Things admitted to weather beauty without glare. The red rust of old house-roofs rests sorely animate eyes. Posts unpainted by the elements refine texture in the same way as driftwood — sight is nothing but soothed by childhood’s grain-patterning in timber. Lichen is the flower born to no notice: its muted green coral maps bare stone oceans of rock. What is inconspicuous invites us indefinitely to look the other way — less in easy love with glamour,
I think it’s great when young people find something to get really passionate about and are given the opportunity to develop their skills. In this video put together by HK01 reporters 黃詠榆 Wòhng4 Wihng6 Yùh4 and 曾藹豪 Jāng1 Ói2 Hòuh4, recent school-leaver 阿朗 Aa3 Lóhng5 is given the chance to do a few months’ work experience at the local craft-beer brewery Hong Kong Whistle at the end which he gets to brew his own product, a passionfruit-flavoured India Pale Ale.
Apart from quite a bit of elementary beer-brewing vocabulary, this clip also introduces a few colourful idioms such as 由零開始 yàuh4 lìhng4 hōi1 chí2 = start from scratch, and includes a few instances of 浄係 jihng6 haih6 = only; merely.
Roughly, this translates as follows: “What the term cheui pe pe expresses is a kind of Hong Kong-style humour: it can mean that something is so good to drink that you drink it all down in one go, but at the same time it also has the sense of needing to drink a bottle of beer to give yourself a lift. If you translate cheui pe pe for a foreigner, you’ll discover it’s not so easy to do. The refinement of Cantonese is like craft beer. While you can experience it, it is almost to convey in words.”
● 釀造 yeuhng6 jouh6 = to make (wine, vinegar, etc.); to brew (beer, etc.) | ● 有研究 yáuh5 yìhn4 gau3 = The noun 研究 is usually “research”, but perhaps this expression means something more like “to be knowledgeable about” or “to have done one’s homework” | ● 產業 cháan2 yihp6 = industry
Note: The expression 之餘 is added at the end of noun phrases to give the meaning of “after; beyond”, although often it seems to me that the sense is pretty close to the English “apart from” or “in addition to”.
Reporter: The reason why Ah Long is so knowledgeable about brewing beer is that he took part in a work-experience program for the promotion of local industries [一個推廣本土產業嘅實習計劃]. After completing his Diploma of Secondary Education, he came to this brewery for Hong Kong craft beer to get some hands-on work experience [做實習]. Apart from learning [about brewing beer], he also had the opportunity to brew a craft beer with a flavour all of its own [屬於自己味道嘅].
● 由零開始 yàuh4 lìhng4 hōi1 chí2 = start from scratch; begin from the very beginning | ● 枝 jī1 = a bottle cf. 樽 jēun1, used below | ● 行程 hàhng4 chìhng4 = schedule | ● 緊凑 gán2 chau3 = compact; terse; well-knit; busy (as in “a busy/tight work schedule”) | ● 熱帶 yiht6 daai3 = the tropics; tropical | ● 夾 gaap3 = a perfect match; well-matched; compatible | ● 襯返 chan3 fāan1 = (?) to match; to suit | ● 改良 gói2 lèuhng4 = to improve; to ameliorate | ● 入樽 yahp6 jēun1 = to be bottled (lit. “enter bottle”)
Note: Firstly, IPA = India Pale Ale, “a hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale”. Secondly, 襯返 uses the aspect marker 返 fāan1 to suggest a matching back onto something and shows the versatility of this marker in Cantonese. Thirdly, observe the two uses of 浄係 jihng6 haih6 to delimit the scope of something: 我嗰隻啤酒唔係浄係，呃， IPA 咁簡單喎 = That bottle of beer of mine is not merely a simple India Pale Ale; 我淨係釀咗一次啤酒啫 = I only had one go at brewing. The second example also adds the final particle 啫 jē1, which also conveys the meaning of “merely, only, that’s all”. Fourthly, I am not sure why Ah Long says 前上個禮拜, starting with 前. 上個禮拜 means “last week”, and as far as I know 兩個禮拜前 is generally used for “the week before last; two weeks ago”.
Ah Long: Me, I didn’t know anything about it, [beer brewing]. I wanted to start from scratch, go directly to the brewery and learn how to make a bottle of beer step by step. I brewed this bottle of beer in my last week in the work-experience period. Ah David [阿 David] let me do it because, ordinarily, the work schedule is very tight and there was no time for me [to do any brewing]. That bottle of beer of mine is not merely a simple India Pale Ale. Tropical fruits are a perfect match with India Pale Ale. And so I tried to use this fruit to match an India Pale Ale. I only had one go at brewing. I brewed [this beer] for 14 days. In the days to come [嚟緊], I will continue to improve this beer. It was only bottled last week. So for this reason I haven’t had time to take a bottle of it home, but I will certainly do so, to let my friends and family try it.
