Simon’s Soundtrackings: “Guld” by Gyllene Tider (Sweden)

Back in the 1970s, when Abba’s music was beginning to spread all over the world, I had a Swedish pen-friend who would send me cassettes (an immortal invention!) of the real Swedish pop-music, in Swedish. I don’t recall the names of many of the singers and groups from that time, but there was Factory, Anders F. Rōnnblom and, of course, there was the frequently irresistible Gyllene Tider.

To tell you the truth, I’ve never been much of a rock’n’roll fan. Even when it comes to classical music, I always prefer the slow, quieter, often melancholic pieces. So, while I was happy to listen to many of the songs put out by GT, it was the uncharacteristically gentle “Guld” (1979) that has stayed in my heart all that time.

I suppose some degree of hypocrisy is inevitable when a highly successful and popular band writes a song explicitly questioning the collective obsession with wealth. And yet, let us suppose that, for the three minutes of this song, at least, that questioning was realized in musical form with a wonderful depth of feeling.

You can listen to it here.

Guldet det glimmar,
Bedårar och bränner
Man vrider och man vänder
För att få komma i dess glans
Rikedomens glans

Man jobbar och man sliter
Oändliga timmar
Man vill så gärna leva
Och ta vara på sin chans
Rikedomens glans

Rikedomens glans

Man läser på läxan
Guld ger ingen ingenting

Guldet det glimmar,
Lockar och förhånar
Man trampar och man trånar
För att få komma i dess glans
Rikedomens glans
Rikedomens glans
Rikedomens glans
Rikedomens glans


Gold: it glitters,
Stupefies and burns.
We twist and we turn
Just to come into the presence of its shine
The shine of wealth

We work and slave away
For endless hours
We want so much to endure
And to make the best of our chances
The shine of wealth
The shine of wealth

In school we read in books
That gold gives nothing, nothing

Gold: it glitters,
Tempts and scorns
We trudge and we pine
Just to come into the presence of its shine
The shine of wealth
The shine of wealth
The shine of wealth
The shine of wealth

Crow ● Bicycle

Photo by Pixabay on

Now tweezers — scissors —
fork, her versatile beak
greets me with a grateful, rasped WAAH
before daggering back to the scrap-strip of beef
she has managed to wedge in the tread of the rear-wheel tyre.
The corpus
of the meal dispatched, she jumps
with a hopscotch-flap up to the high plateau seat
then onto claw-friendly handlebars: WAAH!
There, she contemplates, head down,
all the broad orange ground beneath her feet:
litter of countless marigolds
she has so lovingly ripped to shreds.

Learning Cantonese: Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze and His City Poetry

When I went to Hong Kong for the first time, I didn’t speak the local language. Knowing Chinese characters, however, I could read the city everywhere I went — it was like living in a four-dimensional book, every turning in time and space showing me new characters, words, phrases, messages, warnings, appeals . . . In this glorious short video from the Blue Lotus Gallery, French photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captures this graphological Hong Kong with engaging intensity, and intensifies that pervasive powerful contrast between “ancient text” and “hyper-modern” cosmopolitanism.

Since the video is in English, I haven’t taken the trouble to translate the Chinese in this post, so skip here to the video here if you wish. But if you are interested in Chinese, I have added notes on the vocabulary and the structure of the Chinese subtitles, just to give you a better idea of what is going on in terms of the grammar (needless to say, there are some interesting differences between the Chinese and English versions). For more information about Jacquet-Lagrèze’s work, you can visit the Blue Lotus Gallery here, and the photographer’s personal website here. Both are well worth your visit.


當我穿梭於香港街道當中時 | 我非常欣賞 | 店鋪招牌及大夏名稱上 | 獨創的繁體中文字體 | 他們都各自擁有其獨有的特質 | 特別在舊區 | 每個字體都會使用不同的方法設計 | 例如木刻或者石刻、手工吹製的霓虹燈管 | 拼貼紙皮石、又或者手繪的字體 | 什麽因素讓每個招牌變得真正獨一無二 | 就是隨著時間流逝的見證 | 其剝落的油漆、生鏽的金屬 | 失落的瓷磚或破碎的霓虹燈 | 人們設計招牌以資訊性和吸引力為前提 | 而我認為日漸的磨損 | 反而將它們轉化為更深層次的事物 | 歲月侵蝕的痕跡

● 穿梭 chyūn1 sō1 = to shuttle back & forth | ● 招牌 jīu1 pàaih4 = a shop sign; a signboard cf. 招 = “to beckon” | ● 名稱 mìhng4 chīng1 = usu. “name of a thing or organization” | ● 獨創 duhk6 chong3 = an original creation | ● 擁有 yúng2 yáuh5 = to possess; to have; to own | ● 吹製 cheui1 jai3 = to blow (glass) cf. 吹 = to blow; to puff + 製 = “to make; to manufacture” | ● 拼貼 ping3 tip3 = roughly, “to stick or arrange side by side” cf. 拼 = “to put together; to piece together” + 貼 = “to paste; to stick; to glue” | ● 紙皮石 ji2 peih4 sehk6 = tessera; wall tile | ● 手繪 sáu2 kúi2 = roughly, “to paint or draw by hand” | ● 獨一無二 duhk6 yāt1 mòuh4 yih6 = unique; unparalleled; unmatched | ● 流逝 làuh4 saih6 = (of time) to pass; to elapse | ● 見證 gin3 jing3 = usu. (noun) “witness; testimony” | ● 剝落 mok1 lohk6 = to peel off | ● 生鏽 sāang1 sau3 = to get rusty | ● 資訊 jī1 seun3 = information | ● 日漸 yaht6 jihm6 = with each passing day; day by day | ● 磨損 mòh4 syún2 = wear & tear | ● 侵蝕 chām1 sihk6 = to corrode; to erode | ● 痕跡 hàhn4 jīk1 = a mark; a trace; a vestige

