Saturday, 25 August 2018

‘Yellow’/ ‘Meteors’: More on my translation of Katherine Ho’s Mandarin version of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’


With the UK release of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ just round the corner, now’s a good time to talk more about the song that has set it ablaze: Katherine Ho’s stunning cover of ‘Liúxīng’ 流星 (‘Meteors/Shooting Stars’), a Mandarin version of British band Coldplay’s 1998 breakout hit ‘Yellow’.

Written and sung by singer-songwriter Zheng Jun郑钧/鄭鈞 in 2000, 流星was reworked by then fifteen-year-old singer-songwriter Li Wenqi 李文琦on ‘The Voice of China’, and after director Jon Chu informed Coldplay of the significance of ‘Yellow’ to him, it was Li’s arrangement which made it onto ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ with ‘The Voice US’ contestant Katherine Ho at the helm. I wanted to help fans of Katherine’s amazing vocals who asked for a translation, and posted one on Youtube.

I was shocked to read from Chu that in the United States, the word ‘yellow’ has negative connotations such as cowardice and is used to bully East Asians for their appearance because in Britain, where I was born and grew up, yellow is cheerful and bright, and although yellow-and-black signs are used as warnings and deterrents (thank you, bees and wasps) and yellow lines are used on black roads to deter car parking, yellow on its own remains the colour of stars, buttercups, lemonade, Victoria sponges and summers (summer itself is synonymous with hope, life and vitality), and to British children, star-shaped stickers are forever yellow, sparkly rewards for good behaviour, while the Moon is yellow because it is made of cheese. With Mandarin, the use of ‘huangzhongren’ – yellow/Mongoloid – is everywhere, and Yellow is the colour of life-giving loess and the name of the Yellow River. The phrase 黄色片 ‘yellow film/movie’ = ‘pornography’, however, would invite sniggers and certainly rule out the use of any song called 黄色yellow’ in a film or drama.

Learning that Coldplay and their songs are cathartic and that they mean so much (even cultural appropriation) to so many outside Britain was an eye-opener. Although Brits as a whole will say publicly that Coldplay and their songs are naff and that they shouldn't be taken seriously, most already have and may use ‘Yellow’ as a funeral song, given Coldplay’s lyric ‘your skin and bones/turn into something beautiful’ and the mention of stars and starlight, both of which are associated sometimes in Britain, especially in England and Cornwall, with coping with bereavement, where comfort and hope are taken from the thought that stars and starlight are like a loved one’s soul: fixed, constant, immortal, in Heaven/the sky, visible in the darkest night, and always shining on for the ones left behind. It is worth noting that in Britain as a whole, grief is a private thing which is not spoken about widely, especially to individual strangers and acquaintances.

Zheng Jun’s expertise ensures that although he cleverly refers back to Coldplay’s original lyrics, 流星is completely different to ‘Yellow’. Apart from mentioning meteors, which are moving stars, Zheng Jun also uses蜕变成月光的清风 - ‘corpse/shell/mortal remains transform into a breeze in the moonlight’ to evoke Coldplay’s ‘your skin and bones/turn into something beautiful’. His gorgeous mastery of Ancient and Modern Chinese mean that it is never (a poetic way to say 'corpse' or 'mortal remains') which is emphasised, but 蜕变metamorphosis, a phrase which he applies to feelings and hopes情愿. Although the listener of流星and ‘Yellow’ will come away feeling triumph, love, immortality and happiness, the listener of 流星will never think of loss and bereavement unless is specifically pointed out to them, because meteors which remain in the sky do not have that meaning in Chinese culture.

By changing the climax from 蜕变成月光的清风/your skin and bones/turn into something beautiful’ to幸福跳进你的河流 In happiness (I) leapt into your torrents’ (‘it’s true/look how they shine on you’ in ‘Yellow’), the lyrics of 流星take on a new meaning, especially coming right after 情愿坠落在你手中. My take on this is ‘my feelings and hopes landed in your hands’ and not ‘I wished fervently to fall into your arms’ not only because I was influenced by Katherine’s vocals, but because in Britain these days, everyone hugs each other, so to physically fall into someone’s arms (especially after donning on beer-goggles, which are easy to wear) isn’t hard, but placing one’s own hopes and feelings into a loved one’s hands is tough, because it’s hard to tell what the loved one will do with them. In Li Wenqi’s reworking, the loved one enables the lover’s hopes and feelings to change, fly away and dissolve, and as a result the lover triumphantly and happily jumps into the self of the loved one. Zheng Jun’s full lyrics, on the other hand, describe that there is so much more (a full verse, in fact) the lover has to do before ending up happy. I used ‘torrents’ for 河流 because in England, rivers ( means current or flow) are calm, still waterways seen from afar. Torrents, on the other hand, are seen and have to be swum in to appreciate just how fast-flowing and energetic they are.

My family and I simply sang ‘Yellow’ whenever we drove off into the countryside, and like many in Britain we saw, and still see, Coldplay’s songs as great singalong songs which make sense in fragments, hence their naffness. Take the line ‘and so I took my turn’, which I have been told has been interpreted as cowardice. My personal take on this is that since this line comes after ‘I wrote a song for you’, ‘turn’ means a musical turn and the words ‘and so I took my’ fit into the notes of a turn which the whole tune of ‘Yellow’ is essentially built around. There is nothing about cowardice, and Chris Martin was simply writing a song about how he wrote a song.

It’s the decisions that have been made for this moment to happen, however, which ought to be celebrated. There’s Chu’s decision to use ‘Yellow’ in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and Coldplay’s decision to allow it. There’s Zheng Jun choosing to sing about meteors, not stars, and evoking Coldplay’s original imagery while using the Chinese language to create an entirely new song that is inspiring, uplifting, colourless/colour-transcending, and dare I say it, coherent. There’s also Li Wenqi’s inspired decision to change the emotional climax of 流星, and her courageous, magnanimous decision to allow someone else to shine on stage. And finally, there’s Chu’s decision to stick with Zheng Jun’s lyrics, Li Wenqi’s arrangement, and Asian American Katherine Ho, whose voice alone communicates the complex layers of emotions Zheng Jun, Li Wenqi and Chris Martin weaved into ‘Yellow’ and 流星, thereby transforming a soaring love song into an anthem which has helped Asians from America and elsewhere. Even though I am not Asian American, and even though I still don't take Coldplay and 'Yellow' seriously, I am the richer for learning more about Li Wenqi, Katherine Ho, and Zheng Jun (someone please build this man an official site of his lyrics!), and shall now always pause before putting ‘Coldplay’ and ‘naff’ together in a sentence!

For my detailed translator’s notes, please refer to: https://beanielei.blogspot.com/2018/08/my-translation-of-crazy-rich-asians.html

With thanks to the lovely Ji Yoon June Kang for her questions which prompted this post – please look out for her translation of 'Liuxing' into Korean!

Thank you also to Dominic of YOMYOMF for reproducing my translation and crediting me - I'm published on YOMYOMF!!! :-D

Please support Katherine Ho, Li Wenqi, Coldplay and Zheng Jun by listening to/buying their music!

My translation of Katherine Ho’s / Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ Mandarin cover into English

流星Liuxing – Meteors – Crazy Rich Asians Version – arranged by Li Wenqi, lyrics by Zheng Jun, tune by Coldplay

I wanted to know 
wǒ xiǎng zhī dào 
我想知道  
                          
How long a meteor could fly for
liú xīng néng fēi duō jiǔ
流星能飞多久 - 流星能飛多久

And whether its beauty was worth looking for
tā de měi lì shì fǒu zhí de qù xún qiú
它的美丽是否值得去寻求 - 它的美麗是否值得去尋求

The flowers of the night sky scattered and fell behind you
yè kōng de huā sàn luò zài nǐ shēn hòu
夜空的花散落在你身后 - 夜空的花散落在你身後

(It made me) happy for a very long while
xìng fú le wǒ hěn jiǔ
幸福了我很久- 幸福了我很久 

The wait was worth it
zhí dé qù děng hòu
值得去等候

And thus my heart rushed madly
yú shì wǒ xīn kuáng bēn
于是我心狂奔 - 於是我心狂奔 

From dusk till dawn
cóng huáng hūn dào qīng chén
从黄昏到清晨 - 從黃昏到清晨 

(Until I) couldn’t bear it any longer
bù néng zài chéng shòu
不能再承受

(My) feelings and hopes (then) landed in your hands
qíng yuàn zhuì luò zài nǐ shǒu zhōng
情愿坠落在你手中 - 情願墜落在你手中 

(And) gained wings to become a rainbow in the night
yǔ huà chéng hēi yè de cǎi hóng
羽化成黑夜的彩虹

They shed what constrained them and became a breeze in the moonlight
tuì biàn chéng yuè guāng de qīng fēng
蜕变成月光的清风 - 蛻變成月光的清風 

Became a breeze in the moonlight
chéng yuè guāng de qīng fēng
成月光的清风 - 成月光的清風

Repeat five times:
In happiness (I) leapt into your torrents
xìng fú tiào jìn nǐ de hé liú
幸福跳进你的河流 - 幸福跳進你的河流 

And swam all the way to the end
yī zhí yóu dào jìn tóu
一直游到尽头 - 一直游到盡頭 

Leapt into your torrents
tiào jìn nǐ de hé
跳进你的河- 跳進你的河

Ending:
I wanted to know
wǒ xiǎng zhī dào
我想知道

How long a meteor could fly for
liú xīng néng fēi duō jiǔ
流星能飞多久 - 流星能飛多久

And whether it truly is beautiful
tā de měi lì shì fǒu
它的美丽是否 - 它的美麗是否

Zheng Jun's omitted lyrics:
I hurled myself forwards and leapt
wǒ zòng shēn tiào
我纵身跳 - 我縱身跳 

Leapt into your torrents
tiào jìn nǐ de hé liú
跳进你的河流 - 跳進你的河流 

And swam all the way to the end
yī zhí yóu dào jìn tóu
一直游到尽头 - 一直游到盡頭 

There (I) was freed
nà li duō zì yóu
那里多自由 - 那裡多自由

I made a wish
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn
我许个愿 - 我許個願 

I made a wish for protection
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn bǎo yòu
我许个愿保佑 - 我許個願保佑

That my soul would be stilled in this most glorious of moments
ràng wǒ de xīn níng gù zài zuì měi de shí hòu
让我的心凝固在最美的时候 - 讓我的心凝固在最美的時候

(When my) feelings and hopes landed in your hands
qíng yuàn zhuì luò zài nǐ shǒu zhōng
情愿坠落在你手中 - 情願墜落在你手中 

(And) gained wings to become a rainbow in the night
yǔ huà chéng hēi yè de cǎi hóng
羽化成黑夜的彩虹

My feelings and hopes will not see the bright day again
qíng yuàn bú zài jiàn míng mèi de tiān
情愿不再见明媚的天 - 情願不再見明媚的天 

I made a wish that this most precious of moments would be preserved
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn bǎo yòu zài zuì měi de shí hòu
我许个愿保佑在最美的时候 - 我許個願保佑在最美的時候 

I made a wish
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn
我许个愿 - 我許個願 

 Zheng Jun’s original ending:
I had wanted to know
wǒ xiǎng zhī dào
我想知道

How long a meteor could fly for
liú xīng néng fēi duō jiǔ
流星能飞多久 - 流星能飛多久

(I shall now be) happy for a very long time
xìng fú le wǒ hěn jiǔ
幸福了我很久 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

My Translation of 'Crazy Rich Asians' Mandarin version of Coldplay's 'Yellow' into English - Enjoy!



First published on 15 Aug 2018 and updated on 19 Aug 2018 by Beanie Lei with Beanie's Translator's Notes at the bottom of this post.

Li Wenqi’s李文琦  shortened version of 流星 'Meteors', Michael Zheng Jun's郑钧version of Coldplay's 'Yellow', has been shortened and sung by Katherine Ho as part of the soundtrack to 'Crazy Rich Asians'. I have listed Katherine's Li Wenqi’s shortened lyrics, and added Zheng Jun's omitted lyrics for a comparison and to explain why I went for my translation after Katherine's version  .

Please support Katherine Ho, Li Wenqi, Coldplay, and Zheng Jun by watching their videos and listening to/buying their music :-)!

Some info on 'Yellow' and 'Liuxing' from my perspective here:


Translated with love from the UK by Beanie Lei. Note: this was the original translation I posted on Youtube. I edited this translation on Youtube to its current version on 20 Aug 2018 - my explanation is given in my notes below.

I wanted to know
xiǎng zhī dào
 

How long a meteor could fly for
liú xīng néng fēi duō  jiǔ
   

And whether its beauty was worth looking for
tā de měi lì shì fǒu zhí de xún qiú
它的美丽 得去

The flowers of the night sky scattered and fell behind you
yè kōng de huā sàn luò zài nǐ shēn hòu
  的花 在你  

(It made me) happy for a very long while
xìng fú le wǒ hěn jiǔ
了我

The wait was worth it
zhí dé qù děng hòu
 

And thus my heart rushed madly
yú shì wǒ xīn kuáng bēn
于是  

From dusk till dawn
cóng huáng hūn dào qīng chén
     

(Until I) couldn’t bear it any longer
bù néng zài chéng shòu
   

(Then my) feelings and hopes landed in your hands
qíng yuàn zhuì luò zài nǐ shǒu zhōng
       你手 

The rain became a rainbow in the night
yǔ huà chéng hēi yè de cǎi hóng
 

And gossamer cocoons became breezes in the moonlight
tuì biàn chéng yuè guāng de qīng fēng
     

Turned into breezes in the moonlight
chéng yuè guāng de qīng fēng
    

Repeat five times:
In happiness (I) leapt into your torrents
xìng fú tiào jìn nǐ de hé liú
幸福跳 你的 河流

And swam all the way to the end
yī zhí yóu dào jìn tóu

Leapt into your torrents
tiào jìn nǐ de hé
你的

Ending:
I wanted to know
xiǎng zhī dào
 

How long a meteor could fly for
liú xīng néng fēi duō  jiǔ
 

And whether it truly is beautiful
tā de měi lì shì fǒu
它的 美丽
Lyrics that were left out:
I hurled myself forwards and leapt
wǒ zòng shēn tiào
      

Leapt into your torrents
tiào jìn nǐ de hé liú
跳 进 你的  河流

And swam all the way to the end
yī zhí yóu dào jìn tóu

And There I was freed
nà li duō zì yóu
那里 多自

I made a wish
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn
许个    

I made a wish for protection
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn bǎo yòu
许个   

That my soul would be stilled in this most glorious of moments
ràng wǒ de xīn níng gù zài zuì měi de shí hòu
 

(When my) feelings and hopes landed in your hands
qíng yuàn zhuì luò zài nǐ shǒu zhōng
       你手 

The rain became a rainbow in the night
yǔ huà chéng hēi yè de cǎi hóng
     夜的 

And gossamer cocoons turned into breezes in the moonlight
tuì biàn chéng yuè guāng de qīng fēng
          

My feelings and hopes will not see the bright day again
qíng yuàn bú zài jiàn míng mèi de tiān
     

I made a wish that this most precious of moments would be preserved
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn bǎo yòu zài zuì měi de shí hòu
许个      

I made a wish
wǒ xǔ gè yuàn
许个   

Beanie’s Translator’s Notes – added on 19 August 2018

My translation was an emotional response to Jon Chu’s explanation, and was done in ten minutes  after I found Zheng Jun’s lyrics here. The actual arranging of the Pinyin, however, took 20 minutes because it was all over the place after I copied and pasted it. It was posted on 15 August 2018.

As I did a rather rushed job, I am adding these Translator’s Notes so that you can peek at my alternative translations which did not make it, and how fun, interesting and quirky the Chinese and English languages are.

1.      Why I went for my translation:
‘Meteors’ vs ‘Shooting Stars’ – ‘Shooting Star’ works in English, but the sound of ‘Yellow’ and the English language translation of ‘Meteors’ (the song) favours an ‘or’ / ‘oh’ sound. In a moment of pure luck, I was told afterwards that ‘Meteors’ the song was in the soundtrack of a Taiwanese drama 流星花园, which is always known in English as ‘Meteor Garden’. Phew!

Before I embarked on my translation, I had never heard of ‘Meteors’, Michael Zheng Jun (I got his name as 'Zheng Yun' at first; I am so sorry, Zheng Jun), Li Wenqi, and ‘Meteor Garden’, and I based what I was hearing on Katherine’s voice, Coldplay’s original ‘Yellow’, and how I perceived Zheng Jun’s meaning from his written lyrics.

When I heard Katherine singing the part equivalent to Coldplay’s ‘Your skin/oh yeah your skin and bones/turn into something beautiful/d’you know/d’you know I love you so?’

       你手  /雨 化 成  黑 夜 的 彩 虹/蜕 变    月 光  的 清 风

I was slightly stumped.

A rainbow in the night is a strange image, because I would imagine that such a rainbow would be colourless. This would mean that all the colours of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ would be gone.

Furthermore, is a Classical Chinese phrase which encompasses ‘metamorphosis’ AND ‘moulting’, as well as the idea of ‘chrysalis’, ‘cocoon’,  and ‘shedded skin from a snake’. It didn’t make sense. What was undergoing such a big change?

‘yu hua’ was the trickiest bit to translate. It could mean 欲化 ‘yearned to become’ or ‘the rain became’. It made no sense to me.

I had to think about Zheng Jun’s intention. Based on the shortened lyrics I was hearing from Katherine Ho, I was getting this: I desired ardently/wished fervently to fall into your arms. I yearned to be transformed into a rainbow in the night. Something else gets transformed into a breeze in moonlight.

It didn’t feel right. Katherine Ho did NOT sing like someone who was waiting to fall into someone else’s arms, or making wishes without acting on them. Neither, I remembered, did Chris Martin of Coldplay. I gathered that if feelings were bulls, Ho and Coldplay would have grabbed them by the horns and somersaulted and would not have waited to be bashed about.

Furthermore, I knew that something was being transformed. But what was it? Was it ‘feelings’, a person, or a moment? The shortened lyrics did not tell me anything. The full lyrics had the answer.

The full lyrics, which I was not sure were accurate because I took them from an unofficial site, had羽化 and not 欲化 ‘yearned to become’ or ‘the rain became’. 羽化 is a Classical Chinese phrase meaning ‘immortalisation of a human’. I found this a problem because 羽化 is always used for humans and because 羽化is based on the Taoist concept that just as an insect becomes an insect when it gains its wings, a human becomes immortalised and gains wings like an insect after undergoing metamorphosis. (Taoism and Christianity both share the idea that a human can gain immortality by gaining wings, but in both beliefs, the human has to be dead first, and I honestly didn’t think that was Zheng Jun’s intention!)

In Eastern belief, and what I thought Zheng Jun intended to portray, is the idea of letting go of troubling, crippling emotions and to embrace the freedom this brings. In Zheng Jun’s 'Meteors', it is true love which enables this (‘love’ is never mentioned, but it is alluded to in the part about one’s own hopes and wishes becoming submerged in the river/torrents of a beloved’s self and becoming free). As I am in the UK and CRA is not being released until September 2018, I don’t know if this is what’s intended in the film (and don’t tell me, please!), but this is what I get from Zheng Jun’s full lyrics. In other words, Zheng Jun is just as much of an emotional bullfighter as Ho and Martin.

Zheng Jun’s full lyrics also contained something else. In the second verse, he writes of making wishes, and it hit me that 你手 could be Classical Chinese, not Modern Chinese. So I went for My feelings and hopes landed in your hands rather than I desired ardently/wished fervently to fall into your arms and initially pushed for . As there is no indication that an ‘I’, human or insect, is being sung about in the short version, I could not see 羽化in that verse. Furthermore, in Chinese, a meteor shower is 流星雨 ‘meteor rain’, and in Britain, it always seems to rain when meteors are around, so I went for , plus ‘gossamer cocoons’ for and not ‘metamorphosis’ and ‘moulting’ for .

Now that I have seen Li Wenqi’s video on 19 Aug 2018, I must add that Zheng Jun intended the lyric to be 羽化 and not雨化, hence my discussion on羽化 and what this is, and I have translated the lines after 羽化 as: My feelings and hopes gained wings to become a rainbow in the night/They shed what constrained them and became a breeze in the moonlight

A bit more on 'Yellow' and 'Liuxing' from my perspective here:


Final Translation - Crazy Rich Asians version

I wanted to know
wǒ xiǎng zhī dào
我想知道 

How long a meteor could fly for
liú xīng néng fēi duō jiǔ
流星能飞多久 - 流星能飛多久

And whether its beauty was worth looking for
tā de měi lì shì fǒu zhí de qù xún qiú
它的美丽是否值得去寻求 - 它的美麗是否值得去尋求

The flowers of the night sky scattered and fell behind you
yè kōng de huā sàn luò zài nǐ shēn hòu
夜空的花散落在你身后 - 夜空的花散落在你身後

(It made me) happy for a very long while
xìng fú le wǒ hěn jiǔ
幸福了我很久- 幸福了我很久 

The wait was worth it
zhí dé qù děng hòu
值得去等候

And thus my heart rushed madly
yú shì wǒ xīn kuáng bēn
于是我心狂奔 - 於是我心狂奔 

From dusk till dawn
cóng huáng hūn dào qīng chén
从黄昏到清晨 - 從黃昏到清晨 

(Until I) couldn’t bear it any longer
bù néng zài chéng shòu
不能再承受

(My) feelings and hopes (then) landed in your hands
qíng yuàn zhuì luò zài nǐ shǒu zhōng
情愿坠落在你手中 - 情願墜落在你手中 

(And) gained wings to become a rainbow in the night
yǔ huà chéng hēi yè de cǎi hóng
羽化成黑夜的彩虹

They shed what constrained them and became a breeze in the moonlight
tuì biàn chéng yuè guāng de qīng fēng
蜕变成月光的清风 - 蛻變成月光的清風 

Became a breeze in the moonlight
chéng yuè guāng de qīng fēng
成月光的清风 - 成月光的清風

Repeat five times:
In happiness (I) leapt into your torrents
xìng fú tiào jìn nǐ de hé liú
幸福跳进你的河流 - 幸福跳進你的河流 

And swam all the way to the end
yī zhí yóu dào jìn tóu
一直游到尽头 - 一直游到盡頭 

Leapt into your torrents
tiào jìn nǐ de hé
跳进你的河- 跳進你的河

Ending:
I wanted to know
wǒ xiǎng zhī dào
我想知道

How long a meteor could fly for
liú xīng néng fēi duō jiǔ
流星能飞多久 - 流星能飛多久

And whether it truly is beautiful
tā de měi lì shì fǒu
它的美丽是否 - 它的美麗是否

Zheng Jun's omitted lyrics:
I hurled myself forwards and leapt

wǒ zòng shēn tiào

我纵身跳 - 我縱身跳 



Leapt into your torrents

tiào jìn nǐ de hé liú

跳进你的河流 - 跳進你的河流 



And swam all the way to the end

yī zhí yóu dào jìn tóu

一直游到尽头 - 一直游到盡頭 



There (I) was freed

nà li duō zì yóu

那里多自由 - 那裡多自由



I made a wish

wǒ xǔ gè yuàn

我许个愿 - 我許個願 



I made a wish for protection

wǒ xǔ gè yuàn bǎo yòu

我许个愿保佑 - 我許個願保佑



That my soul would be stilled in this most glorious of moments

ràng wǒ de xīn níng gù zài zuì měi de shí hòu

让我的心凝固在最美的时候 - 讓我的心凝固在最美的時候



(When my) feelings and hopes landed in your hands

qíng yuàn zhuì luò zài nǐ shǒu zhōng

情愿坠落在你手中 - 情願墜落在你手中 



(And) gained wings to become a rainbow in the night

yǔ huà chéng hēi yè de cǎi hóng

羽化成黑夜的彩虹



My feelings and hopes will not see the bright day again

qíng yuàn bú zài jiàn míng mèi de tiān

情愿不再见明媚的天 - 情願不再見明媚的天 



I made a wish that this most precious of moments would be preserved

wǒ xǔ gè yuàn bǎo yòu zài zuì měi de shí hòu

我许个愿保佑在最美的时候 - 我許個願保佑在最美的時候 



I made a wish

wǒ xǔ gè yuàn

我许个愿 - 我許個願 



Zheng Jun’s original ending:

I had wanted to know

wǒ xiǎng zhī dào

我想知道



How long a meteor could fly for

liú xīng néng fēi duō jiǔ

流星能飞多久 - 流星能飛多久



(I shall now be) happy for a very long time

xìng fú le wǒ hěn jiǔ

幸福了我很久

2.     Why I posted my translation on Youtube
I never realised the significance of 'Yellow' for Asian Americans until today 15 August 2018

As a Mandarin speaker, I am used to referring to myself as 'huangzhongren' - Mongoloid/yellow, and to me, yellow is such a happy, bright and cheerful colour which also happens to be the colour of life-giving loess and of the Yellow River, so to realise that 'yellow' is a slur and that it has negative connotations has come as a bit of a shock, but hey.

As someone who was born and raised in Britain, I loved 'Yellow' because it was a very catchy song with a good tune and lyrics, plus Coldplay was played everywhere back then, during the height of Britpop; my family and I would drive into the countryside and sing ourselves silly to this song. This was the first pop song we introduced one of my white friends to, and he became so obsessed by this song that he used to play it endlessly on the piano. It's definitely up there with every song by the Chemical Brothers :-)

When I first heard Katherine’s rendition of ‘Meteors’, I was blown away, and when I noted that fans of her video had asked for Pinyin, lyrics and a translation, I, as an overseas/ethnic Chinese, thought that I ought to help out, and because I was miffed, so I posted what I could. Hope you enjoy it!