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At the beginning of this song: 伍佰 Wu Bai&China Blue【世界第一等】Official Music Video Wu Bai says:

我们来唱一个很ba la的歌好不好

In the video this sentence starts at about 0:11 seconds.

I have tried looking through MSM dictionaries as well as《臺灣閩南語》dictionary from MoE.

I cannot seem to find anything related.

Ideas?

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2 Answers 2

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To summarize the links in the other answer: 菝仔 (pa̍t-á) is the Taiwanese word for guava, but because most Taiwanese can't write Taiwanese, it is usually written with the phonetically similar 芭樂 (bálà or bālè).

When the English word "ballad" was loaned into Chinese, it was then confused with 芭樂, resulting in 芭樂歌. While it originally meant "slow pop song", it than changed its meaning: The 芭樂 part was reinterpreted as adjective meaning either

  1. well-known (according to https://hinative.com/questions/21445949)
  2. cheesy, banal (according to wiktionary, and how I would use it)

So a sentence like

我们来唱一个很ba la的歌好不好。

means: Let us sing a very cheesy song, ok?

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  • Seeing the Minnan word「菝仔」makes it make a lot more sense. Thanks.
    – Mou某
    Feb 12 at 12:06
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See: https://music.apple.com/us/song/%E4%B8%96%E7%95%8C%E7%AC%AC%E4%B8%80%E7%AD%89/1073066284

https://www.kkbox.com/tw/tc/song/XYrFvJCyJrx2HmE8zf

All these sources transcribe "ba la" as 芭樂.

Based on discussions on the meaning of 芭樂, I think it makes sense here.

https://www.chipinkaiyajazz.com/2022/01/blog-post.html

https://www.flickr.com/groups/49503075090@N01/discuss/137842/

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