Notes: (1) Written Chinese often expresses location with 於yū1 rather than 在 joih6 or the spoken equivalent 喺 hái2: 穿梭於香港街道 = “to shuttle back & forth in/along the streets of Hong Kong”. It is used again at 2:00 in 我太太出生於香港 = “my wife was born in Hong Kong”. (2) The word 會 wúih5 seems to have a range of meanings. Often, it suggests what is normally the case, even a universal truth. In English, the present tense is often used for the same purpose, so 每個字體都會使用不同的方法設計 = “every Chinese character is designed using different methods”. There are also a couple of uses at 2:00: 她都會幫忙檢查所有字體 = “she helps check every character”, followed soon after by 她會解釋它們的原本意思 = “she explains their basic meaning”. (3) In written Chinese, 其 kèih4 can be used as a third-person pronoun, often expressing possession. At 0:18 we come across it in 他們都各自擁有其獨有的特質 = “they each of them have their own unique qualities. Later, at 0:37, it crops up in 就是隨著時間流逝的見證 | 其剝落的油漆 = “they are witnesses to the passage of time, [and] their peeled paint . . .”It also has this meaning in the four-character phrase 名副其實, which roughly translates as “the name matches its actuality”. (4) The word 以 yíh5 can be used to express the means by which something is done, and can also have the related meaning of “taking (something as a means)”. It often works in conjunction with 為, as in 以資訊性和吸引力為前提 (0:47), which literally means “taking informativeness & attractiveness as a premise”. It also crops up in the next section at 1:54 in 以相機與語言互動 = “taking a camera to interact with language” or “engaging with language by means of [my] camera”.

【1:00】為字體增添了另一層意義 | 它們不再僅僅是牆上的名字 | 而是變成了時間的詩歌 | 繁體中文是其中一種仍然 | 被採用的歷史語言 | 我們很幸運能夠在這個超現代的城市中 | 被這種古老的字體所包圍 | 這些招牌是名副其實的藝術品 | 結合了人、時間 | 和元素的技術 | 我決定用相機捕捉它們 | 由於我對中國書法的藝術形式非常著迷 | 我想把不同的字體組合 | 去創作成詩詞 | 透過拼湊在不同地方拍攝的字體 | 來賦予它們意味 | 當我決定學習廣東話時 | 我很自然地 | 尋找到一個方法 | 便是以相機與語言互動

「我們很幸運能夠在這個超現代的城市中被這種古老的字體所包圍」 | “We are so lucky to be surrounded visually by this ancient text in such a hyper-modern city.”

● 幸運 hahng6 wahn6 = fortunate; lucky | ● 超現代 chīu1 yihn6 doih6 = hyper-modern (lit. “super modern”) | ● 包圍 bāau1 wàih4 = to surround; to encircle | ● 名副其實 mìhng4 fu3 kèih4 saht6 = the name matches the reality; be worthy of the name | ● 結合 git3 hahp6 = to combine; to unite; to integrate | ● 元素 yùhn4 sou3 = element [In this context, “elements” refers to (經受)風吹雨打] | ● 捕捉 bouh6 jūk1 = to catch; to seize | ● 著迷 jeuhk6 màih4 = be fascinated; be captivated | ● 組合 jóu2 hahp6 = to make up; to compose; to constitute | ● 拼湊 ping3 chau3 = to piece together | ● 賦予 fu3 yúh5 = to bestow on; to endow with; to vest with | ● 意味 yi3 meih6 = a meaning; a significance; an implication | ● 互動 wuh6 sēung1 = usu. “an interaction”; here, “to interact”

Notes: (1) The coverb 為 waih6 has all sorts of uses in written Chinese, mapping onto various prepositions in English. At the beginning of this section, it appears in 為字體增添了另一層意義, literally “for/to written characters adding another level of meaning”. The situation is complicated by the fact that wàih4 is a commonly used verb. One of its uses is to operate as a verb-suffix to indicate becoming. In 反而將它們轉化為更深層次的事物 in the previous section, it links up with the verb 轉化 jyún2 faa3 = “to change; to transform” to introduce the result of the transformation: “but changes them into something with greater depth”. (2) In the example just discussed, the character 將 jēung1 appears. Sometimes described as a “disposal marker”, it is commonly used in Cantonese and formal written Chinese to move the direct object from its usual position after the main verb to a position before it, so that you get something like “but them [it] changes into something with greater depth”. In this section, another character with the same function is also used: 把 báa2. At 1:38 you’ll see 我想把不同的字體組合 = I would like to put different characters together (or “I would like to combine different characters”). As far as I know, 將 and 把 can both be used in written Chinese with the same structural function, but there may be differences in nuance.

【2:00】我太太出生於香港 | 她都會幫忙檢查所有字體 | 每次我拍攝完畢後回家 | 她會解釋它們的原本意思 | 以及提供建議 | 去賦予它們新的詩意 | 這項目是她首次如此投入參與 | 讓我加深在香港的根基 | 並更加融入她的文化

● 檢查 gím2 chàah4 = to check (up); to inspect; to examine | ● 完畢 yùhn4 bāt1 = to finish; to complete; to end | ● 詩意 sī1 yi3 = poetic quality of flavour | ● 項目 hohng6 muhk6 = a project | ● 加深 gāa1 sām1 = to deepen | ● 根基 gān1 gēi1 = a foundation; a basis | ● 融入 yùhng4 yahp6 = roughly, “to blend in; to integrate”

Notes: Although 讓 yeuhng6 does get used in spoken Cantonese, it is frequently replaced by the more colloquial 俾 béi2 (also written 畀). It has the meaning of “to let; to allow”, often with a sense close to the English “to enable”. In the final parts of this section, we find 讓我加深在香港的根基 = to allow/enable me to deepen my roots in Hong Kong and to get deeper into her culture.


