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 2, part 1 being here and part 3 here. I have trouble translating it. The lyrics from the subs are:
海南鸡饭 ＊台湾最近叻歌星数不完 张惠妹称霸哂歌坛 面对香港四大天王 还有新一斑 还有SPICE GIRL外国好鬼出名 BACKSTREET BOY只只讲晓弹 看下大马有几只人 同佢丢争两餐 自家歌声差人有限 去开一间海南鸡饭 人客爱招呼冇态慢 明星或歌星日日来帮衬
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 Thoi-wan cui kun liap kuo-sing su put wan Zhāng Huìmèi ching-pa-sai ko-than Men-tui Heong-kong si thai then wong Han yiu sin yit pan Han yiu SPICE GIRL woi-kiet hau gui chut-miang BACKSTREET BOY cak-cak kong hiau than Khon ha Thai-ma yiu ki cak nyin Thung-ngiap tiu cang lieung chan Chr-ka ko-sang cha ngin yiu han Hi hoi yit kan Hoi-nan kai-fan Ngin-hak oi cau-fu mao thoi-man Ming-sing wa ko-sing nyit-nyit lei pong-cha
This is a possible mandarin rendition:
海南鸡饭 ＊台湾最近敏歌星数不完 张惠妹称霸了歌坛 面对香港四大天王 还有新一斑 还有SPICE GIRL外国好鬼出名 BACKSTREET BOY个个说会弹 看下大马有几只人 同业忙争两餐 自己歌声差人有限 去开一间海南鸡饭 客人爱招呼没态慢 明星或歌星日日来帮衬
- 涯 is actually meant to have a person radical rather than a water radical, but I can't input it on my computer so I used the closest match; it means "I" and is pronounced "ngai"; replaced with "wǒ";
- 讲 is kong, Hakka standard for "say"; replaced with "shuō";
- 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";
- 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;
- For 叻 (liap), I had to improvise; according to MDBG, it means "smart, clever" in Cantonese; replaced with 敏;
- 哂 is sai; I don't remember where, but I seem to have found some site saying a particle "sai" exists with meaning close to "le"; replaced accordingly;
- 同佢 sounds like tung-ya; my reference says 同业 is pronounced thung-ngiab; replaced accordingly;
- 丢 is tiu; according to my reference, it means
來回奔忙; replaced with 忙;
- That rénkè is Hakka for kèrén, as my reference states; replaced accordingly;
- 冇 is mau; the character means "not have", or anyway the opposite of "yǒu"; that would be 无, only it's pronounced mo according to my reference; replaced with "méi" anyway;
- 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 ＊Clever song stars from Taiwan lately are countless Zhang Huimei has proclaimed himself leader of the stage I see the Hong Kong Four Great Kings And there's still the new lot: There's still Spice Girl, very cunning, foreign and famous, BACKSTREET BOY: everyone says he can play, I look down and in Malaysia there are a few people; My colleagues are always busy fighting for two meals. Differently from people, my voice has limits. So I go boil a Hainanese Chicken rice Guests will say hello and are not so slow: (oi = yào, and I supposed mau thoi man = bù tài màn) They financially help stars and song stars every day.
As you can understand, the problems are many. I will make a few points.
- Is that interpretation of liap right?
- And what about the sai?
- Is "thung-ngiab tiu co fan-pan" correctly translated?
- The last two lines before the #, are they right?
- Is the translation right from # to "cak-cak lei (loi) pong-cham"?
Edit: @Stan's comment below reads thus:
(only know Cantonese but they are similar.) 1. Not exact. 叻 basically means doing well in something, not necessarily "clever". And it's awful to translate it as 敏 in Mandarin, because the single character 敏 sounds too archaic. 2. Correct. 哂 is similar to 了 (le). It marks the "perfect tense". 3. "同 佢丢 争两餐" here 佢丢 should mean they (like 佢地 in Cantonese). 4.5. "人客爱招呼冇态慢 明星或歌星日日来帮衬". Here, I don't clearly understand what 态慢 means but I catch it as "怠慢" in Mandarin. And 帮衬 means "be his guest". So this sentence means "I like greeting guest and never slight; stars would like to be my guests."
My answers are:
- OK. Is there a normal monosyllabic word to translate that liak into Mandarin? I was trying to fit the Mandarin to the tune, so cōngming (assuming it's fine) would be one syllable too long.
- "perfect aspect", rather, but got it :). Note that the character has day radical, not mouth radical. That's a typo.
- Uh-huh, maybe. Though the plural suffix in Hakka, for what I know, is usually 等 (see 涯等 ngai-ten on the reference - mind the different radical for 涯). However, my reference states 兜 (teu) is a plural suffix, and when combined with 这 it sounds ia-teu. So, since 同…争两餐 means to compete with … on the market (idiom - is it Mandarin or not? How do I render it in Mandarin), the phrase is "With these few [the stars and those in Malaysia] I compete on the market.
- and 5. Where is the "would like to" in the Hakka text?
So besides points 4-5, this has become a confirmation question, awaiting a speaker of Hakka to confirm the Cantonese-based suggestions of @Stan.