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The following is my translation of the song "那裏是吾家":

"那裏是吾家"

作詞:許冠傑/黎彼得

作曲:許冠傑

足跡遍天下,看透異國繁華, (My footprints are all over the world, I've seen every flourishing foreign countries

桃源仙境似夢也,始終找不到吾家。 (utopia is but a dream, I've never found my home)

安居似虛話,遠處密罩雲霞, (live in peace is like a lie, faraway places are thickly covered by clouds and mist)

何時一朝見霧化,子孫歡笑艷陽下。 (When will be a day when we see the mist dissipate, and my children laughing under the bright sun)

啊!萬千燈火透廣廈, 啊!那裏是吾家。 (Ah! million lights shine out of great buildings, Ah! There is my home.

Base on the lyrics, The singer has been looking for his home, and at the end he found it, but did he?

萬千燈火透廣廈 is where his home at seem strange, because great city skylines are all over the world, not just in Hong Kong.

Is it possible that Sam Hui like many Chinese use 那 and 哪 interchangeably? I was one of the guilt one, I always wrote "那裏?" instead of "哪裏?"

Is it possible that "那裏是吾家"(there is my home) was intended to be "哪裏是吾家?" (where is my home?)?

Of course, Sam Hui himself would be the best person to answer this question. Since there's no possible way for me to ask him, I wonder did anyone heard him clarify it in some media?

Or more realistically, an official English translation of this song exists, that can answer my question definitely.

Edit:

Presume 那裏是吾家 did mean "There is my home" we have to interpret the lyrics as the following:

安居似虛話, he was living somewhere he didn't true feel home.

遠處密罩雲霞, his true home is some faraway place he couldn't locate.

何時一朝見霧化,he is hoping the location of his real home would be revealed

子孫歡笑艷陽下。 he and his children will then happily live there

啊!萬千燈火透廣廈, is the description of that heart warming place (Hong Kong)

啊!那裏是吾家。where million lights shine out of great buildings (Hong Kong) is his true home.

  • 联系上一句还在讲何处,马上就肯定“那里是吾家”未免奇怪了些。。我偏向于“哪里” – Toosky Hierot Dec 5 '19 at 15:53
  • 另及:哪里本来就写作那里。哪倒是个新字。 – Toosky Hierot Dec 5 '19 at 15:57
  • To be honest, my mental image of the last vice is still a man asking (longing) where his true home is – Tang Ho Dec 5 '19 at 16:01
  • The most important thing is that vice doesn't include a question mark at the end . That bothers me the most. I can presume Sam wrote "那裏?" when he meant "哪裏?" But without a question mark, 那裏是吾家 clearly means "there's my home". – Tang Ho Dec 5 '19 at 16:10
  • baike.baidu.com/item/… Seem like some editor also interpret 那裏 as 哪裏 like I would want to – Tang Ho Dec 5 '19 at 16:51
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My take from the context of the overall lyrics is that 那 is correct.

The starting line sets the basic premise for the song 足跡遍天下, (an itinerant traveler, not a sojourner)

Then you have 始終找不到吾家, (still unable to find my or rather a home for himself; the operative word here is 始終; he didn't have a home, he was searching for one)

Finally, 啊!萬千燈火透廣廈, 啊!那裏是吾家, (Ah!, the bright lights of HK?; Ah!, that's my home) The clue here is the joyful 啊! It is indicative that he has at long last, after all the wanderings, searching and longing found or "adopted" HK as his home or rather, poignantly in such cases, his final resting place.

Perhaps the idea that it may have been intended to be 哪 came about because the first part of the song does indicate asking for "where" But the ending of the song finally resolves the hitherto ambiguous issue by saying, 啊!萬千燈火透廣廈, 啊!那裏是吾家, (Ah!, where the bright lights are, that's my home)

Finally, listen to him sing. There isn't any rising inquisitive tone when vocalizing 那 which would be the case if it is actually a question, a 哪.

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  • Ah, yes, 那 /naa5/ in inquisitive form has a rising tone of /naa5*2/ – Tang Ho Dec 6 '19 at 20:43
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1.Is it possible that Sam Hui like many Chinese use 那 and 哪 interchangeably? I was one of the guilt one, I always wrote "那里?" instead of "哪里?"

Nope, at least for nowaday mainland Chinese, we do not do that. It is definitely a typo.

2.Is it possible that "那里是吾家"(there is my home) was intended to be "哪里是吾家?" (where is my home?)?

Possibly, based on the context I would say it is 哪. The confusion arises from the fact that 那 means 哪 in the ancient Chinese language. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E9%82%A3%E8%A3%A1

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