Photo by deedee on

I froze a little, I admit,
too snug in routine’s tight orbit.
There, in the open kitchen door,
a python patterned urban air
with its generous, coiled sprawl.
Twining in the white grille,
it divined me, forked-tongue flickering.
I felt the dark test, the raw thrill,
the unwelcome, real invasion
of a world brought squarely home to me,
to my evasions.

One-minute Wonderful Short Cantonese Videos: Tommy’s Halfway Coffee

For one minute, take time out to listen to Tommy talk about his Halfway Coffee shop, where aromatic coffee is served in exquisite traditional Chinese tea-cups. That astonishing fusion between East and West at the heart of Hong Kong is the world’s most incredible and precious cultural heritage, reminding us of Elizabeth Chow’s provocative, thought-provoking words:

Look at us, and envy us, you poor, one-world people, riveted to your limitations. We are the future of the world!

And while you’re enjoying your imaginary drink, boost your stock of Cantonese vocabulary with a few new items: 巷 hohng6 = a lane; 隱約 yán2 yeuk3 = indistinct; 情懷 chìhng4 wàaih4 = feelings; 收藏 sāu1 chòhng4 = to collect; 沖茶 chūng1 chàah4 = to make tea; and of course that all-important 中西融合 Jūng1-Sāi1 yùhng4 hahp6 = roughly, “a fusion of Chinese & Western (elements)”. You can also pick-up some phrases to impress colleagues and friends, including 隱約充滿咗舊香港嘅情懷 = “filled with a faint feel of the old Hong Kong”, 成間咖啡店,我最鍾意厘個位 = “this is my favourite spot in the entire café” and, last but not least, 假如有人經過,我哋就會同佢微笑 = “if someone happens to be passing by, we smile at them” . . .

You can watch the video here.

摩羅街行落幾步呢 | 就會搵到我哋呢間咖啡店㗎喇 | 間鋪呢,成條巷咁樣嘅 ,前後都打通| 隱約充滿咗舊香港嘅情懷 | 我哋呢度收藏咗大約三百隻中式嘅茶杯 | 魚鱗紋呢,可以話係我最鍾意嘅一隻杯 | 唔好以爲依啲杯只係沖茶喎 | 其實我哋係可以攞嚟做咖啡架喎 | 中西融合沖起嚟嘅咖啡 | 飲落去都有香港嘅情懷 | 成間咖啡店,我最鍾意厘個位 | 喺度沖咖啡嘅時候,可以望到唔同嘅客人 | 假如有人經過,我哋就會同佢微笑 | 邀請佢哋入嚟飲杯咖啡、傾吓偈 | 感受吓舊香港嘅情懷 | 我叫 Tommy | 係一間咖啡店嘅隊長

● 摩羅街 mō1 lòh4 gāai1 = (?) Lascar Row | ● 巷 hohng6 = a lane; an alley | ● 打通 dáa2 tūng1 = to get through; to open up | ● 隱約 yán2 yeuk3 = indistinct; faint | ● 情懷 chìhng4 wàaih4 = feelings | ● 收藏 sāu1 chòhng4 = to collect; to store up | ● 魚鱗紋 4*2 lèuhn4 màhn4 = (?) a fish-scale pattern | ● 沖茶 chūng1 chàah4 = to make tea cf. 沖咖啡 | ● 中西融合 Jūng1-Sāi1 yùhng4 hahp6 = (?) a fusion of Chinese & Western (elements] | ● 假如 gáa2 yùh4 = if; supposing; in case | ● 邀請 yīu1 chíng2 = to invite | ● 感受 gám2 sauh6 = to experience; to feel | ● 隊長 deuih6 jéung2 = team leader

Just take a few steps along Lascar Row and you will find this coffee shop of ours. Now this shop is on a lane way — you can come in through the front and walk out through the back [前後都打通] and it is filled with a faint feel of the old Hong Kong. Here we have collected around three hundred Chinese-style tea-cups. The cup with the fish-scale pattern on it is probably my favourite. Don’t imagine [唔好以爲] that these cups are only used for tea; actually, we can use them to make coffee in, too. Fusing Chinese and Western elements, this way of drinking coffee has a Hong Kong feel [to it]. This is my favourite spot in the entire café: when I’m making coffee here, I can look at the various customers and, if someone happens to be passing by, we smile at them and invite them in for a cup of coffee and a chat, [so that, in the process, they can] experience something of the old Hong Kong. My name is Tommy, team leader of a coffee shop.

Learning Cantonese: The Pillar of Shame at HKU

One direct consequence of Hong Kong’s so-called “National Security” law has been the suppression of all forms of commemoration of the June Fourth Tian’anmen Massacre, a suppression that constitutes implicit denial. Just before Christmas, on 23 December, authorities at the University of Hong Kong order the dismantling and removal of the June Fourth memorial sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiøt. Not long after, two other universities followed suit, removing other expressions of commemoration linked to the 1989 Pro-democracy Movement and effectively betraying the aspirations of their respective student populations.

Not surprisingly, this report on the removal of the Pillar of Shame by reporter 林彥邦 Lam Yin-pong at Stand News was itself removed from the web after police raided the offices of the organization and arrested both staff and members of its board. However, at the time of writing this, a back-up version was still available on YouTube.

In Chinese, the Pillar of Shame (was) known as 國殤之柱 gwok3 sēung1 jī1 chyúh5. In Cantonese, 殤 sēung1 is not seen very often. It means “to die young” and in the compound 國殤 has the sense of “national martyr”. The connotations of the term are linked primarily with mourning rather than with shame, which is why Lam has to explain the English meaning at the end of his report.

