Jay Chou: The Rhythm of the Rain / 聽見下雨的聲音 – English Translation

This song is filled with metaphors and constructions which you wouldn’t find in English. Also, the events described in the song are not chronological, and the person to whom they relate changes from line to line without necessarily being explicit about it… which is why I would give this song a difficulty rating of ‘medium-hard’. At least each line rhymes! Hopefully the notes are helpful.

竹籬上停留著蜻蜓
There’s a dragonfly on the fence

玻璃瓶裡插滿小小森林
The bottle [on the ground] has given birth to a small forest
[Lit. Glass bottle inside insert-full small-small forest]
[方文山 often describes the scenery at the start of each song. From the rest of the song, you can infer that the singer is visiting the house where he and his lover used to stay. Since it’s now springtime, plant-life has erupted everywhere, including inside a bottle that was somewhere on the premises.]

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Jay Chou: What Kind of Man / 算什麼男人 – English Translation

 

算什麼男人 was a big hit a couple of years back! Lyrically, it’s quite difficult: there are a few 成語 and metaphors that just don’t lend themselves directly to English, so the idiomatic and literal translations differ quite a lot. As far as lyrics penned by Jay Chou himself go, though, it’s pretty good, and the melody isn’t challenging, so most people will be able to sing with you if you put it on at karaoke.

親吻你的手 還靠著你的頭
Kissing your hand and holding you close
[Lit. Kiss your hand, also lean on your head]

讓你躺胸口 那個人已不是我
Letting you lie on his chest… that man isn’t me any more
[那個人已不是我: that person already not me]

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