句號 Full Stop

I was recently in Taiwan for a few days and though I’m American born and raised, the trip reminded me how much Taiwan feels like a second home. There’s family and generational history and culture, of course, but more than I might have anticipated when I was struggling through painful hours of Chinese homework, it feels exceptionally like home because of the language. Seeing Traditional Chinese everywhere, on signs and advertisements and newspapers and menus; hearing Taiwan-accented Mandarin everywhere, from transit announcements and store attendants and street passersby; and most importantly, being able to understand it all — I feel connected to the place. I suppose I get some sense of belonging from being part of the exclusive club of 1 billion plus who know the language!

I’m what college course designations term a “bilingual speaker”, because I grew up in a Chinese-speaking household. I went to a weekly extracurricular Chinese school from grade 2 until grade 12. But I really only learned the language because I was obsessed with Mandarin pop when I was in high school and college; I went from slightly above-average ABC-level Chinese to newspaper-literate by studying song lyrics, copying them over and over in my notebook and translating them to English.

This song 句號 is the most recent release by G.E.M., a Chinese singer (originally from Hong Kong) who’s sometimes called the Taylor Swift of China. She’s a very talented singer with great vocal range who also composes and writes her own songs. And like Taylor Swift, who calls out gendered double standards and discrimination in her song “The Man”, in this song G.E.M. also addresses gender issues, describing a relationship where the long-term (male) partner cuts the woman down, unsettled and angered by her success, wanting her to always be an obedient little doll. It’s ambiguous in the song and sounds like it could be a romantic relationship, but she is actually referencing her previous record company Hummingbird Music — another good analogy to Taylor Swift, fighting against mediocre men at record companies bullying her about her music.

作詞:G.E.M.鄧紫棋 作曲:G.E.M.鄧紫棋
製作人&編曲:G.E.M.鄧紫棋 / T-Ma 馬敬恆

可惜我們終於來到 一個句號
What a shame, we’ve finally come to a full stop
窗外不願飛的蜂鳥 也在哀悼
Even the hummingbird that won’t leave the window is mourning
城市再也不會聽到 我們爭吵
The city will never hear our fights again
你會不會少了一點煩惱
Will you be a little bit less upset

回到十二年前 回憶就在眼前
Thinking back to 12 years ago, the memories right here
你帶著帽子 而我樣子 帶著靦腆
You were wearing a hat, I was shy
不過第一次的見面 你說
But when we first met, you said
你有先見 我的先天 被訓練過 我能有片天
You could see the future, I had talent, the sky was my limit
我當時天真 寡見鮮聞
Then, I was innocent, naive
不像成年人 有能力辨認
Not a grown woman, able to discern
不是為了賺了有錢分 我為我的前程
It wasn’t to make money, it was to build my career
希望我寫的歌裡面有更好的和弦聲
That I wanted to write songs with more beautiful melodies

時針滴滴答 你還記得嗎
The clock hand ticks, do you still remember
說句心裡話 你還懷念嗎
To tell the truth, do you still miss the old times
第一次發唱片 就一馬當先
The first time I released an album, I immediately shot to the top
從此在大場面 我不再站旁邊
From then on, I never again stood to the side at those big events

我是真的感謝 佩服你的眼界
I was truly thankful for and admired your vision
怎麼想到和你是帶著刺痛地完結
Who would have thought, we’d come to such a stinging, painful end

你看著一朵花慢慢萌芽
You saw a flower, slowly budding
我卻看著你意氣慢慢風發
But I saw your temper like a rising wind
慾望聚沙成塔 價值慢慢分岔
Desires like grains of sand gathered to form a castle, the value dividing
太多失望讓我對你的信任慢慢崩塌
After too many disappointments, my trust in you crumbled

可惜我們終於來到 一個句號
What a shame, we’ve finally come to a full stop
窗外不願飛的蜂鳥 也在哀悼
Even the hummingbird that won’t leave the window is mourning
城市再也不會聽到 我們爭吵
The city will never hear our fights again
你會不會少了一點煩惱
Will you be a little bit less upset

時針滴滴答 你還記得嗎
The clock hand ticks, do you still remember
說句心裡話 你還懷念嗎
To tell the truth, do you still miss the old times

你說我是個商品 沒有你我就不可以
You said I was just a commodity, without you I couldn’t be anything
這些扭曲的真理 差點毁掉我的自信
These twisted truths almost destroyed my self-confidence
如今的我已覺醒 如今我不再哭泣
Today I’ve awakened to the truth, I will cry no more
再不怕堅持自己 做你沒做對的決定
No longer afraid to persevere in myself, I will redo the decisions that you made wrong for me

你知道嗎 這一輩子除了我的爸爸
Did you know, my whole life, apart from my father
你曾是我最信任的男人吧
You were the man I trusted most
但空白的娃娃 總會慢慢長大
But the blank doll of a little girl eventually grows up
抱歉我沒法永遠當你聽話的傻瓜
Sorry I can’t forever be the fool that just obeys you
可惜我們終於來到 (終於來到) 一個句號 (一個句號)
What a shame, we’ve finally come to (finally come to) a full stop (a full stop)

窗外不願飛的蜂鳥 也在哀悼
Even the hummingbird that won’t leave the window is mourning
城市再也不會聽到 (不會聽到) 我們爭吵 (我們的爭吵)
The city will never hear (will never hear) our fights (our fights) again
你會不會少了一點煩惱 (我們終於來到 一個句號)
Will you be a little bit less upset (we’ve finally come to a full stop)

(可惜我們終於來到) 多少年裡 多少遍你 (一個句號) 多少錯卻沒多少歉意
(What a shame, we’ve finally come to) how many years, how many times (a full stop) how many wrongs, not so many apologies
(窗外不願飛的蜂鳥) 但過去了就不再介意 (也在哀悼) 把珍貴的放心裡 把痛的傷的全都忘記
(The hummingbird that won’t leave the window) But let bygones be bygones (it’s also mourning) Keep what was precious in our hearts, let’s forget the hurting wounds
(城市再也不會聽到) 我青春的全部回憶 (我們爭吵) 那愛的恨的全都是你
(The city will never hear again) All the memories of my youth (our fights) All I loved and all I hated, it was all you
(你會不會少了一點煩惱) 希望你偶爾也會想起 就讓我真心真意 把歌唱完重新開始
(Will you be a little bit less upset) I hope you will remember ever so often, let me sing this song to the end sincerely and wholeheartedly, and then start fresh

時針滴滴答 你還記得嗎
The clock hand ticks, do you still remember
說句心裡話 你還懷念嗎
To tell the truth, do you still miss the old times

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One thought on “句號 Full Stop

  1. Haha, exact same situation here. Chinese school was age 5 to 16 for me I think. Looking back realized how rare and amazing opportunity it was to be North American raised and to have the chance to study Chinese literature. I not only recopied the traditional Chinese characters, but went thru the painstaking process of inputting everything in pinyin on word just for fun. Yay.

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