A complete transcription and translation of Linlin's Hybrid Chinese-English monologue

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A few days ago, I wrote a post called "The Westernization of Chinese", in which I linked to a virtuoso video performance by "Miss Lin".  Steve Kass asked, "Has anyone transcribed this whole thing?"  I don't think so, but with the help of Sophie Wei and Chia-hui Lu, who always wish me a good day / evening / morning / weekend / mood, I am pleased to present the complete transcription (in pinyin and Chinese characters) and English translation of Miss Lin's performance.  Even those who do not read Chinese will immediately apprehend the extraordinary degree to which English is mixed in with Mandarin.

Preparing this transcription and translation was a long and arduous task, and I'm sure that there are still some imperfections, for which I ask the forgiveness of Language Log readers.  At least the transcription and translation will provide a good idea of the nature of the language employed by Miss Hold.

Each segment of the monologue consists of three parts:

a. characters plus English

b. pinyin transcription

c. English translation

When she speaks English, all three components are identical.

Before presenting the transcription and translation, some important grammatical notes supplied by Bob Bauer:

======

In your blog you mentioned the use of Hold住 and referred to it as the resultative verb compound V住 and that it occurs in Mandarin, and some other posters commented that this usage occurs in Cantonese or that it was Cantonese. When I learned Mandarin, I learned that V得住 and V不住 formed the resultative verb but not V住. My first encounter with it was in Cantonese.

As you will see from the following entries of my forthcoming ABC Cantonese-English Dictionary, Cantonese 住 functions as a Verb Aspect Marker indicating continuous, progressive action. According to one of my Cantonese-Putonghua dictionary references, Cantonese V.住 zyu6 corresponds to Putonghua V.着. [VHM:  The entries are presented in what we at the ABC Chinese dictionary project refer to as "band format", which we use for editing and typesetting]

ABC Cantonese-English Entries forzyu6 and V.住先 V. zyu6 sin1 (11092012)
.hw zyu6
char
ps A.M.
en lit. live in, stay at; follows V. to exp. continuous or progressive activity or state of V.
see also gan2, 喺度 hai2 dou6, V.住先 V. zyu6 sin1
1df to V. for a while
11exchar 住枝棍做乜?
11exrom keoi5 lo2 zyu6 zi1 gwan3 zou6 mat1
11exeng What's he doing holding the stick?
12exchar 出便落住雨,唔好出去
12exrom ceot1 bin6 lok6 zyu6 jyu5 gaa3, m4 hou2 ceot1 heoi3 lak3
12exeng It's raining outside, so don't go out now
13exchar 嗰個人望住我哋做咩啊?
13exrom go2 go3 jan4 mong6 zyu6 ngo5 dei6 zou6 me1 aa3
13exeng Why is that man staring at us?
2df to V. continuously, for V. to be ongoing without change
21exchar 我間屋對住個海
21exrom ngo5 gaan1 uk1 deoi3 zyu6 go3 hoi2
21exeng My house faces the sea
22exchar 阿媽梗係會好掛住你㗎
22exrom aa3 maa1 gang2 hai6 wui5 hou2 gwaa3 zyu6 nei5 gaa3
22exeng Of course Mom is going to miss you a lot
ser 1000091376
ref SL1977:441; CTA1997:054; BWR1998:076; ZN1999:088; CE2005:1228; MY2011:231
.hw V. zyu6 sin1
char V.住先
ps CONS.
en exp. continuous asp. of V.; a.s.a. V.. . . V. zyu6 . . . sin1
seealso . . . V. m4 . . . V. zyu6, zyu6
df to first V. for a while, V for the time being
1exchar 我想搵份工做住先
1exrom ngo5 soeng2 wan2 fan6 gung1 zou6 zyu6 sin1
1exeng I want to find a job first and do it for a while
2exchar 如果你肚餓食住啲梳打餅先啦, 就嚟煮好
2exrom jyu4 gwo2 nei5 tou5 ngo6 sik6 zyu6 di1 so1 daa2 beng2 sin1 laa1, zau6 lai4 zyu2 hou2 gaa3 laa1
2exeng If you're hungry eat some soda crackers first, as the meal will be ready soon
ser 1000991376
ref CTA1997:054; ZN1999:088; CE2005:1228; CLSK2010B:037; MY2011:233
.hw m4 . . . V. zyu6
char . . . V.
ps CONS.
seealso V.住先 V. zyu6 sin1, zyu6
df to hold off doing sth., not . . . V. yet, don't V. yet
1exchar 我唔想退休住
1exrom ngo5 m4 soeng2 teoi3 jau1 zyu6
1exeng I don't want to retire yet
2exchar 你哋唔好走住啊
2exrom nei5 dei6 m4 hou2 zau2 zyu6 aa3
2exeng Don't you all leave yet
ser 1009991376
ref MY2011:233

