Sing Indian Love Call in Chinese

The theme song “Indian Love Call” of the movie “Rose Marie” is based on a presumed Aboriginal Canadian legend in which men would call down from the mountains and wait for the girls they wished to marry to echo back. You can click here to read about this song.

If you are not familiar with the movie, you can click here to watch the emotionally charged ending:

I happened to come across this video on youtube and was amazed by the way the yodel master Slim Whitman completely changed the character of the song.

Following are the lyrics of the version sung by Slim Whitman

When I’m calling you,
Will you answer, too?
That means I offer my love to you,
To be your own.
If you refuse me I will be blue, waiting all alone.
But if when you hear my love call ringing clear,
And I hear your answering echo so dear,
Then I will know our love will come true.
You’ll belong to me; I’ll belong to you.

I had fun looking for fitting Chinese words that rhyme with “you” so that the translated lyrics would mimic the original when sung. Here’s what I’ve got, and I hope you will give it a try and belt out these verses either to the breathtakingly (pun intended) beautiful original tune or to the lighthearted Slim Whitman version. In any case, your version will be unique, as it will be in Chinese.

Wǒ xiàng nǐ gāo hū.
I’m calling out to you.

Nǐ kě yuàn huífù?
Are you willing to reply?

我情意脉脉, 把心托付,
Wǒ qíngyì mò mò, bǎ xīn tuōfù,
Affectionately I entrust my heart,

pàn néng wéi ǒu.
hoping to become your companion.

听不到回音, 我会痛苦,
Tīng bù dào huíyīn, wǒ huì tòngkǔ,
Should I not hear a response, I will suffer (feel painful),

bēishāng hé gūdú.
and feel sad and lonely.

Dàn yuàn wǒ di gēshēng qīngxī yòu xiǎngliàng,
Hopfully my song is ringing loud and clear,

yuǎn yuǎn chuán lái qīn’ài di nǐ di huíxiǎng.
and from afar comes, my dear, your echo.

Rèqiè qídài
Fervently I’ll await

huānlè yǔ xìngfú.
joyfulness and happiness.

Nǐ shì wǒ de ài,
You are my love,

Wǒ fēi nǐ mò shǔ.
I belong to you and no one else.

If you would like to know how to sing “Down in the Valley” in Chinese, please click on this link.

Qíngrénjié kuàilè!
Happy Valentines Day!

Attention: The eBook “My Fatma” is now available for free download at This promotion ends on 2/14/2021 11:59 PM PST. Please help spread the word, and also remember to post a positive review at after reading the novel. Thanks much!

I Love You Truly in Chinese



While attending college, I once found myself in a classroom with just one other classmate in it. He suddenly asked me, “If you like a girl and don’t know what to say to her, what should you do?” Not knowing where he was coming from, and not knowing better, I offered the logical answer, “Just don’t say anything.” Now that I am older and wiser, albeit still having miles ahead to catch up with Ann Landers, I think I should have advised him to try to strike up a simple conversation about something innocuous. While there are people who are naturally sociable and make friends easily, there are just as many who find it hard to take the first step to break the ice. Thus, regrets for missed opportunities. You could compare this with a job application. If you don’t send out the application letter, the chance of getting that job is nil. If you sent in your application but didn’t land the job, it means this job is not meant for you. Try another one. Having a life companion does not guarantee happiness, but if you wish to share your life with someone, then by all means find someone compatible to love and cherish. As the song “Some Enchanted Evening” goes, “Once you have found her, never let her go.” Otherwise, “all through your life, you may dream all alone.”

The Chinese word for love as a noun is (àiqíng) or  (ài) .  (ài) can also be used as a verb. “我爱你. (Wǒ ài nǐ.)” is likely one of the first Chinese sentences you’ve learned. If you truly love someone, then you could add the word 真心 (zhēnxīn), which means wholehearted or wholeheartedly. To profess your unwavering love to someone far away, you could write:

天長地久, 此情不渝.
Tiānchángdìjiǔ cǐ qíng bù yú.
Like the everlasting heaven and earth, this love will never change.

When talking about length, the Chinese word for “long” is (cháng); when talking about duration in time, the Chinese word for “long” is (jiǔ). However, (cháng) can be used as an adjective to describe the length of a time period.

Wǒ děng le hěn jiǔ
I waited for quite a while.

Wǒ děng le yī duàn hěn cháng de shíjiān.
I waited for a long period of time.

Following are the lyrics to the sentimental song “I Love You Truly”.

I love you truly, truly, dear.
Life with its sorrow, life with its tears
Fades into dream when I feel you are near,
For I love you truly, truly, dear.

我真心爱你, 此情不渝.
Wǒ zhēnxīn ài nǐ, cǐ qíng bù yú.
I love you truly, this heart will never change.

Rénshēng de tòngkǔ hé bēi qī
The pain and cares of life

Mèng zhōng xiānghuì shí jiù dōu xiāoqù.
All disappear when we meet in dreams.

我是真心爱你, 此情不渝.
Wǒ zhēnxīn ài nǐ, cǐ qíng bù yú.
I do love you truly, this heart will never change.

At this link is a video featuring another love song “Down in the Valley” in Chinese. The lyrics are discussed in Chapter 13 of the book “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes”.

Qíngrénjié kuàilè!
Happy Valentines Day!

Chinese idioms involving the dog

Puppy Figurine

If you forgot to make a New Year’s resolution, now is your chance to make a Chinese New Year’s resolution. My resolution this year is to complete one of the books that have been sitting on my back burner for years. This one is a cookbook for people who are prone to the migraine disease. If you are a fellow migraineur, stay tuned. Hopefully the Year of the Dog will lend me the required energy to get this e-book out soon.

Speaking of dogs, the very first song my mother taught me when I was little had these lines:

Yī zhī hǎbagǒu
A Pekingese dog

dūn zài dàmén kǒu
squats at the front entrance,

yǎnjing hēiyōuyōu
with eyes shiny black,

xiǎng chī ròu gútou
wanting to eat a meaty bone.

Dogs, or 狗 (gǒu), have been man’s best friend for about 3300 years. However, they have received mixed reviews in regards to their personality. Their unparalleled loyalty, or 忠诚度 (zhōngchéng dù), and capacity for love make them heart-winning house pets, or 宠物 (chǒngwù). On the other hand, when their mean streaks surface, they are cute no more, and in both English and Chinese the word “dog” also equates to “damned” or “cursed”. Therefore there are quite a few commonly used Chinese idioms that do not feature dogs in the best light.

In general, keeping a dog in a home is regarded as auspicious. When you learn of a friend’s adopting a pet dog, you could congratulate him or her by saying:

Gǒu lái fú.
Dog comes and brings good fortune.

Dogs have much keener sense of smell, sight and hearing than human beings. They can protect a family by barking or yapping at strangers. It is believed that they are able to tell the good guys from the bad as well as the rich and powerful from the poor and dejected. When someone puts you down, you are apt to think:

哼! 狗眼看人低!
Hng! Gǒuyǎnkànrén dī!
Humph! What a snob (like a dog)!

Sometimes the dog makes a mistake, as in the following story. 呂洞賓 (Lǚ Dòngbīn) was a scholar in the Tang Dynasty. He was well known for his studies in Taoism, medicine and various other subject matters as well as his kind heart. People ranked him among one of the eight great immortals of that time. It came to pass that one day Lǚ saw a starving dog. Out of sympathy, he gave the dog the dumpling that he was eating. The dog devoured the dumpling, but turned around and bit Lǚ. If someone ill rewards your kindness, you could tell others about it by using this saying:

狗咬呂洞賓, 不识好人心.
Ggǒuyǎolǚdòngbīn, bù shì hǎorén xīn.
Dog bites Lǚ Dòngbīn; can’t recognize a good heart when it sees one.

Often a dog will threaten people on the strength of its master’s power. 狗仗人勢 (Gǒuzhàngrénshì) means to bully someone under the protection of a powerful superior.

Now, if a dog bothers you, but it has a powerful master, or if the dog’s master is your friend, you would think twice before hitting the dog. The following idiom teaches you to look at the bigger picture instead of reacting hastily in some situations.

Dǎ gǒu kàn zhǔrén.
Mind whose dog it is before you strike.

Like a cornered dog, a person who has run out of resources might do something desperate. 狗急跳牆 (gǒujítiàoqiáng) means that, in a dire situation, a dog could jump over a wall.

Literally 打落水狗 (dǎluòshuǐgǒu) is to beat a drowning dog. Figuratively it means to deal a blow to a person who has lost power or favor, or to completely crush a defeated enemy.

If you made an inexcusable blunder at your job, your boss might level a stream of abusive language at you. This is likened to a jet of dog blood sprayed onto your head, as in:

Lǎobǎn bǎ wǒ mà le gè gǒuxuěpēntóu.
The boss gave me a piece of his mind.

People who love to advise others but only have inept or even bad advice to offer are referred to as 狗頭軍師 (gǒutóujūnshī). 军师 (jūnshī) is a military counsellor.

The following expressions involve the dog plus another animal.

狗咬耗子 (gǒu yǎo hàozi) translates to: “Dog bites rat.” It refers to people meddling in other people’s affairs, which are none of their business.

If someone, for whom you have little regard, utters crude language, offers useless advice, or writes a mediocre article, you might make this disparaging remark to a third party:

Gǒu zuǐ li zhǎng bù chū xiàngyá.
A dog’s mouth can’t grow ivory.
(What can a dog do but bark?)

挂羊头卖狗肉 (guà yáng tóu mài gǒu ròu) means to display a goat’s head but sell dog meat, in other words, to bait and switch.

狐群狗党 (húqúngǒudǎng) refers to a gang of scoundrels (compared to foxes and wild dogs). 群 (qún) is a group of people, a crowd or a heard of animals. 党 (dǎng) usually refers to a political party.

You might describe a cold-blooded or unscrupulous person as having a wolf’s heart and a dog’s lungs, as in 狼心狗肺 (lángxīngǒufèi).

偷鸡摸狗 (tōu jī mō gǒu) means to engage in petty dishonest activities, such as stealing or having extra-marital affairs. 偷 (tōu) is to steal, pilfer or to be on the sly. 摸 (mō) is to feel or touch.

In traditional Chinese families, people are of the opinion that a daughter who has been married off must stick with her husband regardless of what kind of person he is. Remember that in earlier times, marriages were arranged by the parents, and Chinese women did not have a choice of whom they married.

Jià jī suí jī, jià gǒu suí gǒu.
If you married a chicken, follow the chicken,
and if you married a dog, follow the dog.

It is interesting to note that the original saying goes like this:

Jià qǐ suí qǐ, jià sǒu suí sǒu.
If you married a beggar, follow the beggar,
and if you married an old man, follow the old man.

No matter which way the saying is phrased, it teaches the women to 认命 (rènmìng), i.e. to accept their fate and try to work out the differences to keep the marriage in harmony. I think that goes for men as well.

Yeah, check out Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes
to learn additional Chinese expressions, idioms and sayings.

Qíngrén Jié kuàilè!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chūnjié kuàilè!
Happy Spring Festival!

Valentine’s Day in Chinese



We had three 烛光晚餐 (Zhúguāng wǎncān candlelight dinners) in a row, albeit not by choice. An overnight snow storm draped the entire landscape with 9 inches of whiteness, transforming our town into a magical cake slathered with a generous layer of frosting, and its features artfully decorated with icing. The pointed branches of the fir trees provided an elegant framework for showcasing the icy gracefulness. These were indeed beautiful to behold. We would have continued to enjoy this tranquil winter scene had the power not suddenly gone out after three days of incessant snowing. In our neck of woods, that also meant no gas and water. The eventual return of electricity ended the fun of camping by our wood stove. Life snaps back to the Internet mode.

During a lull in the snow storm, a colony of 知更鸟 (zhīgēngniǎo robins) graced the flowering cherry tree in our front yard. I snapped a few photos from the comfort of this side of the window. This I give as an excuse for the blurriness of the picture, which, on the other hand, lends it a sort of 朦胧的美 (ménglóng de měi hazy or veiled beauty).

Like the little birds, little children seem carefree and innocent while they are at play. Often they mimic grown-ups, perhaps in preparation for their own adulthood. Hence such children’s games and nursery rhymes as “He loves me, he loves me not” and “Lavender’s Blue”. Following is a translation of the first stanza of “Lavender’s Blue”, also known as “Lavender Blue”. I thought the rendition of “Lavender’s Blue” at this link is rather cute.

Xūn yī cǎo lán yòu xiāng,
Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly,
Lavender is blue and fragrant,

Xūn yī cǎo lǜ
Lavender’s green.
Lavender is green.

我当王, 喜洋洋,
Wǒ dāng wáng, xǐyángyáng,
When I am king, dilly dilly,
I’ll be the king, and joyfully

lái bǎ nǐ qǔ.
You shall be queen.
come to wed you.

In the second stanza, there is a question the translation of which you may find handy.

Shé shuō de?
Who said so?

Shì shé gàosù nǐ de?
Who told you so?