One useful grammatical point in this video concerns a special class of verbs known as verb-object verbs. A common instance is a verb like 睇書 tái2 syū1 = “to read”, where 睇 is the verb “to see” and 書 is the noun “book”. Since aspect markers are generally attached to verbs (or co-verbs), verb-object verbs have to “split” in two when this happens. For example, when the aspect-marker for “finishing” 完 yùhn4 is added to the verb 拆彈 = “to defuse a bomb”, the aspect-marker appears between the verb and its object: 拆完彈. In another example, when the marker 埋 màaih4 (according to Intermediate Cantonese by Yip & Matthews this can mean “in addition to all the rest”) is used with the verb 報警 bou3 gíng2 = “to report (an incident) to the police”, we get 報埋警.

On the vocabulary side of things, you’ll encounter a few uses of the verb 剷 cháan2 = to shovel; to level off. In this video, it seems to have the sense of “to scrape (away)”. I have also heard it in reports of traffic accidents, where it seems to mean something like “to plough into” or perhaps “to shear”. It can also be used in soccer to denote a sliding tackle, 剷球 cháan2 kàuh4.

Please scroll down if you want the transcription, notes and rough English translation. Otherwise, you can view the video here (subtitles in Standard Written Chinese only). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. 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.

各位歡迎收睇 |《三分鐘時事杯麵》| 今集節目嘅首播日係聖誕節 | 首先祝各位聖誕平安 | 本來佳節當前 | 想講啲輕鬆啲嘅議題 | 但作爲香港人 | 去到一年最後一個禮拜 | 都仲係冇鬆口氣嘅空間

國殤之柱係丹麥雕塑家 | 高志活嘅作品 | [Caption: 國殤之柱製作者高志活] | 廿幾年嚟,一直都矗立喺 | 港大黃克競平台 | 去到 2021年12月23號凌晨| [Caption: 2021.12.23 凌晨「國殤之柱」被拆走] | 被港大校方漏夜拆走 | 其實國殤之柱一開始 | 就已經唔係好受港大校方歡迎 | 時間返到去主權移交之前

● 佳節 gāai1 jit3 = happy festival time; festival | ● 丹麥 dāan1 mahk6 = Denmark | ● 雕塑家 dīu1 sou3 gāa1 = sculptor | ● 矗立 chūk1 laahp6 = stand tall & upright | ● 凌晨 lìhng4 sàhn4 = in the small hours; before dawn | ● 漏夜 lauh6 yeh6 = the dead of night | ● 主權 jyú2 kyùhn4 = sovereignty | ● 移交 yìh4 gāau1 = to turn over; to transfer

Welcome everyone to 3-minute Noodle Current Affairs. [Because] this edition is appearing for the first time on Christmas Day, let me first of all wish you all a Safe Christmas. Given the present festival atmosphere [佳節], I had originally planned to talk about some fairly light topics, but in this last week of the year, we Hongkongers still had no space in which to take a breather [冇鬆口氣嘅空間].

The Pillar of Shame is the work of Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt.

Caption: Jens Galschiøt, Maker of the Pillar of Shame

For the past twenty years, it has stood [矗立] on the Haking Wong Podium at the University of Hong Kong, until the early hours of 23 December 2021, when it was dismantled in the dead of night by the authorities at HKU and taken away.

Caption: In the Early Hours of 23 December 2021, the Pillar of Shame is Dismantled & Removed

Right from the beginning, in actual fact, the Pillar of Shame has never really been welcomed by the authorities at HKU. [When we go back] to the time before the transfer of sovereignty . . .

1:00】最後一次六四晚會之後 | 港大學生護送國殤之柱 | 送去港大校園 | 但當時港大派保安阻止 | 拒絕開車閘,仲報埋警 | 港大學生、支持者 | 就同保安同警方對峙 | 爭執咗一輪,國殤之柱最終先入到校園 | 去到1998年9月 | 港大學生會投票通過 | 國殤之柱永久喺黃克競平台展示 | 時間去到今年嘅6月 | 有團體向警察國安處投訴 | 指控國殤之柱散播仇恨 | 可能違反國安法 | 之後港大校方就提出 | 要拆走國殤之柱 | 半年之後嘅凌晨 | 佢哋深夜喐手 | 港大校委會就解釋話 | 國殤之柱日久失修 | 可能有安全問題,亦都 [有] 法律風險 | 實際理由係咩 | 大家心中有數 | 要留意嘅| 係港大校委會主席李國章 | 12月19號立法會選舉投票日 | 佢投票嗰陣話,國殤之柱 | 嘅擁有權問題未解決

● 護送 wuh6 sung3 = to escort; to convoy | ● 阻止 jó2 jí2 = to prevent; to stop; to hold back | ● 車閘 chē1 jaahp6 = (?) traffic barrier-gate | ● 報警 bou3 gíng2 = to report (an incident) to the police | ● 對峙 deui3 chíh5 = to stand facing each other; to confront | ● 爭執 jāng1 jāp1 = to disagree; to dispute; to stick to one’s guns | ● 一輪 yāt1 lèuhn4 = roughly, “a round” | ● 永久 wíhng5 gáu2 = permanent; perpetual; everlasting | ● 展示 jín2 sih6 = to reveal; to show; to lay bare | ● 散播 saan3 bo3 = to disseminate; to spread |● 仇恨 sàuh4 hahn6 = hatred; enmity; hostility | ● 喐手 yūk1 sáu2 = to start work; to get to work; to take action | ● 日久 yaht6 gáu2 = with the passing of time | ● 失修 sāt1 sāu1 = be in bad repair; fall into disrepair | ● 心中有數 sām1 jūng1 yáuh5 sou3 = have a pretty good idea of; know fairly well | ● 投票日 tòuh4 piu3 yaht6 = polling day | ● 擁有權 yúng2 yáuh5 kyùhn4 = (?) the right of possession; ownership