======

Now for the transcription and translation of Miss Lin's tour de force performance.

orientation

Miss LinWellwellwell,大家好,我是Miss Lin. Well,我剛從法國ParisFashion Bonjour University 畢業的.

Well, well, well, dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Miss Lin. Well, wǒ gāng cóng Fàguó de Fashion Bonjour University bìyè de.

Well, well, well, hello everyone. I am Miss Lin. Well, I just graduated from Fashion Bonjour University in Paris, France.

OK,我今天來到這個《大學生了沒》,要教大學生「What is fashion.

OK, wǒ jīntiān láidào zhè ge “Dàxuéshēng le Méi”, yào jiāo zhè xiē dàxuéshēng “What is fashion”.

OK. Today I have come to this program called “University”, and I want to teach these university students about “What is fashion”.

OK, maybe 你們不懂, fashion可能離你們很遠很遠 away, but don’t worry! 我今天來這邊就是告訴大家….

Ok, maybe nǐmen bù dǒng, fashion kěnéng lí nǐmen hěn yuǎn hěn yuan away. Wǒ jīntiān lái zhè biān jiùshì gàosu dàjiā….

OK maybe you don’t understand it, and fashion might be far, far away from you, but don’t worry! I’ve come here to tell everyone….

Someone in the audience shouts:講中文!

Jiǎng Zhōngwén!

Speak Chinese!

Miss LinI don’t want. What is fashion?

I don’t want. What is fashion?

I don’t want. What is fashion?

Part I

OK, 大學生可能沒有什麼錢. OK, maybe你們想去跑party的時候, 沒有錢坐taxi,怎麼辦呢?OK 我們可以坐公車或者是捷運.

OK, dàxuéshēng kěnéng méiyǒu shéme qián. OK, maybe nǐmen xiǎng qù pǎo party de shíhou, méiyǒu qián zuò taxi, zěnme bàn ne? OK, wǒmen kěyǐ zuò gōngchē huòzhě shì jiéyùn.

OK. University students might not have any money. OK, maybe when you want to go to a party, you find that you have no money to take a taxi. What are you going to do? OK, we can take the bus or subway. (It is called MRT in Taipei.)

OK, 我要坐捷運了.

OK, wǒ yào zuò jiéyùn le.

OK, then I’ll take the MRT.

The host: 捷運, 捷運.

Jiéyùn, jiéyùn.

MRT, MRT.

Miss Lin: Thank you, thank you. 捷運的感覺. OK.

Thank you, thank you. Jié yùn de gǎn jué, OK.

Thank you. Thank you. I feel like taking the MRT.

我拿出我的悠遊卡. OK. 我要上公車了. A [語助詞], 上公車的時候人很多, 所以說我走過去的時候, 我不可以有一種慌張的感覺這樣. [跌倒狀] NO! Not fashion!

Wǒ náchū wǒ de yōuyóu kǎ. OK. Wǒ yào shàng gōngchē le. Shàng gōngchē de shíhòu rén hěnduō, suǒyǐ shuō, wǒ zǒuguòqù de shíhòu, wǒ bù kěyǐ yǒu yì zhǒng huāngzhāng de gǎnjué, zhè yang. [diédǎo zhuàng] No! Not fashion!

I take out my travel pass. OK. So I am going to take the bus. Ahh (sound), there are so many people when I get on the bus. That’s why, when I walk by others, I can’t let people think that I am panicking, like this [pretends to stumble]. NO! Not fashion!

