The traditional Chinese character for clouds is 雲 (yún). Like 電 (diàn electricity), it lost the “rain” radical in the conversion to the Simplified Chinese character set.
In classical Chinese 云 (yún) means to say or to state. In the Simplified Chinese character system, it means clouds.
The clouds, suspended in the sky or moving freely above, out of reach, ephemeral and unfathomable, is often compared to the transitory nature of certain human affairs. It also represents freedom and a carefree state of mind. The term 风云人物 (fēngyúnrénwù man of the day) likens prominent personages that command people’s attention to the powerful movement of vigorous winds and clouds.
霄 (xiāo) means clouds or the sky. Therefore, 云霄 (yúnxiāo) refers to the skies. 九霄云外 (jiǔxiāoyúnwài) means beyond the highest heavens or skies.
Yǒu nǐ zài shēnbiān, wǒ bǎ yīqiè fánnǎo pāo dào le jiǔxiāoyúnwài.
With you by my side, I cast all my worries to outer space.
戒心 (jièxīn) means vigilance. Therefore 把戒心抛到九霄云外 (bǎ jièxīn pāo dào jiǔxiāoyúnwài) means to throw caution to the winds.
烟消云散 (yānxiāoyúnsàn) means to vanish into thin air. You could use this phrase to describe an interest or desire, the memory of a certain event, or the disintegration of an entity.
The phrase 过眼云烟 (guòyǎnyúnyān) likens worldly possessions, such as riches and fame, to transitory clouds and smokes.
Wǒmén de nèi duàn qíng bùguò shì guòyǎnyúnyān.
That love affair of ours was nothing but a passing waft of smoke.
天有不测风云 (tiānyǒubùcèfēngyún) means something unexpected may suddenly happen just like a storm may abruptly arise out of nowhere. This line is paired with 人有旦夕祸福 (rényǒudànxīhuòfú), which means that one may find good fortune or go to ruins overnight. When you hear of a misfortune befalling a movie star or an acquaintance, you would shake your head and say:
All right, here is a popular song, titled 我是一片云 (Wǒ shì yī piàn yún I am a Cloud), sung by 凤飞飞 (Fèng Fēifēi). This short song expresses in simple wording a common sentiment. Don’t we all wish to be as carefree as a cloud?
朝 (zhāo) is the classical word for morning or day. 暮 (mù) is the classical word for evenings or sunset. We’ve come across these words in the phrase 朝朝暮暮 (zhāozhāomùmù day and night, or all the time).
If you remember from one of our early lessons, 升 (shēng) means to go up or to elevate.
自在 (zìzai) means at ease and being comfortable with oneself. 潇洒 (xiāosǎ) means carefree and unrestrained, like a splash of water.
Wǒ de nánpéngyǒu yīngjùn yòu xiāosǎ.
My boyfriend is handsome and cool.
身 (shēn) is the abbreviation of 身体 (shēntǐ body or health). In this song, this word refers to the body.
随 (suí) means to follow.
魂 (hún) is the soul or the spirit.
梦 (mèng) are dreams.
飞 (fēi) means to fly.
无牵挂 (wú qiānguà) means without worry or care.
You might also be interested in watching a couple other related videos. In this one, the singer dedicates the song to a fan. In the introductory remark, the singer told her fan that although her album may have given the latter the courage to continue with life, it was the doctor’s skills that saved the fan’s life. The tears in the singer’s eyes reveal genuine feelings from the heart. At the end of the performance the singer encourages her fan to continue to be courageous and strong – 继续勇敢坚强. (Jìxù yǒnggǎn jiānqiáng.)
The video at this link shows a number of the singer’s fans singing this song together. Why not join in the fun?