Sing Scandinavian Song “Winde Weh’n” in Chinese

With our feathered friends flitting among the tree branches, there is no mistaking that a renewed vitality is in the air. Is there also a sense of joy springing from your heart? Perhaps also a general feeling of love, somthing akin to “this yearning burning in me” (as Mozart put it in The Marriage of Fiagaro)?

One way of giving an outlet of the feeling of love is to express it in a song. The Scandinavian song “Winde Weh’n” (sung in German) aptly captures the sincere love of a sailor in a mesmerizing melody and simple words. For the occasion of Valentine’s Day, I’ve translated it into Chinese below.

风儿飘,船儿摇,
Fēng er piāo, chuán ér yáo,
The wind blows, the boat rocks,

徐徐往远方。
xúxú wǎng yuǎnfāng.
slowly going into the distance.

那水手心中最亲爱的人,
Nà shuǐshǒu xīnzhōng zuì qīn’ài de rén,
The dearest person in the sailor’s heart,

在岸边泪汪汪。
zài àn biān lèi wāngwāng.
stays weeping on the shore.

那水手心中最亲爱的人,
Nà shuǐshǒu xīnzhōng zuì qīn’ài de rén,
The dearest person in the sailor’s heart,

在岸边泪汪汪。
zài àn biān lèi wāngwāng.
stays weeping on the shore.

莫悲傷, 甜臉龐,
Mò bēishāng, tián liǎnpáng,
Don’t you cry, lovely eyes.
(Don’t be sad, lovely face.)

快把淚擦干。
Kuài bǎ lèi cā gān.
Wipe your sad tears dry.

惦着我和那欢乐的时光,
Diànzhe wǒ hé nà huānlè de shíguāng,
Think of me and the happy times we had,

等我回到你身旁。
děng wǒ huí dào nǐ shēn páng.
and wait ’til I’m by your side.

惦着我和那欢乐的时光,
Diànzhe wǒ hé nà huānlè de shíguāng,
Think of me and the happy times we had,

等我回到你身旁。
děng wǒ huí dào nǐ shēn páng.
and wait ’til I’m by your side.

金银财宝, 一满箱,
Jīn yín cáibǎo, yī mǎn xiāng,
Silver and gold, a whole chestful,

看我载回来。
kàn wǒ zài huílái.
watch me bring it back.

丝绸和珠宝,琳琅满目,
Sīchóu hé zhūbǎo, línlángmǎnmù,
Silk and jewels, dazzling to the eye,

样样都献给你。
yàng yàng dōu xiàn gěi nǐ.
and all these I give to you.

丝绸和珠宝,琳琅满目,
Sīchóu hé zhūbǎo, línlángmǎnmù,
Silk and jewels, dazzling to the eye,

样样都献给你。
yàng yàng dōu xiàn gěi nǐ.
and all these I give to you.

The Chinese word for lovers is 情人 (qíngrén).

情人节快乐!
Qíngrénjié kuàilè!
Happy Valentines Day!

Ebook for learning Chinese

Chinese ebook 中文電子書   zhōngwén diànzǐ shū

I like to read print books as well as ebooks. I also enjoy listening to audio books. It is through written or spoken words that human beings are able to communicate with one another or pass down information and knowledge from generation to generation. Besides, a good book is like a good friend who informs, educates, advises, entertains, comforts and always remains faithful. Therefore, the value of good books cannot be overestimated.

The traditional Chinese character for books is (shū) . In the simplified Chinese character system, it is represented by (shū). Books can also be referred to as 书本 (shūběn) or 书籍 (shūjí). 教科书 (jiàokēshū) are textbooks, 参考书 (cānkǎoshū) are reference books and 百科全书 (bǎikēquánshū) is an encyclopedia. 小说 (xiǎoshuō novels) and 闲书 (xiánshū) are for light reading. The general term for books and newspapers is 书报 (shūbào); 书刊 (shūkān) refers to books and periodicals. 书名 (shūmíng) is the title of a book.

这是一本有趣的故事书.
Zhè shì yī běn yǒuqù de gùshi shū.
This is an interesting storybook.