OK. 我自己的小東西跑出來了. Sorry, sorry.[眾笑]OK, 我上捷運的時候, 不可以一個慌張. Not fashion.

OK, wǒ zìjǐ de xiǎo dōngxī pǎochūláile. Sorry, sorry. [zhòng xiào] OK, wǒ shàng jiéyùn de shíhòu, bù kěyǐ yí ge huāngzhāng, not fashion.

OK. I dropped some little thing. Sorry, sorry. [audience laughs] OK. When I get on MRT, I shouldn’t feel panic. Not fashion.

OK, 我教你們什麼是fashion的嗶卡的方式, OK?

OK, wǒ jiāo nǐmen shénme shì fashion de bìkǎ fāngshì, OK?!

OK. Let me teach you guys the fashionable way to show your subway pass, ok? (嗶卡 means showing a travel pass in front of the entrance device so that the device will give a beeping sound.)

走過去, sorry. [眾笑]

Zǒuguòqù, sorry. [zhòng xiào]

Pass by, sorry. [audience laughs]

The host: 我先幫你拿好了.

Wǒ xiān bāng nǐ náhǎole.

Let me take it for you.

Miss Lin: OK, thank you very much.

OK, thank you very much.

OK, thank you very much.

The host: 你這是裝手電筒還是…?

Nǐ zhè shì zhuāng shǒudiàntǒng, hái shì…?

Is this for holding a flashlight or…?

Miss Lin: Thank you, thank you very much.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Thank you, thank you very much.

The host: 這是橋段之一耶。

Zhè shì qiáoduàn zhī yī ye.

This is one of the props for the later parts.

Miss Lin: OK, , 我上公車. , 一個伸展, 對身體…. OK, 對身體很有幫助.

OK, hao, wǒ shàng gōngchē. Bì, yí ge shēnzhǎn, duì shēntǐ…. OK, duì shēntǐ hěn yǒu bāngzhù.

OK. Then I get on the bus. Beep! Stretch! …Stretching is good for the body.

而且就是大家會覺得, wow! 這個人好fashion! 我在匆匆忙忙的時候, 她已經這樣了, 整個fashion的感覺.

Erqiě jiùshì dàjiā huì juéde, wow! Zhè gè rén hǎo fashion! Wǒ zài cōngcōngmángmáng de shíhòu, tā yǐjīng zhè yàng le, zhěngge fashion de gǎnjué!

Furthermore, people will feel that, wow, this person is so fashion (i.e., fashionable). When I am rushing, she could still stretch (and strike a pose). It is totally fashion.

Part II

OK, 上公車之後, 走上公車, 很多人.

Shàng gōngchē zhī hòu, zǒushàng gōngchē, hěnduō rén.

OK, after getting on the bus, I go forward and find that there are so many people.

OK, 在場沒有位子沒有關係. OK, fashion. 整個場面我hold.

OK, zài chǎng méi yǒu wèizi, méi yǒu guānxì. OK, fashion, zhěngge chǎngmiàn wǒ holdzhù.

OK, there’s no seat, but that’s fine. OK, Fashion. I can “hold” the whole scene! (i.e., I can control the situation)

找到自己的拉環. OK,千萬千萬不要這樣子. [動作] Not fashion.

Zhǎodào zìjǐ de lāhuán. OK, qiānwàn qiānwàn bú yào zhè ge yàngzi. [dòngzuò] Not fashion!

I find a hanging ring that I can grab. OK, never, never do this. [makes a movement of grabbing the ring] Not fashion.

OK, 一上去, 我的馬步要紮穩. OK, 我的裙子. [動作, ] 我的dress, 馬步紮穩. OK, 會被撞到, 會被撞到.

OK, yí shàngqù, wǒ de mǎbù yào zháwěn. OK, wǒ de qúnzi, [dòngzuò, lā] mǎbù zháwěn. OK, huì bèi zhuàngdào, huì bèi zhuàngdào.

OK, now I am on. My “horse stance” has to be steady. OK, my dress. [makes a gesture of straightening her dress] Steady stance. OK, I’m being pushed. I’m being pushed. (People are bumping into her.)

