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I have come across this song recently. I understand practically all of it. My question is specifically about one word. At a certain point, the lyrics go:

二項要選擇啥

Now, according to 台灣閩南語常用詞辭典, a better spelling is:

兩項欲選擇啥

Pronunciation:

Nn̄g hāng beh ?-? siánn

The meaning should be:

Of the two which should I choose?

What I'm concerned with is "choose". The given characters, according to the above dictionary, are pronounced suán-ti̍k, but listening to the song, I hear more like sng-tia. I did some research, and I found , pronounced tiah, means 揀選, i.e. "choose". However, I found nothing close to "choose" with a reading close to "sng". So I tried to look up any word close to sng-tia, and found 痠疼, read sng-thiànn, which could well fit here, were it a verb rather than an adjective. I subsequently looked on minhakka.ling.sinica.edu.tw, finding 算 | sǹg. So possible guesses are 算疼 | sǹg-thiànn, "endure suffering", or 算摘 | sǹg-tiah, "think of choosing" or similar. I found two lyric links, [1] and [2], which both spell it as the video's subs, and a third one, which just won't load on my computer, but I expect it to spell it the same way. So in the end, what is this word? Does it mean "choose"? Otherwise, what does it mean? How is it spelt and pronounced?

As a bonus, can you confirm to on its own is equivalent to tó-uī | 叨位, i.e. means "where"?

Edit: To add context, here are the full lyrics in Dictionary-suggested spelling with transliteration:

若無分開我不知
Nā bô hun-khui guá m̄ tsai
我有遮愛你
Guá ū tsiah ài lí
心像海水湧來湧去
Sim tshiūnn hái-tsúi íng lâi íng khì
想你無停止
Siūnn lí bô thîng-tsí
萬萬也想袂到
Bān-bān iā siūnn buē kàu
愛你遮爾深
Ài lí tsiah-nī tshim
回頭的路愈離愈遠
Huê-thâu ê lōo lú lī lú hn̄g
愛的終站佇佗位
Ài ê tsiong-tsām tī tó-uī

天啊問天啊何必折磨我
Thinn--ah mn̄g thinn--ah hô-pit tsiat-buâ guá (tsiat!?!?)
欠你偌濟怎會還袂煞
Khiàm lí guā-tsuē tsuánn ē hîng buē suah
愛你也苦無愛也苦
Ài lí iā khóo bô ài iā khóo
兩項欲選擇啥
Nn̄g hāng beh suán-ti̍k siánn
啥人知影只有天啊
Siánn-lâng tsai-iánn tsí-ū thinn--ah

指示我
Tsí-sī guá
指示我該對叨位行
Tsí-sī guá kai tuì tó-uī kiânn
我的幸福終站佇佗啦
Guá ê hīng-hok tsiong-tsām tī tó--lah

And here's a possible Mandarin rendition with English translation:

如果沒分開我不知
If we hadn't parted, I don't know
我有這麼愛你
If I'd have loved you so much
心像海水湧來湧去
My heart surges up and down like the water of the sea
想你不停止
I think of you without stopping
萬萬也想不到
I absolutely couldn't imagine
愛你這麼深
I'd have loved you so deeply
回頭的路越離越遠
The way behind me, the more I leave, the further it is
愛的終站在哪裡
Where is the final stop of love?

天啊問天啊何必折磨我
Heaven, I ask heaven, why do you torture me?
欠你偌濟怎會還袂煞
How much do I owe you? How could I not yet have finished paying?
愛你也苦無愛也苦
If I love you I suffer, if I don't, I also suffer
兩個要選擇什麼
What should I choose of the two?
誰人知道只有天啊
Who knows? Only heaven

指示我
Point out to me
指示我該對哪裡走
Point out to me whither I should go?
我的幸福終站在哪兒啊
Where is the final stop of my happiness?

Update

Yep, the third lyric site spells it 選擇 both on the right and on the left. It is a three-column site with the first two columns having the lyrics once each.

1

You are right, it means 'choose', and the difference of pronunciation, (as a Taiwanese I think it) is due to the song. (The elongation of that note.)

So both suán-ti̍k or sng-tia are fine.

  • So you mean it's like when is pronounced "di" in a song, where it should be pronounced "de" (e.g. 因为我的爱覆水难收, which Zhang Yusheng pronounces "yin-wei wo di ai fu-shui-nan-shou" in Yi-tian-dao-wan you-yong de yu), so in speaking it would never be pronounced "di", but in singing it is? – MickG Feb 12 '15 at 12:02
  • If it could ever be read sng-tia in speaking, what tones would it have? – MickG Feb 12 '15 at 12:03
  • I mean that although ti̍k is a short sound, but in that song it has to last for one second, so it had been modified a little bit. The intonation will be the same for sng-tia. – Aaron Feb 12 '15 at 12:08
  • OK, but if it's just for the song, why not suan-tia? I mean there is no need to turn suan to sng, it sounds better as suan to me, so why change it? – MickG Feb 12 '15 at 12:53
  • In fact, I heard she pronounced suan in that song, it sounds like a pretty standard pronunciation of . – Aaron Feb 12 '15 at 13:00

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