● 期待 kèih4 doih6 = to expect; to wait; to look forward to | ● 酒廠 jáu2 chóng2 = brewery; winery; distillery | ● 尋找 chàhm4 jáau2 = to seek; to look for; here, the meaning seems figurative, like the English “to find a way”
David Leung (the founder of Hong Kong Whistle): As a matter of fact, in the end I wanted to give him [a chance] to brew his own effort [作品], because I thought that even though it was a Summer’s work experience, two months or three months, I still hoped that the things he had learnt and the things he had done would become something of his own [係屬於佢自己嘅], something completely his. It wasn’t [just a matter of]: I’m just here to help other people do their work. I’m only part-time. I hoped [he] wouldn’t think of it like that. Previously, there have been other work-mates who have come up with products [做過一啲產品]. Yes, and then later I’ve promoted them on the market, too. And so what I wish for is that Ah Long will make further attempts and that I will promote his products on the market. There are more than 20 breweries in Hong Kong and of course I encourage more industries in Hong Kong to make [things], yes I do as a matter of fact. It doesn’t have to be brewing beer: if it is food made in Hong Kong, or other [kinds of] cakes, or mooncakes, then my feeling is that Hongkongers should continue to look for a way.
― Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. (Hosea, Chapter 2)
I call it THE DESERT where everything, everything flowers but me. Sand in that landscape largely absents itself, not a dune to be seen: I am the sand crawling expressly against the grain like a strong, many-crippled river of dust. Rain showers down complacently from the sky to ensure all humanly physical thirsts are more than admirably quenched, while existence crackles its tightly-scrolled parchment in me. Almost always, the hot sun forgets to beat down; little of the treachery of shape-shifting mirages buckles the bare-faced horizon; and no bird cawless between finger-fringed wingtips watches through the hours for the next candidate corpse to drop dead on its beat. Yet still my impossible personal desert continues to encroach, infinitely arid and stern, and I am ordered out of the world’s flat portrait to hear for myself spoken out of nowhere how the patterns I learned ― and I lived ― by heart are now invalid features right here in such fundamental country.
● More than ten years ago now, a young woman went swimming at an Australian beach and was attacked and killed by sharks. This would be regarded as a tragedy anywhere in the world, but to the Australian psyche, obsessed with the sun and the sea as symbols of ultimate freedom, it was an unpardonable outrage committed by nature against the human order.
Like many others, beyond pointless outrage, I needed to make sense of this. How on earth do we come to terms with something so completely awful? To me, poetry means trying to find the words to deal with the unspeakable. At least, this is where it truly come in to its own, giving us a way through something that looms as a monolithic block, a lockdown of all our usual patterns of thought and feeling. Poems must take us where we cannot go purely on the basis of our common sense or experience . . .
The Whole Joy
Every swimmer knows that terror she died of
yet still this Summer we bait the water with her fears.
Sun, sand, sea: how these three symbol the mind’s joy.
What shadows them — decease, devastation — revolts it.
Like earth, like air, no ocean bears the slightest enduring stain.
We mind her pain, scarified, so that we may learn the whole joy.
Three words in the last stanza are vital. The verb “to mind” has at least three relevant meanings here. First of all, it suggests offence: we are disgusted by what happened, and we don’t want it to happen again. Secondly, the event stays with us, becomes something that stays on our minds, making us incapable of getting it out of our heads. But finally, we are asked, perhaps, to look after this pain, to mind it on behalf of the victim, and to keep it intact in our lives so that it can play a meaningful role in how we move on past grief and horror.
The rather heavy-handed “scarify” obviously blends the two meanings of “scare” and “scar”. “Scar” echoes the previous “minding”, in the sense of allowing something to endure and of keeping it close to us, skin-close. I also had in mind something of what Jiddu Krishnamurti is quoted as saying about meditation in a recent powerful post on Vanessa Able’s The Dewdrop site: “it’s a danger to those who wish to lead a superficial life and a life of fancy and myth”. In the same way, the terrible fate of the young swimmer is a meditative reminder to us to live more authentically, to jolt us out of our fantasy wonderland version of reality.