. . . after the last June Fourth Candle Vigil [六四晚會], the students of HKU escorted the Pillar of Shame back to the HKU campus. However, HKU dispatched security guards to stop them, refusing to lift the road-barrier [車閘] and reporting the matter to the police as well. There was a confrontation between HKU students and their supporters with security guards and the police. It was only after arguing the matter for a while [爭執咗輪] that the Pillar of Shame finally entered the campus. In September 1998, HKU students voted in favour of the Pillar of Shame remaining permanently on display on the Haking Wong Podium. Moving along to June this year, certain groups [團體] complained to the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force, claiming that the Pillar of Shame incited hatred [散播仇恨] and that it “might contravene the National Security Law”. Afterwards, HKU indicated that it intended to remove the Pillar of Shame. Six months later, in the small hours of the night, the university took action. The HKU board explained that the Pillar of Shame had, in the passage of time, fallen into disrepair and this quite possibly was a safety issue. In addition, there were legal risks [風險]. What the real reason was is something you all have a pretty good idea about. It is worth noticing that when voting on polling day on 19 December, the chairperson of the HKU board Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said that the issue of who owned the Pillar of Shame had not yet been resolved . . .

2:00】似乎未有動作 // | 但係三日之後,港大就喐手 | 而李國章本身仲有一個禮拜就離任 | 到底係巧合 [呀],等拆完彈先至走人呢?| 港大拆完國殤之柱 | 兩日之内 | 中大搬走咗民主女神像 | 剷走嗮民主牆上面嘅文宣 | 嶺大剷走咗六四浮雕 | 同民主女神壁畫 | 噉到底又係巧合,有人驚「執輸」| 定係收到指示呢? | 港澳辦主任夏寳龍 | [Caption: 夏寳龍 | 當年超過2000間基督教堂十字架被移除] | 做浙江省委書記嘅時候 | 拆走咗2000座教堂嘅十字架或者建築 | 又係咪巧合嚟呢?| 高志活嘅國殤之柱作品 | 總共有六座 | 分別喺香港、意大利羅馬 | 墨西哥墨西哥城 | 巴西巴西利亞 | 丹麥哥本哈根同埋 | 德國柏林 | 國殤之柱英文叫做 | pillars of shame | 恥辱柱 | 當其他五座國殤之柱都安然無恙 | 香港呢一座就喺矗立咗廿三年之後 | 漏夜被人拆走咗 | 成日稱呼自己係國際城市嘅香港

● 離任 lèih4 yahm6 = to leave one’s post | ● 拆彈 chaak3 dáan2 = (?) to defuse a bomb | ● 趁勢 chān1 sai3 = to take advantage of a favourable situation | ● 剷 cháan2 = to shovel; to level off | ● 文宣 màhn4 syūn1 = (?) a written declaration | ● 浮雕 fàuh4 dīu1 = a relief sculpture | ● 執輸 jāp1 syū1 = to miss (a great opportunity) | ● 十字架 sahp6 jih6 gaa3 = crucifix |● 總共 júng2 guhng6 = in all; altogether |● 安然無恙 [ng]ōn1 yìhn4 mòuh4 yeuhng6 = safe & sound; (escape) unscathed

. . . and it seemed that no moves were yet being made. However, three days later, HKU [authorities] set to work and, a week later, Arthur Li Kwok-cheung left his post. Is that just a coincidence, only leaving when the bomb has been defused [拆彈]? Two days after HKU removed the Pillar of Shame, the Chinese University of Hong Kong took away its Goddess of Democracy and scraped away all the written declarations posted up on Democracy Wall. Lingnan University also scraped off its June Fourth relief sculpture as well as the mural of the Goddess of Democracy. Now was this just a coincidence, with people worried that they might “miss out” on “a golden opportunity”, or had they received a directive?

Caption: Xia Baolong Removed over 2000 Crosses from Churches

When he was secretary of the Zhejiang provincial party committee, Xia Baolong, [current] head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, removed over 2000 church crosses [教堂嘅十字架] or [other] structures. Is this [another] coincidence? Jens Galschiøt’s Pillars of Shame includes a total of six pieces [located in] Hong Kong, Rome, Mexico City, Brasilia in Brazil, Copenhagen and Berlin. In English, they are known as the “Pillars of Shame” (that is, chi yuk chue in Cantonese). When the five other Pillars of Shame remain unscathed, in Hong Kong — where the Pillar of Shame stood tall for twenty-three years before being taken away in the dead of night — couldn’t people bear keeping a place for even this work of art . . .

3:00】係咪連呢一件藝術品都 [做唔落] 呢?| 又或者,拆走恥辱柱呢件事本身 | 就已經係一個恥辱 | 今個星期講到呢個先 | 節目完之前,我哋花多少少時間 | 懷愐一下,喺過去短短呢幾日 | 我哋又再失去咗啲乜嘢

● 做唔落 jouh6 mh4 lohk6 = (?) cannot bear to do cf. Sheik Cantonese: 噉做會棒打鴛鴦,我做唔落 = Doing this would break the couple apart. I cannot bear to do it | ● 懷愐 wàaih4 míhn5 = (?) to cherish the memory of; to recall

. . . despite all the talk about being “an international city”? Furthermore [又或者], to dismantle and remove a pillar of shame is itself a shameful thing. Well, that’s it for this week, but before the end of the program, let us spend a little more time recalling what more we have lost within the short space of just a few days.

Learning Cantonese: Introducing the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament

The idea for a Hong Kong Shadow Parliament was first proposed in July 2020 in response to the collapse of democracy in Hong Kong. Not long after, the following video was produced to introduce the concept of the HKSP and the plan to hold a first round of public consultations. Apart from trying to imagine an effective solution to the acute political problems facing Hong Kong, the video also presents a wealth of useful political vocabulary presented in a lively and very accessible manner.

