻想
suīrán wǒ zhǐyǒu duì ài de huànxiǎng
Although love was only a fantasy

在清晨 在夜晚 在风中
zài qīngchén zài yèwǎn zài fēng zhōng
Early in the morning, late at night, and in the winds

唱着那无人问津的歌谣
chàngzhe nà wúrénwènjīn de gēyáo
I was singing ballads no one asked about

Verse 3

凝视着此刻烂漫的春天
níngshìzháo cǐkè lànmàn de chūntiān
Watching this moment’s blooming spring

依然象那时温暖的模样
yīrán xiàng nà shí wēnnuǎn de múyàng
It seems to appear like the warmth of back then

我剪去长发留起了胡须
wǒ jiǎn qù chángfà liú qǐ le húxū
I cut my long hair and grew a mustache

曾经的苦痛都随风而去
céngjīng de kǔtòng dōu suí fēngé qù
The pain I once had were gone with the wind

可我感觉却是那么悲伤
kě wǒ gǎnjué què shì nàme bēishāng
But I still feel the sadness

岁月留给我更深的迷惘
suìyuè liú gěi wǒ gèng shēn de míwǎng
The years left me even more at a loss

在这阳光明媚的春天里
zài zhè yángguāng míng mèi de chūntiān lǐ
In this sunny, bright charming spring

我的眼泪忍不住的流淌
wǒ de yǎnlèi rěnbuzhù de liútǎng
My tears could not help but flow 

Chorus x 2

春天里
chūntiān lǐ
In spring

Selected Vocabulary:

许多 xǔduō (many)
剪 jiǎn (cut)
当初 dāngchū (at that time)
破 pò (broken)
吉他 jíta (guitar)
桥 qiáo (bridge)
问津 wènjīn (to make inquiries / to show interest ),
歌谣 gēyáo (folksong)
如果 rúguǒ (if)
所 依 suǒ yī (rely on)
留在 liú zài (retain/ remain,)
时光 shí guāng (time/period of time)
悄然 qiāorán(quietly)
离去 líqù (leave)
埋 mái (bury)
寂寞 jìmò (lonely)
冒起 mào qi (grow up),
胡须 húxū (mustache)
情人节 qíngrénjié (Valentine’s Day)
没公主 gōngzhǔ (princess)
一切 yīqiè (everything)
幻想 huànxiǎng (fantasy)
也许 yě xǚ (perhaps)
凝视 níngshì (stare/gaze),
着 zháo to touch/ feel; to be affected by;
此刻 cǐkè (this moment),
烂漫 lànmàn (brilliant, blooming)
依然 yīrán (still)
温暖 wēnnuǎn (warm)
模样 múyàng (look/appearance)
剪 jiǎn (cut),
留起 liú qǐ (to keep/to grow)
曾经 céngjīng (once/previously),
苦痛 kǔtòng (pain/suffering),
随 suí (with)
而 é (indicates a causal relation, change of state)
迷惘 míwǎng (confusion, at a loss, perplexed)
阳光 yángguāng (sunshine),
媚 mèi (charming)
眼泪 yǎnlèi (tear),
忍不住 rěnbuzhù (unable to bear)
流淌 liútǎng (flow)

1 Comments on “A song in Chinese”

  1. Wow! You made this a a great listening experience for the non-Chinese speaker/reader. I love that you included the English translation and vocabulary with this. I haven’t listened to the Chinese singer on UTube yet, but I will. I had no idea what Chinese popular music was like, sounds like they have been greatly influenced by the West… your voice and playing sound great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *