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I have recently been listening to MC Hotdog's seminal 2006 hit 《我爱台妹》 I am a little confused by the second and fourth lines of the chorus

我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,林志玲算什么 我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,侯佩岑算什么

I understand 对我来说 as "as far as I'm concerned" but I'm not sure about 算什么. Hotdog loves Taiwanese girls and Taiwanese girls love him, 林志玲 and 侯佩岑 are both "beautiful" Taiwanese celebrities. So what does 算什么 mean here? The idea I had was "As far as I'm concerned, 林志玲 can do what she wants" (because she's a Taiwanese girl) but I'm not sure this is correct.

Please help! Thanks.

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台妹 does not mean Taiwanese girls. It is the female version of 台客 - a Taiwanese country bumpkin. The song is an expression of the singer's affection towards 台妹 in contrast to the more sophisticated city girls like the two celebrities. –  杨以轩 Aug 14 at 12:35
    
makes sense, thanks –  博仁诚 Aug 14 at 13:04
    
Double emphasis on 台妹 does not equal to Taiwanese girls and it's hardly a positive word even when the focus is on the free and unsophisticated lifestyle (compared to city girls). The word implies loud and tasteless dressing style, vulgar hobbies and poor manners. See baike.baidu.com/view/280518.htm and douban.com/group/topic/44634514 –  NS.X. Aug 15 at 22:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I am a Taiwanese, this song is really famous when I was a child. :)

In here 算什么 is a phrase to disparage something. The complete usage of 算什么 is 算是什么. (算=>算是)

算是 can represent is (a member of) something.(but not so sure or you're telling someone who may not know this.) in English.

For example,

不要這樣捉弄他,這算是一種霸凌 => Don't make fun of him like that, it could be a kind of bully.
A: 王八蛋算是一種髒話嗎? => Is dickhead a swear? B: 當然算! => Of course, it is!

As I said before, this phrase is going to disparage someone. The main idea of disparaging came from "什么"

Generally, 什么 can treat as "What". But 什么 also have a negative meaning when you use 什么 to describe a person, which represents nothing. So never use 什么 to a person.(Unless he/she is a d-word in above example.)

Example for negative meaning of 什么,

你以為你算什麼東西? => Who do you thing you are? (English is more rational when blaming someone, at least calling that one as a human. In Chinese, they don't even treat you as a human kind)

Since 林志玲 and 侯佩岑 are beautiful. And MC Hotdog wants to emphasis that how he loves 台妹, so he says that all he loves is 台妹 despite there comes a real beauty.

So, all this sentence(对我来说,林志玲算什么) is saying is To me, 林志玲 is nothing.(compare with 台妹)

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so detailed, thanks! –  博仁诚 Aug 14 at 13:05

算什么 = doesn't amount to anything/is meaningless/

妹 = young girls (definitely wouldn't apply to models or celebrities)

Basically it's like:

Lin Zhiling don't mean nothing to me - I love Taiwan girls

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