Please scroll down if you want the transcription, notes and literal English translation. Otherwise, you can view the video here (subtitles in Standard Written Chinese and English). Since it is a YouTube video, you can slow down the playback speed if you wish: at 0.75 and 0.5, the sound quality is still good. 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.

For more up-to-date information about the activities of the HKSP, you can check out their website here.

You can also listen to Simon Cheng Man-kit talking about plans for the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament in English here.

旁白:各位香港人 | 喺近呢幾個月嚟,香港嘅政治形勢進一步惡化 | 本土嘅民主運動亦步入寒冬 | 我哋希望,喺呢度提出一個嶄新嘅方案 | 繼續為香港爭取真正嘅民主 | 呢個就係香港影子議會

Caption: 香港影子議會

現階段秘書處係一個籌備工作小組 | 目的係公正咁研究同實施成立影子議會嘅計劃 | 第一屆影子議會誕生之後 | 秘書處將會成為影子議會嘅常設秘書處 | 而秘書處嘅秘書長就要承諾秉持公正而中立嘅原則 | 唔能夠作為候選人參加影子議會嘅選舉 | 喺呢條短片入邊我哋將簡單介紹五個問題 | 等你哋可以對香港影子議會有更清晰嘅了解

Caption: 什麽是香港影子議會?

● 形勢 yìhng4 sai3 = situation | ● 惡化 ngok3 faa3 = to worsen; to deteriorate | ● 步入寒冬 bouh6 yahp6 hòhn4 dūng1 = lit. “to step into cold Winter” | ● 嶄新 jáam2 sān1 = brand-new; completely new | ● 秘書處 bei3 syū1 chyu3 = secretariat | ● 公正 gūng1 jing3 = just; fair; impartial | ● 常設 sèuhng4 chit3 = standing; permanent | ● 秘書長 bei3 syū1 jéung2 = secretary-general | ● 秉持 bíng2 chìh4 = to uphold; to hold fast to  (cf. 秉持公心 = to uphold justice) | ● 候選人 hauh6 syún2 yàhn4 = a candidate

Voice-over: People of Hong Kong! In recent months, the political situation in Hong Kong has further deteriorated and the local democracy movement has stepped into a frigid Winter. It is our hope that, [in] putting forward a brand-new proposal here, [we can all] continue to strive for true democracy for Hong Kong. This [proposal] is the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament.

Caption: Hong Kong Shadow Parliament

In its present stage, the secretariat is a preparatory working group [籌備工作小組]. Its aim is to impartially research and to realize the scheme for a shadow parliament. Once the Shadow Parliament is born, the Secretariat will become a permanent secretariat [常設秘書處] of the Shadow Parliament, and the secretary-general of the Secretariat must promise to uphold both justice as well as the principle of neutrality. [Also, the secretary-general] cannot take part in elections for the shadow parliament. In this video, we will provide a simple introduction to five questions in order to give you a clearer understanding of the HKSP.

Caption: What is the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament?

1:00】影子議會係一個反映香港人心聲嘅民間團體 | 而非另一種形式嘅官方機構 | 香港影子議會係一個充滿透明度、包容性、負責人嘅平台 | 讓民選代表可以喺國際上代表香港人自由發聲 | 影子議會旨在讓香港人能夠以自由同公平嘅方式選出佢哋嘅代表 | 但係影子議會唔係流亡政府 | 影子議會並唔會仿效一個國家嘅職能 | 去規管或者解決香港有關嘅問題同香港人之間嘅事務

Caption: 爲什麽我們現在需要影子議會?

香港民主運動嘅議會路線同街頭路線 | 已經逐漸失去法律所容許嘅生存空間 | 喺新冷戰時代嘅背景之下 | 國際戰線將會喺香港民主運動中 . . .

● 心聲 sām1 sīng1 = heartfelt wishes; aspiration | ● 透明度 tau3 mìhng4 douh6 = transparency | ● 包容性 bāau1 yùhng4 sing3 = (?) inclusiveness | ● 旨在 jí2 joih6 = for the purpose of | ● 流亡政府 làuh4 mòhng4 jing3 fú2 = government in exile | ● 仿效 fóng2 haauh6 = to imitate; to follow the example of | ● 職能 jīk1 nàhng4 = a function | ● 規管 kwāi1 gún2 = (?) to regulate

The HKSP is a civil [non-governmental] organization that reflects the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong, not an official organ in another form. It is a platform with a high degree of transparency [充滿透明度], inclusiveness [包容性] and accountability. It will enable elected representatives to speak out freely on behalf of Hongkongers on the international stage [喺國際上]. The purpose of the Hong Kong Shadow Parliament is to enable Hongkongers to elect their representatives in a free and fair manner. It is not a government in exile, nor will it [seek to] emulate the functions of a state [in] regulating or determining issues relating to Hong Kong or in matters between Hong Kong people.

Caption: Why Do We Now Need a Shadow Parliament?

Hong Kong’s democratic movement has gradually come to lose any legally-sanctioned room in which to exist, both in terms of the parliamentary avenue and on the streets [議會路線同街頭路線]. With the advent of a new Cold War, the international front will play a more important role . . .

2:00】. . . 扮演更重要嘅角色

Caption: 影子議會的功能有哪些?