The final phrase “the whole joy” indicates both complete joy and the joy of knowing wholeness, a wholeness capable of accepting everything that happens to us on this Earth as human beings ⸺ and not just the pleasant flounces and trimmings we so often wish to reduce existence to.
Memory is crucial here. Perhaps one should even hazard a new word and say membory, with a silent b. Unbearably, excruciatingly, in this context, however, what a desolate verb “to remember” turns out to be.
The disturbing rise of authoritarian culture in Hong Kong and the targeted punishment of those who dare to think independently took a new turn recently in the case of Nabela Qoser (or 利君雅 Leih6 Gwān1 [Ng]áah5 in Chinese), a TV presenter at RTHK. This report by HK01 journalist 梁昊賢 Lèuhng Houh6 Yìhn4 is very accessible, partly because he speaks fairly slowly, and partly because he avoids any flourishes in terms of vocabulary or of grammar. He provides a good basic account of what lies behind RTHK’s decision to extend her probation period.
● 跟進 gān1 jeun3 = to follow up | ● 封爲 fēng1 wàih4 = to confer (a title, territory, etc.) upon | ● 助理 joh6 léih5 = assistant | ● 試用期 si3 yuhng6 kèih4 = probation period | ● 重啟 chùhng4 kái2 = to restart; (?) to reopen
Note: Because on the meanings of 重 chùhng4 is “again”, it is used like the re– verb-prefix in English.
Nabela Qoser, an Assistant Programme Officer at RTHK, was dubbed [封爲] “the Goddess of News” by netizens because she asked the Chief Executive [a series of] questions when following up on the Yuen Long Incident of 21 July 2019. News has it that RTHK has extended her probation period by 120 days and has re-opened an investigation into complaints [made against her] dealing with the period between July and November last year, including her performance at government press conferences she attended. Qoser must respond as to whether she accepts the extension of her probation period before next Tuesday (29 September). In response to HK01, Qoser replied that it was not convenient for her to comment on the matter, saying only that she was grateful for the concern and hoped that [people] would continue to support RTHK.
● 率領 sēut1 líhng5 = to lead; to head; to command |● 一衆官員 yāt1 jung3 gūn1 yùhn4 = (?) all the various government officials cf. 衆jung3 = “many; numerous” | ● 追問 jēui1 mahn6 = to question closely cf. 追 jēui1, which has the basic meaning of “to chase after; to pursue” | ● 激發 gīk1 faat3 = to incite | ● 合演 hahp6 yín2 = to co-star | ● 大龍鳳 daaih6 lùhng4 fuhng6 = This referred to a kind of Cantonese opera performance. Over time, the meaning of the term came to be extended to suggest to deliberately put on a spectacle for people to watch in order to deceive them in some way, or to deceitfully attempt to attract sympathy” [慢慢地大家将“大龙凤”这个词引申为：故意做场好戏给其他人看，用来骗人，或者是骗取同情的状况。(https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/203406724.html)] | ●兌現 deui3 yihn6 = to honour (a commitment, etc.); to fulfil; to make good
Nabela Qoser is [one of the] host[s] of the RTHK program This Week [in Chinese, the name of the program translates as “Viewpoint 31”]. The day after the Yuen Long Incident of 21 July 2019, the Chief Executive appeared at a press conference at the head of all the various government officials, and Qoser questioned her closely on several occasions. (Qoser speaks): “Aren’t you always saying ‘Violence will incite greater violence’? Was [what happened] last night, when officials, the police and triad members co-starred in a trumped-up performance [大龍鳳], the way you honour those words of yours?”
Rapid series of questions from Nabela Qoser:
(Subtitles in Standard Written Chinese): 昨晚睡得着嗎 ？可否回答？特首 | 你去回答問題，不好意思 | 市民等了好久，昨晚很多人無法入睡 | （Several journalists speak at once）| 說人話，麻煩你
Did you get to sleep last night? Give you make an answer, Chief Executive? Please answer my question. The people have waited for a long time, and last night many people could not get to sleep. Could you answer like a human being?
(The former Commissioner of Police 盧偉聰 Stephen Lo Wai Chung tries several times to interrupt her.)
