I've come across Zhang Shaolin's Hoi-nam kai-fan (characters 海南鸡饭, lyrics only in subtitles), a song in Hakka. It is split into three parts. This question concentrates on part 1, part 2 being here and part 3 here. I have trouble translating it. The lyrics from the subs are:
海南鸡饭 最近做歌星讲好难 唱带翻版好鬼野蛮 到处看到翻版 一条街有十几间 人家赚到笑镭装满几盘 货又乘补好唔得闲 唱到半死花百几千 人家偷做翻版 蚀到只只改行唔限 去开一间海南鸡饭 齐家吃开晓来称赞 按好嘅生意客仔常照满
Listening to the video carefully and accurately representing the sounds I hear, and subsequently tweaking the spelling for a "standard" spelling, I got the following transliteration:
Hoi-nam kai-fan Cui kun co ko-sing kong hau nan Chong tai fan-pan hau kui ya-man Tou-chu khon tau fan-pan Yit thiau kai yiu sip ki kan Nyin-ka chan tau siau lui zong man ki phan Fo yiu cin pu hau m tet han Cong tau pan-si fa pak pi chen Nyin-ka tiu co fan-pan Sit dau cak-cak koi-hong m-han Hi hoi yit kan Hoi-nan kai-fan Che-ka sit hoi hiau loi ching-can An hau ke sen-i hak-cai song cau man
This is a possible mandarin rendition:
海南鸡饭 最近做歌星说好难 唱带翻版好鬼野蛮 到处看到翻版 一条街有十几间 人家赚到笑泪装满几盘 货又乘补好不得闲 唱到半死花百几千 人家偷做翻版 蚀到个个改行没限 去开一间海南鸡饭 全家吃开会来称赞 很好的生意客人常照满
- 讲 is kong, Hakka standard for "say"; replaced with "shuō";
- 笑镭 is pronounced siau-lui; my reference says "lèi" (tears) is read "lui", so I guessed this was some sort of misspelling, since I couldn't find any better option; replaced with "xiàolèi";
- 唔 is m/ng, a standard Hakka negation; replaced with "bù" in many cases;
- 只 can be used as a classifier; according to my reference, it's cak when classifier and cii when "only"; doubled, it should mean "every", like doubled classifiers can in Mandarin; replaced with gègè, since I interpreted it as "everyone" = "every person";
- 齐家 is che-ka; according to my reference, 齐 can mean "all", so this could mean "the whole household"; replaced with 全家;
- 晓 is hiau; I have learnt this means "can", though this meaning is in my reference only under "晓得"; replaced with "néng";
- 按 is an; my reference says 恁 (an) means "very"; replaced with "hěn";
- 嘅 is ke; my reference spells that 个, distinguished from classifier 個, and says it means "de"; replaced accordingly;
- 仔, cai, is a common noun suffix, like 子; after kè it should mean "kèrén"; replaced accordingly;
- There are some strange pronunciations: 张惠妹 is pronounced with Mandarin pronunciation (save for sh = s), 来 is sometimes pronounced lei instead of loi, 好 and 无 (actually 冇) are hau and mau, and the reference states they should be mo and ho, 两 is lioeng (compare Cantonese loeng).
With all that, my attempt would be:
Hainanese Chicken rice Lately becoming a song star is, come to speak of it, very hard Singing, dealing with very cunning and barbaric pirate versions, Everywhere I see pirate versions: One road has over ten (pirate version selling) places People earn till their smiles and tears fill up a few plates, Richnesses (cin-pu?) decidedly can't stay idle Sing till half-dead and spend a few thousand money And people do pirate versions, stealing. I've been nibbled till every profession change is not a limit So I go boil a Hainanese Chicken rice Everyone eats and can praise It's good business, and guests often (cau-man?)
As you can understand, the problems are many. I will make a few points.
- The second line doesn't convince me because those two verbs in a row sound odd; is it just Hakka or is my translation wrong?
- The part of the people is really mysterious: does it mean people are all poor? Because they earn little, so they have to feed on smiles and tears? Or is there a subject change in the "Chàng dào bànsǐ huā bǎi jǐ qián" line? And what is that "cin-pu"?
- The "nibbled away" line convinces me little, is it right?
- Is the next line saying he gave up singing and switched to cooking or that he prepares the chicken rice to get more income? Or is it just for him?
- And again, do the following lines imply the chicken rice is for other people who enjoy it really or is it not? And what is "cau-man"? And is the che-ka interpretation riht? That might mean the rice is for him and family, not for others. But then there is "business".
Edit: Another reference confirms liap (or rather, liak) means "clever", i.e. "cōngming".