You might go to the library 图书馆 (túshūguǎn) to borrow books 借书 (jiè shū). You might place the books on a desk 书桌 (shūzhuō), a bookrack 书柜 (shūguì) or a bookshelf 书架 (shūjià) in your study 书房 (shūfáng), where you might also find a 订书机 (dìngshūjī stapler).

你有没有这个图书馆的借书证?
Nǐ yǒu méiyǒu zhègè túshūguǎn de jièshūzhèng?
Do you have the library card for this library?

书店 (shūdiàn) is a bookstore, and 书摊 (shūtān) is a bookstall or bookstand. On the other hand, 书局 (shūjú) or 出版社 (chūbǎnshè) is a publishing house.

A grade-school kid usually carries books in a 书包 (shūbāo satchel) or 背包 (bèibāo backpack) to go to school. 读书 (dúshū) means to study or to attend school. At school they might be asked to commit certain reading material to memory. 背书 (bèishū) is to recite a lesson from memory. In the business world, this word means to place one’s endorsement on a cheque.

看书 (kàn shū) is to read, not just to look at a book.

The word (shū) not only refers to books but its meaning also extends to letters and documents. It is also used as a verb (i.e. to write) in classical Chinese.

书信 (shūxìn) and 书简 (shūjiǎn) refers to letters, correspondence or written messages. 手书 (shǒushū) is a personal letter. As a verb, it means to write in one’s own hand.

文书 (wénshū) is a general term for documents. 说明书 (shuōmíngshū) are instruction flyers or pamphlets. 通知书 (tōngzhīshū) are written notices. 上书 (shàngshū) is to submit a written statement to a higher authority.

他常常写情书给安吉.
Tā chángcháng xiě qíngshū gěi Ānjí.
He often writes love letters to Angie.

If he keeps up the effort, he might eventually win her heart and secure a 结婚证书 (jiéhūnzhèngshū marriage certificate).

书写 (shūxiě) means the same as (xiě to write) but is used in a more formal way, sometimes implying the use of Chinese calligraphy. In fact, 书画 (shūhuà) refers to paintings and calligraphy, and the Chinese word for calligraphy is 书法 (shūfǎ). 草书 (cǎoshū) does not mean “grass book”. It is a cursive Chinese writing style that features free flowing strokes that often render the characters unintelligible to the untrained eyes.

书面 (shūmiàn) means “in writing”. So a written permission is called 书面许可 (shūmiànxǔkě).

I guess because a secretary shuffles lots of papers, including confidential documents, he or she is called a 秘书 (mìshū). A bookworm is called a 书呆子 (shūdāizi). 书生 (shūshēng) is a young scholar, while 白面书生 (báimiànshūshēng pale-faced scholar) can imply lack of experience and real-world knowledge.

To encourage people to read books, a well known Chinese saying goes like this:

书中自有黄金屋;
Shū zhòng zì yǒu huángjīn wū;
In books there are mansions of gold;

书中自有颜如玉.
shū zhòng zì yǒu yán rú yù.
in books there are beauties to be found.

(zì) as a noun means self. As an adverb, it means certainly or of course. As a preposition it means from or since. As fiction is the product of an author’s imagination, of course one could find in it fantastic gold mansions and/or out-of-this-world beauties.

(yán) means color. It also refers to one’s face or prestige. A beautiful woman’s complexion is often compared to the color of white jade. Therefore, 如玉 (rú yù) is an expression for complimenting on a woman’s beautiful face.

In the book titled “By the Great Horn Spoon”, the main character Praiseworthy, a gentlemanly butler managed to beat a burly hillbilly in a boxing match all because he had studied the strategy and tactics from a boxing instruction book. If you haven’t read this entertaining and educative book, here are the links to the audio files: Part 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxC3ywSnNSc, Part 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk-Xgqqxbmo

Although it helps to attend a Chinese language instruction class, you can study Chinese on your own if you can get hold of good books and audio material. Many of my readers have found “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes” helpful. I am pleased to announce that this book is now available in ebook format. You can download it from amazon.com or Apple iBooks Store. If you’ve already purchased the printed book from amazon.com and wish to also get the ebook version, you can do so at amazon.com for a discounted MatchBook price. If you have any questions about learning Chinese, feel free to post a comment to any article on this blog site.

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