林鄭月娥：我以爲我已經答咗 Carrie Lam: I thought I had already answered the question
● 製作人 jai3 jok3 yàhn4 = producer | ● 評核 pìhng4 haht6 = assessment; scrutiny | + 坐正 chóh5 jeng3 = 1. to sit properly; to sit up straight 2. [粵] to become the head of a triad society | ● 質疑 jāt1 yìh4 = to call into question; to query | ● 理據 léih5 geui3 = an argument | ● 無理 mouh4 leih5 = unreasonable; irrational | ● 既定 gei3 dihng6 = set; fixed; established | ● 機制 gēi1 jai3 = a mechanism | ● 續聘 juhk6 ping3 = to renew sb.’s employment contract | ● 事宜 sih6 yìh4 = matters concerned; arrangements
Note: The character 嫌 yìhm4 has the basic meaning of “suspicion”, but like the English word “soupçon”, it can also mean “a hint of; a dash of”, but as far as I know it tends to refer only to undesirable things. Thus, the structure 有 (noun phrase) 之嫌 means something like “there is a hint of (sth. unfavourable)” or even perhaps “(noun phrase) smacks of (sth. unfavourable)”.
The RTHK Program Staff Union said that new public employees had a probation period of three years and that every six months [每半年] they did a work performance assessment [工作表現評核]. If there were no major issues, then one would become properly employed [坐正] and officially become a public servant. If Qoser did not, however, accept the extension to her probation period, she might quit her job immediately. The Union queried the reasons behind [理據] why RTHK extended the probation period and re-opened the investigation into complaints [made against her], and criticized [the decision] as smacking of unreasonable suppression. They demanded that management account for their decision [交代]. RTHK said in response that the government had established mechanisms and procedures [in place] to handle matters concerned with the renewal of public servants’ employment [conditions]. [They declined] to comment on individual cases.
Reporter: 梁昊賢 Lèuhng Houh6 Yìhn4 | 昊 houh6 = summer time; the sky; the heavens Film editing: 蕭堃桁 Sīu1 Kwān1 Hāng1 | 桁 hāng1 = purlin (an architectural term)
Across glass across the rich pre-morning dusk, quizzical and direct, the mother stared, as did the hidden joey through the peephole in her bulging fur-lined pouch ⸺ four wide bright kangaroo eyes dead set against me staying even one minute longer on my mattress on the floor in stupid sleep. Frost was in the air, was all over in me, any personal warmth quite dexterously extinguished along goose-bumped human skin. But for all that, mist lifted in shape-shifting sheets off the small pond as if to say: See, Sun is on its way! And don’t go thinking the feebleness of this sign makes the outcome any less certain! Saturn could shine for all he was worth up towards the North, canary- or sulphur-yellow, but these kangaroos had no time for him: today, I was their object and nothing else on this Earth would do . . . Dressed gingerly by now inside crumpled coldish clothes I knelt and watched back, humming absent-mindedly an old Swedish song about a stable-boy called Staffan, who was, no doubt, at another moment just like this, watering sina fålar fem ⸺ his beautiful five young horses ⸺ probably wide-eyed to his every move, maybe naturally starry-eyed, too, as he made up his own tune out of hay scents and the rank stink of piss through the careful-tactile stages of his work ⸺ more to do with blind touch than sight ⸺ for the spark of life kindling again out of nowhere within him in that frigid lidless twilight before dawn.
You can listen to one version of the Swedish songhere.
Into one warmer corner of today the Sun sneaks, leaving that Winter-distant anchorage it has in each and every Sun-less-other-day to pour against Antarctica a decisive hint or two of long-lost Spartan ardour. Goose-pimpled at the heart of an open-wide air, I am instantly all-porous to the unappointed warmth of such vernal atmosphere and out of the rigid closed fist of my full-body huddle ever so slowly I begin to ravel outwards ― the way these chattering roof-top swallows seem to do, ruffling the length of the chilly metal gutter their glinting metallic blue-sheened feathers and the Winter-flame-red feathers of their weathered chests, preening ― as they talk ― with pinpointing, deft beaks, with their unclenched, bolder bird-sense of tall order.
LegCo council-member 林卓廷 Lam Cheuk-ting was arrested on the morning of 26 August in connection with the incredible violence that took place inside the Yuen Long MTR Station on 21 July 2019 (Lam himself was badly beaten around the face in this incident), as well as a protest outside Tuen Mun Police Headquarters on 6 July connected with the protest against noise pollution and various kinds of busking (especially the so-called “dancing aunties”) in Tuen Mun Park.
Before his arrest, he recorded this 15-minute interview with a pair of HK01 journalists about the forthcoming public poll that Hong Kong’s democratic camp is conducting to determine whether it stay on in opposition in LegCo, or whether it withdraw. Apart from its intrinsic interest with regard to democracy in Hong Kong, I am presenting it here because Lam speaks so comprehensibly, pronouncing his words very clearly, and very rarely running them together as his questioners do.
