Some Chinese people believe that everyone’s fate is compiled in a celestial book called 天書 (tiānshū). In fact, the main character in the novel titled 红楼梦 (Hónglóumèng Dream of the Red Mansion) managed to get a glimpse of this heavenly book in one of his dreams. As 天書 (tiānshū) is in Chinese, the more reason for you to master the written Chinese language. Just kidding.
You’ve probably wondered why you are who you are, where you are and how you are. Is it all in the genes, is it due to your parents’ and your own efforts, or is it the outcome of a predetermined sequence of cause and effect admixed with a bit of magic at times? We will leave the argument of nature versus nurture to the philosophers. The correct answer for us today is, “Que sera sera.” That’s Spanish for “What will be, will be.”
“Que Sera Sera” is a song written by the Jay Livingston and Ray Evans songwriting team and made internationally popular by the adorable Doris Day. The lively tune buoys our spirits despite the fact that there is not really an answer to the big question. Click on this link to hear the Mandarin version performed by Teresa Deng.
世事 (shìshì) is the abbreviation of 世界上的事 (shìjiè shàng de shì), i.e. the affairs of life. Therefore 世事多变化. (Shìshì duō biànhuà.) means things in life change.
问 (wèn) means to ask. 问题 (wèntí) are questions. 好些问题 (hǎoxiē wèntí) means a good deal of questions.
将来 (jiānglái) means the future or in the future.
幸福 (xìngfú) means well-being or living happily.
或是 (huò shì) means or, perhaps.
有一番道理 (yǒu yī fān dàoli) means makes sense. You could also say 有道理 (yǒu dàoli).
未来 (wèilái future) means the future or future (adjective). 怎能 (zěn néng) means “how could one”. 料得及 (liào de jí) means able to predict. The complete line means “How could one predict the future?”
人生 (rénshēng) is life. 本是 (běn shì) is short for 本来是 (běnlái shì) means “after all is”. 谜 (mí) is a riddle. So, life is after all a riddle.
结婚后 (jiéhūn hòu) means “after getting married”. 夫唱妇又随 (fū chàng fù yòu suí) comes from the Chinese idiom 夫唱妇随 (fū chàng fù suí), which literally translates to: “The husband sings and the wife follows.” The traditional Chinese view is that a good wife should dance to her husband’s tune. This line describes a harmonious married life.
不止一回 (bùzhǐ yī huí) means not just once, or more than once.
是否永久 (shìfǒu yǒngjiǔ) means “whether or not if will be forever”.
多虑 (duō lǜ) means worrying too much.
现在的 (xiànzài de) is an adjective that means current or present. 儿女 (érnǚ) are one’s children.
伶俐 (língli) means bright and clever.
提起好些问题 (tíqǐ hǎoxiē wèntí) means to raise quite a few questions.
前途 (qiántú) is one’s future or prospect. 如意 (rúyì) means to have one’s wishes fulfilled.
劝 (quàn) is to advise or to persuade somebody.
莫 (mò) is the formal word for “don’t”, “not” or “no”. 莫多虑 (Mò duō lǜ.) means “Don’t worry too much.” In everyday speech, you would say: 別想太多. (Bié xiǎng tàiduō. Don’t think too much.)
May the New Year bring you health, happiness and good fortune!
May your wishes come true in the new year!