Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Blog Template!

Isn't this design super cute? I got it here. What I usually do, however, is download templates and then edit them by making my own headers, color themes, etc., but I might stick with this one since it's so cute!

And plus, the entries look very clean and neat and easy to read.

Looking for more blogger templates? Go here. They have some really nice, sleek designs.

Some of my favorites that I may be using in the future:
Valley
Missed Spring
Good Night
Crazy Monsters
Far Away

There are just too many too choose from!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stefanie Sun Yan Zi - Dark Sky (天黑黑 Tian Hei Hei) Lyrics

A while ago, I posted the lyrics of Stefanie Sun's 天黑黑. I began translating the lyrics into English myself soon afterwards, and though I found the "original" English translations to be very accurate and helpful, I did change some things. It's good to look at several English translations before you settle on one, so here is my take on it.

我的小時候吵鬧任性的時候
wǒde xiǎoshí hòu chǎonào rènxìng deshíhòu
When I was little, during the times I was noisy and willful,
我的外婆總會唱歌哄我
wǒde wàipó zǒng huì chàng gē hōng wǒ
My grandma would always sing to coax me.
夏天的午后老老的歌安慰我
xiàtiān de wǔ hòu lǎo lǎo de gē ānweì wǒ
On summer afternoons, grandma's song would console me.
那首歌好像這樣唱的
nà shǒu gē hǎoxiàng zhèyàng chàng de
That song goes something like this:
天黑黑欲下雨
tee ou ou, bei luo hou
The sky is dark; it's going to rain
天黑黑黑黑
tee ou ou ou ou
The sky is dark, dark...

離開小時候有了自己的生活
líkāi xiǎoshí hòu yǒu le zìjǐ de shēnghuó
Departing childhood, having my own life,
新鮮的歌新鮮的念頭
xīnxiān de gē xīnxiān de niàntou
Fresh songs, fresh ideas....
任性和衝動無法控制的時候
rènxìng hé chōngdòng wúfǎ kòngzhì deshíhòu
When unable to control my tenacity and impulsiveness,
我忘記還有這樣的歌
wǒ wàngjì háiyǒu zhèyàng de gē
I forget there is still a song like this:
天黑黑欲下雨
tee ou ou, bei luo hou
The sky is dark; it's going to rain
天黑黑黑黑
tee ou ou ou ou
The sky is dark, dark....

*我愛上讓我奮不顧身的一個人
wǒ ài shàng ràng wǒ fèn bùgù shēn de yīgè rén
Falling in love has made me give little regard to one's life.(literally)
Falling in love has made me reckless.
我以為這就是我所追求的世界
wǒ yǐwéi zhè jiùshì wǒ suǒ zhuīqiú de shìjiè
I thought this was the only world I could pursue (literally)
I thought this was the only way I could live my life.
然而橫衝直撞被誤解被騙
ránér héng chōng zhí zhuàng beì wùjiě beì piàn
Yet I fumbled, was misunderstood, was cheated.
是否成人的世界背後總有殘缺
shìfǒu chéngrén de shìjiè beìhòu zǒng yǒu cán quē
Even if the back of the adult world is incomplete,
我走在每天必須面對的分岔路
wǒ zǒu zài měitiān bìxū miànduì de fēn chà lù
I must walk on the forked road I face everyday.
我懷念過去單純美好的小幸福
wǒ huáiniàn guòqu dānchún měihǎo de xiǎo xìngfú
I cherish the past's simple little happiness.
愛總是讓人哭讓人覺得不滿足
ài zǒngshì ràng rén kū ràng rén juéde bùmǎn zú
Love always makes people cry, makes people feel unsatisfied.
天空很大卻看不清楚好孤獨
tiānkōng hěndà què kàn bù qīngchu hǎo gūdú
The sky is so big, yet unclear...how lonely!

Repeat *

天黑的時候我又想起那首歌
tiān hēi deshíhòu wǒ yòu xiǎng qǐ nà shǒu gē
When the sky is dark, I will think of that song again,
突然期待下起安靜的雨
tūrán qīdài xià qǐ ānjìng de yǔ
And suddenly look forward to the peaceful rain.
原來外婆的道理早就唱給我聽
yuánlái wàipó de dàolǐ zǎojiù chàng gěi wǒ tīng
At that time, grandma sung for me the truth.
下起雨也要勇敢前進
xià qǐ yǔ yě yào yǒnggǎn qiánjìn
Even if it rains, we must bravely move forward.
我相信一切都會平息
wǒ xiāngxìn yíqiè dōu huì píngxī
I believe everything will calm down.
我現在好想回家去
wǒ xiànzài hǎo xiǎng huíjiā qù
I now wish to go home.

天黑黑欲下雨
tee ou ou, bei luo hou
The sky is dark; it's going to rain.
天黑黑黑黑
tee ou ou ou ou
The sky is dark, dark....



Friday, September 3, 2010

Learning Chinese

Being fluent in Chinese is a beautiful prospect, but having dropped out of classes in elementary school and half-assed my Chinese course work through the first year of college, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever be fluent.

My major requires me to be fluent enough in a language other than English in order to pass a class taught entirely in that language. Being a transfer student (who also half-assed reading through the major requirements), I didn't learn of this until maybe about 2 months before the fall quarter. I know. I'm slow.

And I'm beginning to think it's too late for me to graduate by 22. Sigh.

Nonetheless, I'm doing my best to recover my memory from those lessons--I mean, I can't possibly FORGET EVERYTHING I HAVE LEARNED, right? Right??? I'm hoping I can't. Really hoping.

So anyway, I'm starting out by memorizing the Chinese phonetics my dad tried so hard to make me learn back when I was a rebellious youngster. It's easy once you put your mind to it.

I feel terrible for my parents who had to go through so much. Back in elementary school, we were really poor--we still are now--and they mustered all their savings to put their kids through Chinese school, because they knew it would help them in the future. Their kids were just kids, though...and hated the musty classrooms that smelled of chalk and ink and old people.

That said, I learned nothing, because I didn't try.

I regret it.

I realize now how important the classes were and how happy my parents would have been if I had tried harder..also, how much easier it would have made things for me.

THAT SAID!!

English wasn't my first language; It was one of the many dialects in China. It is called the Swatow or Shantou dialect but more popularly known to ABCs as Chiu Chow or Teochew. When I Youtubed some Swatow videos, I found that it was a bit difficult for me to understand them, since I probably have an accent. My Swatow was inherited from my great grandpa who was born in that region, moved to the southeast, stayed there and had kids, and taught his children the language. His children had never been to Shantou, and they learned two languages at once, so they are bound to have some type of accent. His kids had some more kids and taught them the language. Then war struck, so they (and their kids) moved to the United States and their kids had kids there who learned from their parents who had never gone to Shantou.

THUS...my accented Shantounese. Wonderful.

Anyway, it's good to know a different dialect, but when I went on my trip to Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'An, NO ONE THERE spoke that language. They also didn't know Cantonese, which happens to be another Chinese dialect I know (enough to get by but not fluently).

I've run out of things to say after giving my family history. In any case, here is an excellent Chinese Phonetics song video (in Mandarin, of course).