To watch and listen to Lam in action, please click here. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.
Unfortunately, because there are no subtitles with this video and because the audio for the two journalists is very poor, there are many gaps in the transcription. If any one can help fill them in for me on behalf of all those students of Cantonese, I would be very grateful! Please just contact me by writing a comment on this post!
● 真空期 jān1 hūng1 kèih4 = a vacuum; a vacuum period | ● 杯葛 būi1 got3 = to boycott | ● 拳來腳往 kyùhn4 lòih4 geuk3 wóhng5 = (?) to come out fighting |● 表態 bíu2 taai3 = to make one’s position known; to declare where one stands | ● 留守 làuh4 sáu2 = to stay behind & take care of things | ● 委托 wái2 tok3 = to entrust
Gist: The host Cheuk On Ng introduces himself and his colleague Chan Siu-yu, head of the political news team at HK01. He gives some background to the issue: that the LegCo elections have been postponed for a year because of the covid virus, that this postponement has sparked heated discussion in the democratic camp, and that because of this a number of democratic council members have proposed conducting a poll [民意調查 or 民調 for short] in order to determine whether they should stay on in the Council or leave.
● 寸土必爭 chuyhn tóu bīt jāng = fight for every inch of land | ● 焦土政策 jīu1 tóu2 jing3 chaak3 = scorched earth policy
Gist: Lam thanks his hosts. Chan Siu-yu asks Lam whether he thinks all the democratic councillors should stay on in LegCo, or whether they should all boycott [杯葛] it.
林卓廷：首先呢，小瑜兄，我哋民主黨呢，係覺得我哋必須要堅守現代嘅議會戰線嘅。因爲我哋預計呢，嚟緊一年呢，喺立法會裏邊係會有好多嘅重大嘅議案，係涉及市民重大嘅利益，包括係 um 東大嶼嘅過萬億嘅填海計劃啦，仲有係大灣區，講緊係有15萬潛在嘅係居住内地嘅香港人【2:00】嘅投票安排。呢個絕對會呢，係嚴重咁影響到立法會同埋區議會最終嘅選舉結果，民主派可能因爲呢20萬票呢，會變成大敗嘅。令一點就係，而家香港社會好關注嘅健康碼嘅問題，日後政府會唔會借推呢個健康碼去搜集市民嘅私隱資料去追蹤我哋嘅行蹤。呢啲問題呢，都係我哋需要喺堅守住議會嘅戰線係抵抗呢個惡法。我其實亦都明白到，有好多市民，尤其我哋民主派陣營嘅支持者，對於 ah 中央政府係拒絕按《基本法》四年嘅任期係俾我哋喺九月係進行立法會選舉剝奪咗我哋市民嘅投票權係非常非常之憤怒。我哋民主黨亦都係【3:00】ah ah 激烈，激烈咁去反對有關嘅決定，不過，啫，人大已經做咗呢個決定，而佢延任一年嘅安排呢，係令到我哋民主陣營裏邊呢，而家出現極致大嘅爭拗。噉我哋為咗我哋嘅團結唔好再受損落去，所以我哋就決定，用呢個民調嘅方式，希望可以用一個市民有參與情況底下，去解決現在已經係咁嚴重嘅爭議。我哋唔想我哋成個民主陣營係因爲呢件事情呢，嗰個分裂係惡化落去。我哋强調，現在我哋成個嘅陣營呢，必須槍口對外，團結一致，去對抗現在香港面對緊嘅種種嘅惡法，以至北京政府，林鄭政府對香港人嘅打壓呢。
● 堅守 gīn1 sáu2 = to stick to; to hold fast to; to stand fast | ● 戰線 jin3 sin3 = battle line; battlefront; front | ● 嚟緊一年 lèih4 gán2 yāt1 nìhn4 = the coming year| ● 議案 yíh5 ngon3 = a proposal; a motion | ● 日後 yaht6 hauh6 = in the future; in (the) days to come | ● 私隱資料 sī1 yán2 jī1 líu2 = personal/private material | ● 追蹤 jēui1 jūng1 = to follow the trail of; to track; to trace | ● 行蹤 hàhng4 jūng1 = whereabouts; track | ● 抵抗 dái2 kong3 = to resist; to stand up to | ● 陣營 jahn6 yìhng4 = a group of people who pursue a common interest; a camp | ● 剝奪 mōk1 dyuht6 = to deprive; to expropriate | ● 投票權 tàuh4 piu3 kyùhn4 = the right to vote | ● 憤怒 fáhn5 nouh6 = indignation; anger; wrath | ● 激烈 gīk1 liht6 = intense; sharp; fierce | ● 極致 gihk6 ji3 = (?) extremely | ● 團結 tyùhn4 git3 = to unite; to rally | ● 受損 sauh6 syún2 = to be damaged | ● 爭議 jāang1 yíh5 = a dispute; a controversy | ● 惡化 [ng]ok3 faa3 = to worsen; to deteriorate | 槍口對外 chēung1 háau2 deui3 ngoih6 = (?) to point our guns outwards (rather than at ourselves) | ● 以至 yíh5 ji3 = down to; up to; and even | ● 打壓 dáa2 [ng]aat3 = to combat & suppress
Gist: Lam opens by saying he thinks they should stay, because a number of crucial issues are coming up for discussion in the coming year, including the trillion dollar plus land reclamation project proposed for eastern Lantau Island, a plan to find a way to enable the 150,000 Hong Kong people living in the Greater Bay Area [大灣區] to vote in Hong Kong elections, and the issue of the health code [健康碼] together with the collection of personal details. These are good reasons to stay, together with the fact that many in the democratic camp were angered by the decision, taken by the Central Government of the PRC, to postpone the elections in the first place. Lam goes to acknowledge that many in the democratic camp oppose staying on in LegCo, and that serious divisions have emerged that threaten to seriously undermine the unity of the democrats. A way then had to be sought to re-unify the group.
