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张少林个“肯涯正晓出头”

人穷爱肯涯正晓出头
平时努力人系饿毋瘦
完家大细一大楸
来负担系好愁
早晨由暗做杉几十穷
涯到拨病骨头痛又
做到瘦
还惊饿死老婆屋又臭
做到 汗流
周时爱当借靠老朋友
年轻爱食苦 做事莫怕羞
出头个日子还有

Nyin khiung oi hen ngai tsang hiau chut-theu
Phin-sii nu-lit nyin he ngo m seu
Won ka thai-se yit thai chiu
Loi fu-tam he hau seu
Tsau-sin yu am tso sam ki sip khiung
Ngai tau pot-phiang kut-theu thung yiu
Tso tau siu
Han kiang ngo-si lau-pho wuk yiu chiu
Tso tau hon liu
Tsiu-sii oi tong cia khau lau phen-yiu
Nyien-khiang oi sit-khu tso-sii mok pha siu
Chut-theu ke nyit-tsii han yu

When poverty allows me, I will succeed
People who work hard in common times are not scarce in hunger
The whole family, young and old people, are a big tree
And holding it up is rather sad (?)
In the morning from when it's still dark I make clothes in the tens.
If I fall ill and my bones hurt, I still
Work till I'm thin
I still fear I'll starve to death and my wife abd my house will be poor again
I work till my sweat flows
I often have to rely on old friends for borrowing [stuff]
When you're young you must suffer work and not be afraid of disgrace
There will still be a day of success

The above is my character approximation, transliteration, and translation attempt for a Hakka song by Zhang Shaolin. I am unsure about the following:

  1. Translating 愁 as sad is the only option given the character, but I would expect something more like "hard, difficult" than "sad"; is that correct, or is there another seu/siu which fits best? Or maybe 楸 is the wrong character?
  2. Is my reading of 早晨由暗做杉几十穷 correct?
  3. That 当借 feels a bit like it should be a single verb, but I can't find it; is my translation fine?

Any other inputs are of course welcome.

EDIT

The first line is extremely prone to misinterpretation, because:

  1. 人穷 is reported by Minhakka… um, seems to be reported by Minhakka as "poverty", the culprit being «人窮起盗心», translated to «poverty leads to thievery» when a more literal (i.e. structure-reflecting) translation is «if a man is poor he will grow a thief's heart»;
  2. 肯 also means "allow";
  3. The sound "ngai" is, in my mind, automatically matched to the pronoun "ngâi", meaning "I"; however, it is also the verb 捱, meaning "to endure, to suffer".

So after clearing up point 1, only one option is left:

人穷爱肯捱正晓出头 | If a man is poor, only when he is willing to endure hardships will he succeed

With point 1 not cleared, the obvious interpretation is what I gave at the beginning. If we change the interpretation of 肯捱 without clearing up point 1, we end up with:

人穷爱肯捱正晓出头

interpreted as:

Only when (正) [I] will (爱) be willing (肯) to endure (捱) [my] poverty (人穷) can (晓) [I] succeed (出头).

  • It should be 人穷爱肯[捱][至]晓出头 – Tang Ho May 9 '18 at 12:20
  • @TangHo concerning ngai, I follow the convention of the fb group Hakka Verse, which uses that character, and I also have a source with yet another radical (the person radical) suggested, so unless that is not the pronoun ngai I will keep that character. Concerning tsang, [Minhakka](minhakka.ling.sinica.edu.tw) actually supports my spelling for the word "chàng" meaning "just, exactly", and only reads 至 as chì, which is not what is heard in the song, so why should I use 至? – MickG May 9 '18 at 12:25
  • I agree with @tang ho , 肯 is the proper term. both 捱 and 涯 pronounce as ngai in hakka, this is Hans character, you cannot simply use 涯 because it pronounce the same. – mootmoot May 9 '18 at 14:06
  • @mootmoot On what basis are you suggesting I change the spelling of this pronoun? – MickG May 9 '18 at 14:11
  • Go check out zdic.net if you insist to use 涯. All the Chinese dialect are using the same unified mandrain character, you cannot simply redefine the meaning. – mootmoot May 9 '18 at 14:16
0
  1. 来负担系好 = to burden oneself is very worrisome
  1. Is my reading of 早晨由暗做杉几十穷 correct?

It is not Mandarin or Cantonese, I am not sure if your pinyin is correct or not, but sound like O.K to me.

  1. 当= 典当 (to pawn); 借= to borrow. The two verbs together means "to pawn and borrow"

[周时][爱][当][借][靠老朋友]= Often pawn, borrow and rely on (support from) old friends

Edit:

MickG wrote:

Would I then be right in translating «完家大细一大楸 来负担系好愁» as «All my family, older and younger [people], is a big tree, and burdening myself [with it] is very worrysome»?

完家大细 = the entire family (old and young) ; 一大楸 = a big bundle 来负担系好愁 = it is very worrisome to burden myself (with all of them)

"完家大细一大楸 来负担系好愁" means " the entire family old and young, is a big bundle, to burden (myself with it) is very worrisome"

  • The transliteration is an approximation of what I hear. In particular, the pairs c-ts, ch-tsh and sh-s may exhibit switchings w.r.t. Minhakka. The rest should be correct. – MickG May 9 '18 at 12:41
  • Would I then be right in translating «完家大细一大楸 来负担系好愁» as «All my family, older and younger [people], is a big tree, and burdening myself [with it] is very worrysome»? – MickG May 9 '18 at 12:48
  • See my edition at the bottom. – Tang Ho May 9 '18 at 12:58
  • So it's using the name of a tree as a metaphor for a heavy burden. Does such a thing happen in Mandarin too or should I provide a gloss on a blog post where I gloss every non-Mandarin word with matching Mandarin translations? – MickG May 9 '18 at 13:41
  • 週時愛當借靠老朋友 in Hakka has nothing to do with simply pawning or borrowing. mean needs or 需要, 當 has nothing to do with pawn, it should be read as 當借靠老朋友 , it means you should get help from your folks when in needs. – mootmoot May 9 '18 at 14:19

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