I was inspired by a similar topic for Korean (created by @choitrio - thank you everyone who contributed in that topic; it was a very interesting read!) and decided to start one for Chinese. English-Chinese subbers and OL subbers for Chinese / Taiwanese dramas, are there any Chinese phrases that made you think, or that you simply find interesting?
A common phrase that I always have a problem translating is 委屈 (wěi qū). By definition, this phrase is defined to be:
Feeling unhappy / uncomfortable because one is experiencing unfair treatment and/or is wrongly accused / criticised.
Hence, it is usually translated as “grievance”, “wronged” or “suffering from injustice”.
This phrase is mostly commonly used as such:
离开这 再也不用看别人的脸色 (lí kāi zhè zài yě bù yòng kàn bié rén de liǎn sè)
你娘要是还在 也不想看你受委屈 (nǐ niáng yào shi hái zài yě bù xiǎng kàn nǐ shòu wěi qū)
Let’s leave this place. We won’t have to face those people who judge us again.
If your mother were still alive, she wouldn’t want to see you suffer from injustice either.
However, these translations don’t always fit all contexts.
我这个人还特别不爱洗澡 (wǒ zhè ge rén hái tè bié bù ài xǐ zǎo)
希望你跟我成亲之后 不会觉得委屈 (xī wàng nǐ gēn wǒ chéng qīn zhī hòu bù huì jué dé wěi qū)
I am a person who especially hates to shower.
I hope that you won’t feel aggrieved after you marry me.
看你这身子骨 你应该也是江湖中人哪 (kàn nǐ zhè shēn zi gǔ nǐ yīng gāi yě shì jiāng hú zhōng rén nǎ)
在这里端菜 不觉得太委屈吗？(zài zhè lǐ duān cài bù jué dé tài wěi qū ma)
Looking at your physique, you must also be a traveller in this pugilist world?
Don’t you feel small, serving dishes here?
Till today, I’m still unsure how to best translate this phrase.
To end it off, here’s a variety show where they had to sing songs which lyrics expressed 委屈 (wěi qū). (It is unfortunately, not subbed. Chinese speakers, do check it out; it’s hilarious.) Here are some lyrics that were sung:
- 可惜不是你 陪我到最后 It’s a pity that it’s not you that is with me till the end.
- 没关系 你也不用给我机会 It’s okay, you don’t have to give me a chance (to be with you).
- 越过山丘 才发现无人等候 Crossing the hill, only to find that there’s nobody waiting.
- 我想哭 但是哭不出来 I want to cry but I am unable to.
Hopefully this gives you a better understanding on the different uses of this phrase. What do you guys think?