第一:提供一個安全嘅地方以民主嘅方式 | 表達全體香港人嘅真正聲音 | 第二:為被剝奪正當政治權利嘅流亡港人 | 提供一個繼續發聲嘅平台 | 第三:透過投票選出代表,賦權予海外嘅香港人 | 加强佢哋與本地港人嘅連結 | 第四:凝聚國際陣線 | 作爲香港民主運動中其中一股日益重要嘅變革力量 | 第五:讓香港人有一個自由嘅空間進行議辯 | 培養公共政策嘅分析能力同提供民主教育 | 第六:提供令一種視覺,令更多香港人 | 了解現實香港政府當中嘅問題同政治制度上嘅不足 | 第七:為國際 . . .

● 賦權予 fu3 kyùhn4 yúh5 = roughly, “to vest power in (sb.)” | ● 連結 lìhn4 git3 = to connect | ● 凝聚 yìhng4 jeuih6 = (?) (to make) more cohesive | ● 陣線 jahn6 sin3 = a front; ranks; an alignment | ● 變革 bin3 gaak3 = to transform; to change | ● 議辯 yíh5 bihn6 = (?) to discuss | ● 培養 pùih4 yéuhng5 = to foster; to train; to develop | ● 視覺 sih6 gok3 = vision (usu. in the sense of “eyesight”)

. . . in Hong Kong’s democratic movement.

Caption: What Will the Functions of the Shadow Parliament Be?

It can provide a secure place to express the true voices of all Hongkongers in a democratic fashion. 2. To provide a platform on which Hongkongers in exile who have been deprived of [their] legitimate political rights can go on having a voice [發聲]. 3. To give power to overseas Hongkongers by means of the election of representatives and to strengthen their connections with Hongkongers still in Hong Kong. 4. To make the international front more cohesive, so that it can serve an ever increasingly important revolutionary force in Hong Kong’s democracy movement. 5. To give Hongkongers a free space in which to debate issues [so as] to foster the ability to analyse public policy and to provide education in democracy. 6. To provide an alternative vision, enabling more Hongkongers to gain an understanding of problems with the current Hong Kong government and inadequacies in the political system. 7. To establish . . .

3:00】 . . . 陣線上嘅各方建立一個透明、包容、問責嘅機制 | 確保佢哋代表香港人嘅真正意願 | 第八:成為一個受大衆認可、支持嘅平台,確立同强化 | 各個倡議團體嘅民主正當性

Caption: 影子議會將在那裏舉行

對於影子議會秘書處嚟講 | 香港市民嘅私隱安全最爲重要 | 喺考慮到呢啲風險嘅情況下 | 影子議會秘書處會採取一切必要嘅措施 | 保障參與影子議會事務嘅市民安全 | 喺投票方面,由於喺香港設立投票站嘅風險太大 | 所以成個投票過程會喺網上進行 | 秘書處會同與遙距投票同網絡安全專家合作 | 建立一個安全嘅投票平台 | 我哋亦都會鼓勵香港人透過虛擬專用網絡 . . .

● 問責 mahn6 jaak3 = to call to account | ● 機制 gē1 jai3 = a mechanism | ● 意願 yi3 yuhn6 = a wish; a desire; an aspiration | ● 認可 yihng6 hó2 = to approve | ● 確立kok3 laahp6 = to establish | ● 正當性 jing3 dong3 sing3 = (?) legitimate cf. 正當 jing3 dong3 = proper; appropriate; legitimate | 倡議團體 cheung3 yíh5 tyùhn4 tái2 = (?) advocacy group cf. 倡議 = 1. to propose 2. initiative| ● 私隱安全 sī1 yán2 [ng]ōn1 chyùhn4 = (?) safety & privacy | ● 必要 bīt1 yiu3 = necessary; essential; indispensable | ● 遙距 yìuh4 kéuih5 = roughly, “[at a] remote [distance]” | ● 擬專用網絡 yíh5 jyūn1 yuhng6 móhng5 lok3 = virtual private network (VPN)

. . . a transparent, inclusive and accountable [問責] mechanism for the various parties in the international front in order to ensure that they represent the true aspirations of the Hong Kong people. 8. To become a platform approved of, and supported by, the general public, as well as establishing and/or strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the various advocacy groups.

Caption: Where Will the Shadow Parliament Conduct Its Affairs [舉行]?

With regard to the Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament, the most important thing is the security of personal information of Hong Kong citizens. Bearing these risks in mind, the Secretariat of Shadow Parliament will adopt the necessary measures to ensure the safety of citizens taken part in the work of the Shadow Parliament. With regard to voting, because setting up polling stations in Hong Kong is too risky, the whole voting process will the carried out on-line. The Secretariat will work together with experts on internet security and remote voting [同與遙距投票] to establish a secure voting platform. We will also encourage Hongkongers to [vote] by using . . .

4:00】. . . VPN | 喺影子議會選舉當中投票嘅 | 喺參選同代表權方面 | 影子議會秘書處承認 | 候選人喺香港進行本地工作嘅可能性較低 | 影子議會嘅候選人大多會身處海外國家

Caption: 影子議會將於何時運作?

作為同普羅大衆利益相關嘅問題 | 我哋將會確定具體嘅計劃之前 | 進行完整嘅公衆諮詢 | 喺呢個關鍵嘅時刻 | 我哋提出「香港影子議會」想法嘅雛形 | 希望可以為香港人提供新嘅憧憬、引發想像 | 並開始喺固有框架之外思考 | 現時喺國安法嘅陰影之下 | 香港人已經無法再喺體制内爭取到民主自由 | 希望影子議會能夠讓香港人繼續堅持住初心 | 為香港嘅民主自由繼續出一分力

● 普羅大衆 póu2 lòh4 daaih6 jung3 = the public | ● 代表權 doih6 bíu2 kyùhn4 = representation | ● 承認 sìhng4 yihng6 = to admit; to acknowledge; to recognize | ● 身處 sān1 chyu3 = in (some place) / to be in (adversity, a difficult situation, danger, turmoil etc) / to find oneself in / placed in / surrounded by | ● 確定kok3 dihng6 = to define; to fix; to determine | ● 諮詢 jī1 seun3 = to seek advice from; to consult | ● 雛形 chō1 yìhng4 = embryonic form | ● 憧憬 chūng1 gíng2 = to long for; to look forward to | ● 引發 yáhn5 faat3 = (in chemistry) initiation | ● 陰影 yām1 yíng2 = shadow | ● 初心 chō1 sām1 = beginner’s mind; one’s original intention | ● 出一分力 chēut1 yāt1 fahn6 lihk6 = (?) to make an effort; to make a contribution to

. . . a virtual private network when voting in elections for the Shadow Parliament. With regard to taking part in the elections and the issue of representation, the Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament acknowledges that the possibility of candidates doing work in Hong Kong is low, and that the majority of candidates will be in foreign countries.