● 振振有詞 jan3 jan3 yáuh5 chìh4 = speak plausibly and at length | ● 勸服 hyun3 fuhk6 = to persuade | ● 民友 màhn4 yáuh5 = (?) a person sympathetic to the democratic cause
Gist: Chan Siu-yu asks Lam about the apparent contradiction in his opening statement: the coming year is indeed a very important one, so why conduct a poll that may lead to the group resigning en masse from LegCo rather than try and persuade everyone involved of the vital need to say on?
● 激烈 gihk6 liht6 = intense; sharp; fierce | ● 公投 gūng1 tàuh4 = (?) a public vote (on an issue) | ● 具體操作 geuih6 tái2 chou3 jok3 = concrete operations
Gist: Lam recalls that last Monday (24 August), various democrats expressed their view about staying during a press conference. However, the disagreements this gave rise to concerned the democratic camp about damage to group unity. In the effort to deal with this problem, Lam notes that most people argued for a poll or a public vote [公投] on the question. After considering various aspects, including time, manpower and difficulties involved in the concrete operation of any solution, it was decided that a poll be conducted to resolve the disputes and reunify the democrats.
● 導向性 douh6 heung3 sing3 = ? cf. 導向 guidance | ● 謹慎 gán2 sàhn4 = prudent; careful | ● 記者會 gei3 jé2 wúi6*2 = press conference | ● 公信力 gūng1 seun3 lihk6 = the ability to win public trust ● 問卷 mahn6 gyún2 = a questionnaire | ● 門檻 muhn4 laahm6 = threshold| ● 服膺於 fuhk6 yīng1 yū1 = 1. to bear in mind 2. to feel deeply convinced 3. (?) subordinate to | ● 即日 jīk1 yaht6 = this or that very day | ● 鐘庭耀博士 = | ● 澄清 chìhng4 chīng1 = to clear up; to clarify | ● 干預 gōn1 yuh6 = to interfere; to intervene; to meddle
Gist: Lam acknowledges that any kind of “guidance” [導向性] in the creation of the poll would have an influence on the result, and that the democratic camp has a strong interest in the outcome. For this reason, as was announced at the press conference last Thursday, they decided to approach a professional, independent polling organization to draw up the questionnaire on their behalf and to determine the relevant thresholds. They would make the decision about whether to stay on in LegCo or leave as per the results of the poll. On that same day, they contacted Dr Robert Chung Ting Yiu of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute and had some preliminary discussion about the poll. Without there having been any discussion of the issue, Dr Chung came up with his own suggestions regarding the two thresholds and set out his ideas for everyone to be aware of. The democratic camp respects the professionalism and independence of Dr Chung’s organization and so will abide by everything it decides to do. Lam reiterates that could not and would not interfere in the design of the questionnaire, the way in which the polling is carried out, and (?) all the conclusions they reach.
Gist: Chan’s final question deals with the issue of the two thresholds, one for ordinary citizens and one for supporters of the democratic camp. If 50% of citizens vote in favour of staying on, and two-thirds of supporters do the same, then the democracy camp will decide in favour of remaining in LegCo. But if this result is not obtained in the poll, then the democratic councillors will have to make up their own minds. Chan asks Lam to comment on this possibility.
