Tonal Chinese Dialects Used as a Tool of Subversion

Tonal Chinese Dialects Used as a Tool of Subversion

Over the past few weeks, a music video for the song 'Fragile Heart'  玻璃心 by Malaysian Chinese singer / songwriter / producer Namewee (黄明志 Huáng Zhì Míng) and Australian Chinese singer Kimberly Chen (陳芳語 Chén Fāng Yǔ) has gone viral all over the world - especially amongst Chinese communities living outside of the Mainland.  The song was banned within the first day of its release in China, yet Chinese both inside and outside of China are using the song and many of its hidden meanings and symbols as tools in the voicing of their disagreement with Beijing.

If you want to start to understand China, you need this clip.  Despite having subtitles in Chinese, Malay and English, the English and Malay subtitles don't really communicate the deeper meanings that Namewee has tucked away deep into the song.

In the first two following clips, I do a tri-lingual decode of the hidden Chinese / Malay /  English language & cultural symbolism.

In the third clip, I do a breakdown in Thai which is another tonal language and in being so, allows for a different perspective and understanding of the deeper meanings, and a deeper appreciation of Namewee has manipulated other Chinese dialects, tones and sound-shifts for crafting double-entendres into almost every phrase in a way that would give Monty Python a run for their money.

Clip 1 - Fragile Heart Part 1 💔 🇨🇳 破解玻璃心 Decoding Chinese Lang Propaganda Subversion Symbolism for Westerners

Clip 2 - Fragile Heart Part 2 💔 🇨🇳 解釋玻璃心 EVEN MORE Hidden 彩蛋  Easter Eggs & Symbolism Against China's CCP

I covered a lot of ground in my first clip, but after reading the comments, I realise that a second clip was required to 1. apologise, 2. reveal Easter eggs I missed and 3. Go DEEP into the language looking how far down the semantic rabbit hole you can go ... and we do go pretty low here.

Clip 3 - หัวใจกระจก Fragile Heart  解释玻璃心(泰语) Thai Breakdown การเจาะรหัสเพลงจีนต้านเผด็จการ  - Thai Version

This is a Thai version of my breakdown of the hidden meanings and Easter Eggs in Malaysian Singer's viral anti China song 'Fragile Heart' 玻璃心 - The Thai language allows for some deeper understanding into how the language is manipulated using linguistic quirks - tones, alternative meanings etc to obfuscate 'real' meanings.

ในคลิปนี้ผมจะเจาะรหัสความหมายลึกซึ้งที่ถูกแอบแฝงไว้ในเพลงดัง(ได้เกิน40ล้านวิวภายใน3วันแรก)ภาษาจีนที่วิพากษ์วิจารณ์แผ่นดินใหญ่ ‘Fragile Heart / หัวใจกระจก/玻璃心(โบลีซิน)‘ โดยนักร้องชาวมาเลเซีย ‘เนมวี’ หรือ ‘หวงหมิงจื้อ’ (Namewee 黄明志) ร่วมกับนักร้องอินเตอร์สัญชาติออสเตรเลีย ‘คิมเบอร์ลี เฉิน’ (Kimberly Chen 陈芳语)   เพลงนี้โดนแบนในประเทศจีนทันที  เนื้อเพลงใช้ทั้งภาษาจีนกลาง ภาษาฮอกเกี้ยน กับรูปภาพในการสื่อความหมายที่ลึกซึ้งมาต่อต้านผู้มีอำนาจในแผ่นดินใหญ่  Fragile ขึ้นอันดับหนึ่งบนยูทูบไต้หวันและฮ่องกงในหมวดหมู่เพลงหลังปล่อยออกมาได้ไม่นาน

Don't Rely on Translations - Hear it from the Horse's Mouth

Take the Free Tones and Pitch Accent Masterclass Now

As you've seen with these clips, there's only so far that translations can go in helping to communicate the 'real' meaning that is perceived by native speakers of any language. To help non-tonal language speakers be able to get a head start on tones and other sounds in languages like Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien etc.), Thai, Lao, Vietnamese and even Burmese, I put together an 80 min totally Free Tones and Pitch Accent Masterclass webinar.  Whether you're just starting out or you need to iron out your pronunciation and listening skills, by the end of the 80 mins, your ears and mouth will be hearing and reproducing sounds in a way that you've never done so before.



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Written by

Stuart Jay Raj