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I have a blog on which I translate Chinese Music. I've come to a halt at the verses

无法容下世间之爱 and 但愿无声自有人在 and 但愿无能自有人在

in the song 臥軌的火車 【火海 The Flame of Love】

I don't quite understand this, even going word by word or word groups, it doesn't make any sense to me.

Could somebody help me out?

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心中是一片火海 - My heart is an ocean of fire

无法容下世间之爱 - It cannot contain (accept) any love in the world

但愿无声 自有人在 - Just wish (when I am) voiceless, there is always someone there (to accompany me or speak for me)

但愿无能 自有人在 - Just wish (when I am) powerless, there is always someone there (to accompany me or to help me)

The problem with the phrase '自有人在' (there is naturally/ always someone there) is it doesn't state what that person is supposed to do. I have to presume that someone is there to accompany me or actually be there to help me

Typical usage of '自有':

你不爱我自有人爱我 (you don’t love me, naturally there is someone else who would love me) = Even if you didn’t love me, there is always someone who would love me

Common expression: 山人自有妙計 = I naturally (always) have a good plan

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  • Quote:- "The problem with the phrase '自有人在' (there is naturally/ always someone there) is it doesn't state what that person is supposed to do." Perhaps this "problem" could be overcome by saying "....there is always someone there for me"? -- like the ever present "Guardian Angel"? Nov 29 '20 at 5:39
  • @WayneCheah That has the same problem; the original text doesn't contain "for me". Either way the translation needs to interpolate (as Tang Ho has already indicated with brackets).
    – yawnoc
    Nov 29 '20 at 6:05
  • so I've got the gist of it before posting this. That's good for me because it comes to show that my Chinese is improving. Yet the translation I wrote was kind of non-sensical, even though I could comprehend somehow, I could not use the proper words to translate it. Thank you very much for your help! Nov 30 '20 at 19:50
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Tricky, sounds like lyrics from the renegade province!!

心中是一片火海无法容下世间之爱
My heart is on fire (bursting) with too much love

但愿无声自有人在
if only I had a silent someone there

心中是一片火海无法容下世间之爱
My heart is on fire with too much love

但愿无能自有人在
if only (I ) could 'not have someone there
if only I could live without someone by my side

Reminds me of: "I can't live if living is without you"

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  • An ocean of fire destroy everything, therefore love cannot exist, and you misinterpreted 自有人在, (there's always someone there); 自有 (自然有) means 'naturally have' not 'self has' (自己有); 'I have' in Chinese is '我有'
    – Tang Ho
    Nov 29 '20 at 13:04
  • Love is a fire of burning passion, for some people at least. That is not to say it destroys itself. You know 自有 = (自然有) and not 自动有 how? Assume you are correct: If you 自有, that is still 有。
    – Pedroski
    Nov 30 '20 at 13:43
  • Love is different from passion. either 自有 = 自然有 or 自动有, you translated it as 'I had' is incorrect. Notice: Something 'naturally happens' will 'happen automatically'
    – Tang Ho
    Nov 30 '20 at 13:52

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