● 計算 gai3 syun3 = 1. to count; to compute; to calculate 2. consideration; planning | ● 考慮因素 háau2 leuih6 yān1 sou3 = (?) factors that one takes into consideration
Gist: In response, Lam says that with regard to the way in which the specific calculations were worked out, it would be better to hear from Robert Chung himself. This is because of the issue of a conflict of interests for the democratic camp. He reiterates that the democrats would comply with the manner in which a professional poll was carried out. But as to the logic that lies behind the design [of the poll] [嗰個背後嘅設計嘅邏輯] or the factors that were taken into consideration [考慮因素], it would be better to hand this over to Dr Chung, for the reason that the democratic camp had nothing to do with the design or planning of the poll.
● 判斷 pun3 dyun3 = to judge; to decide; to determine | ● 質疑 jāt1 yìh4 = to call into question; to query | ● 度身 dohk6 sān1 = (?) to make to measure | ● 雙門檻 sēung1 mùhn4 laahm6 = (?) “double/paired thresholds” | ● 表示方式 bíu2 sih6 fōng1 sīk1 = a means of expression | ● 票數 piu3 sou3 = the number of votes | ● 容易引起誤會 yùhng4 yih6 yáhn5 héi2 ngh6 wuih6 = easily lead to misunderstandings
Gist: Lam begins by saying at the press conference last Thursday, that they would respect Robert Chung’s handling of the poll, although at the time they did not know whether he would accept the assignment. He then states that members of the democratic camp did not take part in the discussion about thresholds: they did not go to Chung with a request for the poll to be “made to measure” in order to get the result they wanted. Any doubts on this score have no basis in reality. Lam then states that the term 雙門檻 or “double/paired thresholds” used by some sections of the media is misleading because, in his view, the thresholds are independent of one another. Finally, he reiterates that the democratic camp will abide by the result of the poll with regard to their staying on or leaving LegCo.
● 請教 = chíng2/chéng2 gaau3 = to ask for advice; to consult | ● 隨機 chèuih4 gēi1 = random; randomly; at random | ● 比例 béi2 laih6 = proportion
Gist: The host Cheuk On Ng asks about another poll that was conducted by phone between 17-20 August. According to this, numbers were virtually evenly divided on the question of whether to stay or leave. He asks Lam for a comment on this result and the idea that it reflects how difficult it will be to make a final decision. He also makes a comment regarding supporters of the pro-establishment camp [建制派]. (Parts of this are still very unclear to me.)
● 趨向 chēui1 heung3 = 1. to tend to; to incline to 2. a trend; a direction | ● 評論 pìhng4 leuhn6 = to comment on; to discuss; a comment | ● 理由 léih5 yàuh4 = a reason; a ground; an argument | ● 鐘劍華博士 Jūng1 Gim3 Wàah4 bok3 sih6 = Dr Chung Kim-wah (of PORI) | ● 參考性 chāam1 háau2 sing3 = of a referential nature cf. 參考 = 1. to consult; to refer to 2. a reference | ● 呼籲 fū1 yuh6 = to appeal to; to call on | ● 全港性 chyùhn4 góng2 sing3 = Hong Kong-wide (lit. “complete Kong nature” | ● 抽樣 chāu1 yéung6*2 = a sample; sampling | ● 聽從 tīng1 chùhng4 = to obey; to comply with | ● 廣泛 g[w]óng2 faahn6 = extensive; wide-ranging | ● 純粹 sèuhn4 seui3 = pure; purely | ● 辯論 bihn6 leuhn6 = to argue; to debate | ● 鋪陳 pōu1 chàhn4 = to narrate in great detail; to describe at length; to elaborate | ● 理據 léih5 geui3 = an argument | ● 撤出 chit3 chēut1 = (?) to withdraw | ● 歲月 seui3 yuht6 = years | ● 嚴厲 yìhm4 laih6 = stern; severe
Gist: First of all, Lam declines to comment on the motivations of pro-establishment supporters. He goes on to say that the telephone poll referred to by the host was done for reference purposes: it was a 一個參考性嘅民調 = “a poll of a referential nature” done by a member of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. It seems that as a result of this first poll, it became clear that it would be necessary to conduct a Hong Kong-wide poll [全港性]. Finally, Lam reiterates how important this decision will be in terms of issues such as the freedoms and rights of the people of Hong Kong and wonders whether individuals are prepared to face the dark days of repression ahead if the decision is made to quit LegCo.