OK, 我今天被撞. ! 一個move, 回來, 被撞到, 一個move, 一個move…. 整個場面我hold.

OK, wǒ jīntiān bèi zhuàngdào, ēn! Yí ge move huílái. Bei zhuangdao, yi ge move, yi ge move…. Zhěngge chǎngmiàn wǒ holdzhù.

OK. I’m being pushed today. Umph! One move to get out of the way. Somebody bumps into me. Another move. Another move to get out of the way. And then get back (in this way). Pushed again and one move. This way I can “hold” the whole scene.

整台公車就看我一個人, 整個場面我hold. OK, 這樣. OK, 你已經坐完整個公車了. 我上台, 不好意思, 那個.

Zhěngtái gōngchē jiù kàn wǒ yí ge rén! Zhěngge chǎngmiàn wǒ holdzhù. OK, zhè yang. OK, nǐ yǐjīng zuòwán zhěngge gōngchē le. Wǒ shàngtái, bù hǎoyìsi, nàgè.

In the whole bus, I am the focus. I can “hold” the whole scene. OK, you [sic] finish the trip on the bus this way and then I am going to…. Sorry, I am going to take it, that one.

The host: , ; 不好意思

Shì, shì; bù hǎoyìsi.

Yes, yes; you feel embarrassed.

Miss Lin: Thank you, thank you.

Thank you, thank you.

Thank you, thank you.

OK, 時差的問題, 我頭好暈. OK, well, 我今天上…. OK, 我要出門, 我打扮好. 走出門…. Oh my gosh, not fashion! 我今天not fashion!

OK, shíchā de wèntí, wǒ tóu hǎo yūn. OK, well, wǒ jīntiān shàng…. OK, wǒ yào chūmén, wǒ dǎbàn hǎo. Zǒuchū mén…. Oh my gosh, not fashion! Wǒ jīntiān not fashion!

OK. It might be because of the time difference, but I am feeling dizzy now. OK, well, I am going to…. OK, I am going out and I am all made up. As I walk out the door…, Oh my gosh, not fashion! I am not fashionable today!

我很想要sexy的感覺,可是我沒有sexy的感覺. Well, 我今天搭一個網襪的感覺會比較better.

Wǒ hěn xiǎng yào sexy de gǎnjué, kěshì wǒ méiyǒu sexy de gǎnjué. Well, wǒ jīntiān dā yīgè wǎngwà de gǎnjué huì bǐjiào better.

I want to be sexy, but I’m actually not feeling very sexy. Well, I think it would be better to go out with a pair of fishnet stockings today.

But我現在看一下時間. Well, 現在是半夜兩點半. OK, 沒有地方賣網襪.

But wǒ xiànzài kàn yīxià shíjiān. Well, xiànzài shì bànyè liǎng diǎn bàn. OK, méiyǒu dìfāng mài wǎngwà.

But I check the time. Well, it is 2:30 a.m. now. OK. There are no places selling fishnet stockings at this hour.

我走到Seven (7-11). Seven… Seven…. OK, well, Seven沒有網襪.

Wǒ zǒu dào Seven (7-11). Seven… Seven…. OK, well, Seven méiyǒu wǎngwà.

I walk to Seven (7-11). Seven… Seven…. OK, well, there are no fishnet stockings in Seven (7-11).

, 沒有關係, 沒有關係, but but Seven有賣奇異筆, OK.

Hǎo, méiyǒu guānxì, méiyǒu guānxì, but but Seven yǒu mài qíyìbǐ, OK.

All right, it doesn’t matter, but but Seven does sell magic markers, OK.

Well, 你就把奇異筆拿出來. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid!! [畫自己的腿]

Well, nǐ jiù bǎ qíyìbǐ ná chūlái. Don't be afraid! Don't be afraid!! [huà zìjǐ de tuǐ]

OK, well, then you take out the magic marker. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid!

[she draws lines on her legs]

The host: OH MY GOD!

OH MY GOD!

OH MY GOD!

Miss Lin: Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid. 粗細可以自己控制, 可以選擇. [眾大笑] OK, well, 整個就是有網襪的感覺, fashion, fashion. 粗細自己控制, OK!