In Chinese, childhood sweethearts are often spoken of as 青梅竹马 (qīngméizhúmǎ). 青梅 (qīngméi) are green plums that are often pickled for snacking. These green fruits may be construed as referring to the immature young girls. 竹马 (zhúmǎ) is a bamboo pole or broom that young boys straddle and “ride” around as a “pretend horse”. Therefore, this term refers to the young boys.

Does this remind you of your own puppy love? Do you still miss your childhood sweetheart?

Qíngrén Jié kuàilè!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

The altar radical

(shì) means to instruct, to show, to indicate or to give a sign. This character assumes the shape of an altar. Therefore, many words related to deities, ancestors, worship, cemonies and blessings take on this radical.

(shén) refers to deity or divinity. It also means magical, such as in 神奇 (shénqí miraculous).

祈祷 (qídǎo) is to say one’s prayers.

Wǒ xiàng tiānshén qídǎo.
I pray to God in Heaven.

祖宗 (zǔzōng) is one’s ancestry or forefathers. 祭祀 (jìsì) is to worship and offer sacrifice to gods or ancestors. Many Chinese families still perform rituals to pay respect to their ancestors on the major holidays.

宗教 (zōngjiào) refers to religions, such as, in alphabetical order, 佛教 (Fójiào Buddhism), 天主教 (jīdūjiào Catholicism), 基督教 (jīdūjiào Christianity), 回教 (huíjiào Islam), 犹太教 (yóutàijiào Judaism), and 道教 (dàojiào Taoism).

礼仪 (lǐyí) are rites and protocols.

社会 (shèhuì) means society. 社会学 (shèhuìxué) is sociology.

Shèhuì shàng yǒu xǔduō jiànyìyǒngwéi de rén.
In the society there are many who are ready to take up the cudgel for a just cause.

(jìn) is to prohibit. Take heed of any sign with this character on it. For example, 禁止入内 (Jìnzhǐ rù nèi) means entry is prohibited.

吉祥 (jíxiáng) means auspicious or propitious. The Chinese love things and creatures that symbolize good luck and good fortune, such as a dragon, a phoenix, a pair of woodducks, or a jade bracelet. The Taiwanese consider the pineapple, 凤梨 (fènglí), auspicious because in the Taiwanes dialect this word sounds the same as “prosperity coming”. This reminds me of one of the delicacies for which Taiwan is famous, namely, the pinapple shortbread called 凤梨酥 (fènglí sū). If you have been deprived of the pleasure of munching on one of those savory bites, click on the above link for an excellent writeup that will give you an idea of how crazy some of us are about this little snack.

(zhù) is to express good wishes. 祝福 (zhùfú) is to give blessing to someone. This word can also be used as a noun. 庆祝 (qìngzhù) is to celebrate.

Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè!
Happy Birthday to you!

口福 (kǒufú) is a gourmand’s luck. If you are invited by a friend to a delicious dinner, you could say at the table:

Jīntiān wǒ yǒu kǒufú le!
What a delicious treat!

(lù) is the formal word for salary, and connotes income. (xǐ) represents auspiciousness and happiness. These, along with (fú good fortune) and 寿 (shòu longevity) are the four major blessings for the Chinese.

As Valentines day is coming up, a few relevant words seem in order. 表示 (biǎoshì) means to express or to indicate, 暗示 (ànshì) is to suggest or to drop a hint, and 示意 (shìyì) is to send a signal. 求爱 (qiúài beg for love) is to court or woo. 相爱 (xiāng ài) means to love each other. Therefore, within a sentence this word will take on multiple subjects or a pronoun indicating multiple persons. For example,

Tāmen shēn shēn di xiāng ài.
They love each other deeply.

If you have a 心上人 (xīn shàng rén), somebody for whom you have a hot spot in your heart, you might enjoy the song featured in my 3/26/11 blog post. When that person has turned into your spouse, you could call him or her 亲爱的 (qīnài de dear, darling), or 甜心 (tián xīn sweetheart).

If you have a 心上人 (xīn shàng rén), somebody for whom you have a hot spot in your heart, you might enjoy the song featured in my 3/26/11 blog post. When that person has turned into your spouse, you could call him or her 亲爱的 (qīnài de dear, darling), or 甜心 (tián xīn sweetheart), but not 蜂蜜 (fēngmì honey), which, as written, has not yet been adopted as a Chinese term of endearment.

情人 means lover or lovers.

Qíngrén jié kuàilè!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
(Happy Lovers’ Day!)

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