The song is 男人的汗, which I added to Lyricstranslate some time ago. The lyrics:

人生行到遮 | Lîn-sing kiânn kàu tsia
地位亲像山 | Tē-uī tshin-tshiūnn suann
才知神仙 | Tsiah tsai sîn-sian
也孤单 | Iā koo-tuann
性命越头看 | Sìnn-miā ua̍t-thâu khuànn
风云起变化 | Hong-hûn khí piàn-huà
晌知雨水 | Siâng tsai hōo-tsuí
参血汗 | Tsham hueh kuānn
时也 运也 | Sî iā ūn iā
总靠双手 | Tsóng khò siang tshiú
家己拚 | Ka-kī piànn

他乡路揣无故乡名 | Thann-hiong lōo tshē bô kòo-hiong miâ
孤单行 | Koo-tuann kiânn
为着一顿白米换 | Uī-tio̍h tsi̍t tǹg pe̍h-bí uānn
肩头双爿担 | King-thâu siang-pîng tann
旧时路伴阮1今日行 | Kū-sî lōo phuānn gún kin-li̍t kiânn
笑过去 | Tshiò kuè-khì
伤心揣无所在寄 | Siong-sim tshuē bô sóo-tsāi kià
一生风雨 | It-sing hong-ú
啥物才拭会焦 | Siánn-mih tsiah tshit ē ta
这滴 查埔人的汗 | Tsit tih tsa-poo-lâng--ê kuānn

My attempt:

In life, [I've] come here,
A place like a mountain,
And only now I know that even celestials
[Can] be lonely
Looking back at [my] life
[There are] stormy times and changes
Who knows rainwater
Is mixed with blood and sweat?
Time! Fortune!
Always with [my] two hands
I myself have fought

On foreign roads I find no-one from my land
I walk alone
For a bowl of rice, [I] end up
Carrying weights with both shoulders
Once the road would accompany me, today
It laughs at my past
Sad, [I] can't find a place to stay
In lifelong storms
What can dry up
This man sweat?

Any comments? In particular:

  1. Who are these "celestials" he's mentioning, and why is he mentioning them? Is he saying that he's "made it to the top" and now he's not happy because he's on his own? But then why does he say he has to work his buttocks off to eat? Or is that part of the second section meant to be in the past?
  2. I am not at all sure about my translation «[There are] stormy times and changes» for 风云起变化;
  3. What ties this first song together? We're going from "life steep as a mountain" to the solitude of the "celestials" to «rainwater / […] mixed with blood and sweat?», then «Time! Fortune!», which is just… there, and finally something that ties into the steep life: «Always with [my] two hands / I myself have fought»?
  4. «Who can dry this sweat?» means «Who can stop my toil?», whether physical or psychological, right?

Note: spelling siāng "who" the way I did is my invention, the Taiwan dictionary of common-use Min Nan words would have me spell it 啥人 like its uncontracted form siánn-lâng. Apart from that, is the spelling and romanization correct as per MoE recommendations?

1 Answer 1


I've translated the lyric from Taiwanese to Mandarin for ease of understanding. PLease do not hesitate to point out my mistakes.

人生行到遮 | 人生走到這裡

地位亲像山 | 地位像山高

才知神仙 | 才知神仙 也孤单

也孤单 |

性命越头看 | 回頭看一生

风云起变化 | 风云起变化

晌知雨水 | 誰知道雨水中 參雜着血和汗

参血汗 |

时也 运也 | 时也 运也

总靠双手 | 总靠自己双手打拚

家己拚 |

他乡路揣无故乡名 | 他乡路找不到故乡名

孤单行 | 孤单行

为着一顿白米换 | 为着一顿白米?

肩头双爿担 | 肩头挑着双爿担

旧时路伴阮1今日行 | 旧时路伴我今日行

笑过去 | 笑过去

伤心揣无所在寄 | 找不到地方寄放那受伤的心

一生风雨 | 一生歷經风雨

啥物才拭会焦 | 什麽才能擦乾 这滴男人的汗水

这滴 查埔人的汗 |

  1. 人生走到這裡 地位像山高 才知神仙也孤单 - Lived up to this juncture, I have attained a mountain high social status, only now I realize that even the god will feel lonely too. (Note: The higher the status the fewer the true friends.)

  2. 回頭看一生 风云起变化 = 变化多端 - Looking back on my life, my position/status has changed numerous times. (Note: The subtropic weather changes so frequently and so fast. The storm usually is led by fast-moving wind and clouds. 风云 - situation; social-political status/position.)

  3. Please modify your questions after reviewing my interpretation/translation.

  4. 一生歷經风雨 什麽才能擦乾这滴男人的汗水 - My life has been filled with difficulties and hardships. What does it take to end the struggle (so no more sweat)?

  • – Regarding 2, I was basically missing the fact that 起 can be a "classifier for batches or groups", as Wiktionary puts it. Or should I be looking at "classifier for incidents: cases"? Should the khí perhaps be a 几 kí? – Regarding 3, "rainwater is mixed with blood and sweat" basically means that the driver for the changes in his life (rainstorms = changes) was his struggle (blood and sweat), that the two are inextricably tied. So now everything is tied together except the "Time! Fortune!" bit. – The part about carrying weights, should I see it as in the past? With a mountain-high [continues]
    – MickG
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 10:03
  • … social status, he shouldn't need to work so hard for a meal, don't you think?
    – MickG
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 10:04
  • IMO, 起 means "to raise", "stir up" or "lead to".
    – r13
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 16:14
  • 1
    "rainwater mixed with blood and sweat" depicts that one time he was a lower-class hard laborer who struggled to make a living, and had to rely on his own hands to move up (总靠自己双手打拚). 家己拚
    – r13
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 16:29
  • 1
    The ever-changing winds and clouds have "stirred up" or "led to" the (up-down) changes in his life. 风云 means on and off dynamic events. I could be wrong though, suggest talking to a Taiwanese-speaking person to get a better feel.
    – r13
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 22:58

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