Don't be afraid! Don't be afraid. Cūxì kěyǐ zìjǐ kòngzhì, kěyǐ xuǎnzé. [zhòng dà xiào] OK, well, zhěnggè jiùshì yǒu wǎngwà de gǎnjué, hěn fashion, hěn fashion. Cūxì zìjǐ kòngzhì, OK!

Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. You can decide how thick you want it to be. You can choose. [audience laughs] OK, well, it feels like you are wearing fishnet stockings. It is very fashion (fashionable). Very fashion, very fashion. You can control how thick you want the lines to be, OK!

Well, 你可能想說今天網襪….

Well, nǐ kěnéng xiǎng shuō jīntiān wǎngwà….

Well, you might be wondering whether fishnet stockings are a good topic to discuss today….

Host: 我覺得比較像在龐德羅莎吃牛排.

Wǒ juéde bǐjiào xiàng zài Pángdéluóshā chī niúpái.

I feel it is more like eating steaks at Ponderosa (a steakhouse in Taipei).

Miss Lin: OK, maybe就是你今天想說, 網襪已經out of fashion, but這個留著不會退流行.

OK, maybe jiùshì nǐ jīntiān xiǎng shuō, wǎngwà yǐjīng out of fashion, but zhège liúzhe bù huì tuì liúxíng.

OK, maybe you think fishnet stockings are out of fashion, but when you keep this (the magic marker), they will not be out of fashion.

我今天想要一個吊帶襪. OK, [] well, 感覺來了! 感覺來了!

Wǒ jīntiān xiǎng yào yīgè diàodàiwà. OK, [huà] well, gǎnjué láile! Gǎnjué láile!

Now, suppose I want to have stockings attached to a garter. OK, [draws] well, I’ve got the feeling; here it is!

就是for一些. [眾大笑] OK, thanks, thanks. 我知道fashion比較難學. 你們大家冷靜一點, OK!

Jiùshì for yīxiē, [zhòng dà xiào] OK, thanks, thanks. Wǒ zhīdào fashion bǐjiào nán xué. Nǐmen dàjiā lěngjìng yīdiǎn, OK!

Just for some. [audience laughs loudly] OK, thanks, thanks. I know it is hard to learn fashion. Please calm down, everyone, OK!

Well, for一些少女的情懷, 我們可以在上面畫一些愛心. 或是喜歡的人的名字,可能是「王」或者是…. OK, something like that.

Well, for yīxiē shàonǚ de qínghuái, wǒmen kěyǐ zài shàngmiàn huà yīxiē àixīn. Huò shì xǐhuan de rén de míngzì, kěnéng shì `wáng' huòzhě shì…. OK, something like that.

Well, for some young girls’ love, we can draw a heart on it. Or the name of the one we like. Maybe his surname is Wang. Or, OK, something like that.

Part III

OK, well, 我們今天打扮好了, 我們準備要去party. OK, let’s go party!

OK, well, wǒmen jīntiān dǎbàn hǎole, wǒmen zhǔnbèi yào qù party luō. OK, let's go party!

OK, well, we are dressed up today and we are ready to go party. OK, let’s go party!

走過去, 我今天是參加一個… OK, 海灘party, 海灘party. 我要穿bikini, 對不對? OK, 我準備好我的bikini. OK, bikini穿好囉.

Zǒu guòqù, wǒ jīntiān shì cānjiā yīgè… OK, hǎitān party, hǎitān party. Wǒ yào chuān bikini, duì bùduì? OK, wǒ zhǔnbèi hǎo wǒ de bikini luō. OK, wǒ bikini chuān hǎo luō.

I walk to the party, and today I am attending, OK, a beach party. For a beach party, I need to wear a bikini, right? OK, my bikini is ready. OK, I put on my bikini.

OK, 我走過去. 今天是海灘party. 走進去, oh my gosh! 搞錯了!

OK, wǒ zǒu guòqù. Jīntiān shì hǎitān party. Zǒu jìnqù, oh my gosh! Gǎo cuòle!

OK, I walk to the party. Today this is a beach party. As I walk into the party, oh my gosh! I made a mistake!