Caption: When will the Shadow Parliament Operate?

Since this is an issue closely bound up with the good of the general public, before we determine any specific, concrete [具體] plans, we will conduct a complete public consultation. At this crucial time, we are proposing the embryonic form of the idea of a HKSP in the hope of providing Hongkongers with something new to look forward to [新嘅憧憬], to spark [people’s] imaginations and to start to try thinking outside the box [喺固有框架之外思考]. At present, in the dark shadow of the National Security Law, Hongkongers can no longer struggle for democracy and freedom within the system, [and so for this reason] it is hoped that the Shadow Parliament can enable Hongkongers to maintain their original intention and to continue working towards democracy and freedom for Hong Kong.

5:00】影子議會秘書處將會負責進行公衆諮詢 | 成員將會包括政治組織成員 | 知名社運人士 | 政治人物 | 以及擁有跨光譜協調經驗嘅知名法律及政治學者 | 呢啲學者喺有關議題上嘅經驗 | 對公衆諮詢工作至關重要 | 佢哋能夠協助諮詢中立咁進行 | 以得出嚴謹並有代表性嘅諮詢結果 | 我哋將依據公衆諮詢嘅意見 | 釐定日後嘅時間表同路線圖 | 我哋並唔會同仍然有意喺體制内 | 爭取民主嘅同道互相競爭 | 我哋並冇企圖取代目前香港各級議會嘅職能 | 我哋會支持任何仍然喺體制内嘅民主力量 | 我哋亦並非要求民衆從體制内或體制外嘅「兩個議會」當中二選其一 | 我哋只係希望賦權俾香港人

● 協調 hip3 tìuh4 = 1. harmonious 2. to coordinate | ● 嚴謹 yìhm4 gán2 = rigorous; strict | ● 依據 yī1 geui3 = according to; in the light of; on the basis of | ● 釐定 lèih4 dihng6 = work out and stipulate (rules and regulations etc.) | ● 路線圖 louh6 sin3 tòuh4 = a route map; a roadmap | ● 有意 yáuh5 yi3 = 1. to be inclined to 2. intentionally; deliberately | ● 同道 tùhng4 douh6 = people engaged in the same pursuit | ● 企圖 kéih5 tòuh4 = to attempt; to try (usu. with a negative connotation) | ● 取代 chéui2 doih6 = to replace; to supersede; to supplant | ● 各級 gok3 kāp1 = all or different levels | ● 職能 jīk1 nàhng4 = a function | ● 二選其一 yih6 syún2 kèih4 yāt1 = (?) to choose between two options | ● 賦權 fu3 kyùhn4 = (?) to entrust with power

The Secretariat of the Shadow Parliament will undertake to hold public consultations, and its members will include members of political organizations, high-profile social activists [知名社運人士], political figures, as well as well-known legal and political scholars with experience of co-ordinating across the [political] spectrum [擁有跨光譜協調經驗]. With [their] experience on relevant issues, these scholars are of vital importance to the work of public consultation. They can help the consultation to be carried out with neutrality, thus achieving consultation outcomes that are both rigorous and representative. On the basis of the opinions [expressed] in the public consultation, we ill work out a timetable and a roadmap for the days ahead. Under no circumstances will we compete with those people who are still struggling within the system for democracy. Nor do we seek to supersede the functions of the various levels of council [議會] in Hong Kong at present. We will lend support to any force struggling for democracy within the system. We will not demand that people make a choice between councils/parliaments [議會] working within or outside the system. Our only wish is to empower Hongkongers . . .

6:00】提供多一種路徑能夠更安全同有效咁實現民主 | 關於選民同候選人資格 | 選舉制度同系統等等嘅問題 | 將會喺第一次公衆諮詢當中討論 | 如果你有興趣了解更多關於影子議會嘅細節同最新消息 | 歡迎參考影子議官方網站同社交媒體

我哋再一次感謝大家對香港民主運動嘅關注同支持 | 希望影片能夠清楚解釋影子議會概念 | 並且期待喺不久嘅將來能夠提供更多有關影子議會嘅最新消息 | 我哋會繼續努力為香港建立真正嘅民主

● 資格 jī1 gaak3 = qualifications | ● 參考 chām1 háau2 = to consult; to refer to | ● 期待 kèih4 doih6 = to expect; to await; to look forward to

. . . and to provide another choice [路徑] for the safer and more effective realization of democracy. With regard to [the question of who] is eligible to vote and to stand as a candidate, [as well as] the set-up and system [制度同系統] of the elections, [we will] discuss [this] in the first round of public consultations. If you would like to know more about the details or latest information regarding the Shadow Parliament, please refer to the official website of the Shadow Parliament and other social media sites.

We thank you again for your interest in the democracy movement of Hong Kong and your support. We hope that this video has given you a clear explanation of the concept the Shadow Parliament. We look forward to providing updates about the Shadow Parliament in the near future. [In the meantime,] we will continue to strive on behalf of Hong Kong for the establishment of genuine democracy.