You feel it, of course ⸺ the tension implicit in attention. What it registers flows nowhere fingers begin to get a grip on even for an inch.
And if you were the river streaming forever with no fixed point through the course of a liquid lifetime what would you struggle to try and say to yourself just so the predicament was that little bit easier to bear? ⸺
Make no object of the current and by all means let the torrent of “each moment” flood-light you whole.
黃重光 Dr Wong Chung-kwong has over 30 years’ experience working as a psychiatrist and was for a long time Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2005, he founded the non-profit voluntary organization “Whole Person Education Foundation” to promote the “ICAN Whole Person Education” training to adults and students in Hong Kong, an initiative aimed at enhancing mental health. More recently, he has expanded ICAN education to include Macau and Shenzhen, as well as 連山壯族瑤族自治縣 Lianshan Zhuang and Yao Autonomous County in northern Guangdong province. Needless to say, he is an eloquent and insightful speaker on mental-health issues.
There is too much text here to translate in its entirety, but if you don’t read Cantonese, here is one of the most interesting parts of the interview:
Candy Chea Shuk-mui: Now what is extremely important for a person is this, the body and the desire for good health. Nevertheless, I am forever hearing you say “if the psychology is in good health, then you can be sure that the physiology will also be in good health”. However, the reverse does not necessarily hold true, does it?
Dr Wong Chung Kwong: Yes, that’s correct. The reason is that, when all is said and done [最終], it is the health of the person as a whole, body and mind being inseparable, right? Of course, this also includes personal relations, family, friends, work. Now these three aspects [i.e. family, friends, work] all have to be good at the same time for everything to be right with a person [佢]. On the other hand, however, there are people who suffer from an illness, perhaps even a physical disability, but as long as they are at a high level, psychologically-speaking, what is it we see? That individual’s life is likewise outstanding, and the person is happy, right? But when things are the other way round and, in psychological terms the quality is on the low side or there is confusion or the person’s mood is down, then for that person, generally speaking, there is an influence on physical health (Candy Chea Shuk-mui: Mm). With regard to this orientation, by and large, there is no change [for the better].
As usual, there is plenty of wonderful material in this except for anyone learning Cantonese. Perhaps the most interesting thing is 淰瞓得滯, which comes towards the end. This combines 淰瞓 nahm6 fan3 = “sound asleep” with the expression 得滯 dāk1 jaih6, tacked on afterwards to add the sense of = “too (much)”. There are also a couple of uses of the verbal particle 嚫 chān1, which is added to verbs to express the idea of “adversity”, usually involving some notion of physical or psychological pain:
我太太隻腳整嚫之後 = after my wife hurt her leg (整嚫) 好在冇跌嚫 = fortunately, [I] didn’t fall and hurt myself (跌嚫)
Look out too for some of the colloquial numbers ⸺ 卌呀 = forty; 十幾廿 = ten or so ⸺ as well as two useful four-character expression, 分秒必爭 = “every second counts” and 執筆忘字, “to suddenly forget how to write a word”, an experience most learners of Cantonese are all too familiar with!
You can listen to the full interview with Dr Wong here. If you’d like to read the transcript of the first ten minutes or so, please keep scrolling down. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.
● 輸出 syū1 chēut1 = to export; to output; (?) to give out
● 直程 jihk6 chìhng4 = 1. directly; straightaway 2. surely; sure enough; to be sure; definitely; undoubtedly; absolutely cf. SWC 簡直 ● 呵 hó2 = [final particle] huh – often used as a question tag to verify sth. while expecting confirmation
● 整嚫 jíng2 chān1 = to hurt (a leg) ● 第二啲方法 daih6 yih6 dī1 fōng1 faat3 = other ways (lit. “second some ways”) ● 錄音嘅書 luhk6 yām1 ge3 syū1 = an audio book ● 進修 jeun3 sāu1 =engage in advanced studies; pursue further studies; take a refresher course
車淑梅：分秒必爭嘅，黃重光醫生！好嘢，好嘢！噉唔怪得咁健康 . . .
● 分秒必爭 fān1 míuh5 bīt1 jāng1 = every second counts
● 撈亂 lōu1 lyuhn6 = to shuffle; (?) to put in the wrong order; to put the wrong way round ● 執筆忘字 jāp1 bāt1 mòhng4 jih6 = to suddenly forget how to write a word ● 放榜 fong3 bóng2 = to publish a list of successful candidates ● 軍訓 gwān1 fan3 = military training