今天不是海灘pa (party). 今天是清朝party. 怎麼辦呢? [眾大笑] 差這麼多.

Jīntiān bùshì hǎitān pa (party). Jīntiān shì qīngcháo party. Zěnme bàn ne? [zhòng dà xiào] Chà zhème duō!

Today’s party is not a beach party. It is a costume party set in the Qing Dynasty! What am I going to do? [audience laughs loudly] It is really different!

The host: 差太多了吧!

Chà tài duōle ba!

It’s really too different!

Miss Lin: 怎麼辦呢? think about that, think about that. 清朝party. OK, 我整個場面我要hold. 不能慌, 不能慌. OK, 一秒之內變格格. [動作][眾大笑]

Zěnme bàn ne? Wǒ think about that, think about that. Qīngcháo party. OK, wǒ zhěnggè chǎngmiàn wǒ yào holdzhù. Bùnéng huāng, bùnéng huāng. OK, yī miǎo zhī nèi biàn gégé. [dòngzuò][zhòng dà xiào]

What am I going to do? Let me think about it, think about that. It is a Qing Dynasty costume party. OK, I am going to “hold” the whole scene. I can’t panic. I can’t panic. OK. Within one second, I can turn myself into a Qing princess. [makes a move; audience laughs loudly]

不好意思, 幫我放一下我的music, 我的music, 我的music. 不好意思, 我的music, 我的music. (中國電視劇「還珠格格」的主題曲)

Bùhǎoyìsi, bāng wǒ fàng yīxià wǒ de music, wǒ de music, wǒ de music. Bùhǎoyìsi, wǒ de music, wǒ de music. (Zhōngguó diànshìjù “Huán zhū gégé” de zhǔtí qū)

Sorry, could you play my music, my music, my music? Sorry, my music, my music. [the theme song of a Chinese soap opera, “Princess Returning Pearl” is heard]

爾康, 爾康, 紫薇, 紫薇…. OK, 就算我搞錯party, 我整個場面我hold.

Ěrkāng, Ěrkāng, Zǐwēi, Zǐwēi…. OK, jiùsuàn wǒ gǎo cuò party, wǒ zhěnggè chǎngmiàn wǒ holdzhù.

Erkang, Erkang, Ziwei, Ziwei…. OK, though I made a mistake about the theme of the party, I can still “hold” the whole scene.

The host: 我整個場面我hold.

Wǒ zhěnggè chǎngmiàn wǒ holdzhù.

I can still “hold” the whole scene.

Part IV

Miss Lin: OK, well, maybe你今天, 一個禮拜, 我可能參加了十個party.

OK, well, maybe nǐ jīntiān, yīgè lǐbài, wǒ kěnéng cānjiāle shí gè party.

Well maybe you [sic] today, within one week, I might have attended ten parties.

OK, 我現在, 大學生比較沒有錢. I know, I know, 就是可能, you know. 我看一下我的錢包,剩下23.

OK, wǒ xiànzài, dàxuéshēng bǐjiào méiyǒu qián. I know, I know, jiùshì kěnéng, you know. Wǒ kàn yīxià wǒ de qiánbāo, shèngxià 23 kuài.

OK. For me now, as a university student, I don’t have much money. I know, I know, so maybe, you know. I check my purse and there is only 23 dollars left.

But 沒關係, don’t worry! 我今天這個打扮, 就是進可攻, 退可守.

But méiguānxì, don't worry! Wǒ jīntiān zhège dǎbàn, jiùshì jìn kě gōng, tuì kě shǒu.

But it’s OK, don’t worry! The way I am dressed today can be used for different occasions.

Well, 我今天去時尚party. 我是焦點, but我今天沒有錢之後, well, 這個拿掉, [脫衣] 我去賣玉蘭花, 很合理. 賣玉蘭花, 一個, 就是一個謙卑的態度.

Wǒ jīntiān qù shíshàng party. Wǒ shì jiāodiǎn, but wǒ jīntiān méiyǒu qián zhīhòu, well, zhège nádiào, [tuō yī] wǒ qù mài yùlánhuā, hěn hélǐ. Mài yùlánhuā, yīgè, jiùshì yīgè qiānbēi de tàidù.

