Lyric of the Day: 周杰倫 (Zhou Jie Lun)

如果要走 / If wanting to leave
請妳記得我 / please remember me

如果難過 / If painful
請妳忘了我 / please forget me

-Jay Chou, 藉口 (Excuse, Jie K0u) : chorus

Oh Jay. This is the song that made the fifth album, 七里香 (Qi Li Xiang, 7 Mile Fragrance), for me. And what made the song for me was that very turnaphrase above, whatever they say about slow rock ballads be…darned. Amending the last line of the chorus, it’s a sweet surprise that comes at the very end of the song. Full lyrics here.

A little note on translations: Translations are always hard and missing something, no doubt about it. A friend of mine mentioned that she likes the interesting language of stilted translations, but when sharing even the snippets above with you, I hate that something seems to get compromised. I myself love looking at full song lyrics, poring through the original lyrics and the different translations, and indulging in my own (mis)understanding of the language. Chinese seems to be a compact language, where subjects are sometimes left out and one word can have corrugated depths behind it. For example, the word “走” (zou) above was originally translated as “go,” but could easily conjure up the image of someone walking away, as it’s also the word used for “walk.” And I chose to replace all that with the verb “leave” instead.

To clarify about the name, I know it seems like every Asian entity has three of them: Jay is probably most internationally recognized under the moniker “Jay Chou” –  he even sings it in some of his songs. (The puffed up ones in which he proceeds to declare and defend his own reputation. Not that I’m teasing. No, not at all.) Most people pronounce it “Chow,” which is actually the Cantonese pronunciation. I usually like to pronounce it sounding like “Cho,” more similar to his actual name. Other than that, “周杰倫” is obviously his name in Chinese characters and “Zhou Jie Lun” is the pinyin romanization of that.

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Posted on January 11, 2012, in lyric of the day and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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