Well, if today I go to a fashion party, I am the focus. But if today I no longer have any money, well, after taking this off, [makes gesture of removing her jacket] I can be a vendor of magnolia flowers. It would make sense to sell magnolia flowers. Just adopt an attitude of being humble. (Impoverished women in Taiwan often sell fragrant Yulan magnolia flowers to eke out a living.)

先生, 不好意思, 這個玉蘭花…. OK, 沒有人會懷疑你, 整個可以去賣玉蘭花.

Xiānshēng, bù hǎoyìsi, zhège yùlánhuā…. OK, méiyǒu rén huì huáiyí nǐ, zhěnggè kěyǐ qù mài yùlánhuā.

Sir, sorry, this is a magnolia flower…. OK, no one will doubt you. You can be in the business of selling magnolia flowers.

你沒有錢的時候賣玉蘭花, 有錢的時候, 時尚party, 你就是queen. 你就是queen.

Nǐ méiyǒu qián de shíhou mài yùlánhuā, yǒu qián de shíhou, shíshàng party. Nǐ jiùshì queen. Nǐ jiùshì queen.

When you don’t have any money, you can sell magnolia flowers; when you have enough money, and go to a fashion party, you are the Queen. You are the queen.

OK, thank you very much. Thank, thank you VERY MUCH!

OK, thank you very much. Thank, thank you VERY MUCH!

OK, thank you very much. Thank, thank you VERY MUCH!

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7 Comments »

  1. Peter said,

    September 12, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    I'm surprised no one has suggested "hold it together" as a translation for Hold住. It's semantically quite close, and it has "hold" in it to boot.

  2. Mark Liberman said,

    September 12, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    See "So 乜野 ry 啊", 10/5/2010, and "More on infixation and code-mixing in Cantonese", 10/6/2010 — and the references therein, especially Kang-Kwong Luke "Why two languages might be better than one: Motivations of language mixing in Hong Kong", in Martha Pennington, Ed., Language in Hong Kong at Century's End, 1998; David C.S. Li, "Cantonese-English code-switching research in Hong Kong", World Englishes 19(3) 2000; Joyce Y.C. Chan et al., "Development of a Cantonese-English Code-Mixing Speech Corpus", InterSpeech 2005.

  3. richard howland-bolton said,

    September 13, 2012 @ 6:01 am

    BTW drawing lines on legs to simulate stockings has an ancient and noble history. I remember my Mum telling me how, in the darkest days of WWII, in Glasgow, when stockings were unavailable, she and her friends would draw lines down the backs of their legs (in those days they had seams it seems). Apparently it worked too, though that was during the blackout…

  4. Steve Kass said,

    September 13, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    This is great! Thanks for all the effort you put in to do it.

  5. Victor Mair said,

    September 13, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

    Zhou Yunong points out that the negative of "hold住" is "hold不住", but its affirmative form is not "*hold得住". She hypothesizes that the final -d of "hold" has assimilated the de 得 of the expected affirmative form "*hold得住".

  6. Victor Mair said,

    September 13, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

    @Peter

    Your "hold it together" is a nice try, but since she refers to "hold住" an entire scene, it doesn't seem to work so well there.

  7. Victor Mair said,

    September 14, 2012 @ 12:05 am

    From Steve Schoen:

    I enjoyed your blog posts this week about Ms. Lin's hybrid Chinese-English monologue.

    Your posts caught my eye because for a long time I have been fascinated by the hybrid Filipino-English that is used on TV in the Philippines, in literally every type of TV show: talk shows, serials, newscasts, documentaries, religious programming, and so on. The degree of hybridization is many times greater that of Ms. Lin's monologue. It's astounding. Whenever it happens, I always wonder why the switch from Filipino to English, or vice versa, takes place. There is nothing obvious (to me at least) in what is being discussed that indicates it would make sense to switch languages.

    I don't know whether Filipino TV channels are available in Philly for you to look at. They are available here in Hawaii and elsewhere in the US.

    BTW, my wife is from Taiwan and, coincidentally, her maiden name is Lin. I frequently hear her switch between Chinese and English and back again in her phone calls with Chinese friends.

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