This article was written by TutorMandarin, an online learn Chinese tutoring service that helps students speak Mandarin using their learn Chinese app and PC Software.
“A Little Happiness” (小幸运/Xiǎo xìngyùn) is a Taiwanese song composed by Shi-Zhen Xu (徐世珍) and Hui-Fu Wu (吴辉福), and by JerryC.
The song was recorded by singer/actress Hebe Tien in 2015 and became the first Mandarin song to reach over a hundred million views on Youtube.
Theme Song of Mandarin Film “Our Times”
So,why is this song so popular? The song is beautifully written with touching lyrics and melody, but more importantly, it came out on the soundtrack of the blockbuster Taiwan film “Our Times” (我的少女时代, Wǒ de shàonǚ shídài). A little happiness was the theme song that accompanied some of the movies most touching scenes.
The song was actually written from the movie and matches it almost perfectly. The lyrics of the song talk about the highschool life of the main characters. As a period piece set in the 1990s, the music evokes the nostalgic atmosphere of the time. Pro tip: for those learning Chinese, watching Mandarin movies, shows, and listening to Chinese song is a wonderful way to improve your fluency!
Hebe Tien – “A Little Happiness” Official Music Video
Lyrics with Chinese, Pinyin and English
我听见雨滴落在青青草地 Wǒ tīngjiàn yǔdī luò zài qīngqīng cǎodì I heard raindrops dripping on the green lawn
我听见远方下课钟声响起 Wǒ tīngjiàn yuǎnfāng xiàkè zhōng shēng xiǎngqǐ I heard class-dismiss bells ringing from far away
可是我没有听见你的声音 Kěshì wǒ méiyǒu tīngjiàn nǐ de shēngyīn But I didn’t hear from you
认真 呼唤我姓名 Rènzhēn hūhuàn wǒ xìngmíng Calling my name earnestly
爱上你的时候还不懂感情 Ài shàng nǐ de shíhòu hái bù dǒng gǎnqíng I didn’t know what’s love when I was in love with you
离别了才觉得刻骨铭心 Líbiéle cái juédé kègǔmíngxīn Only found out how much you mean to me after we aparted
为什么没有发现遇见了你 Wèishéme méiyǒu fāxiàn yùjiànle nǐ Why didn’t I notice that meeting you
是生命最好的事情 Shì shēngmìng zuì hǎo de shìqíng Is the best thing in my life
#也许当时忙着微笑和哭泣 Yěxǔ dāngshí mángzhe wéixiào hé kūqì Maybe we were busily smiling and crying
忙着追逐天空中的流星 Mángzhe zhuīzhú tiānkōng zhōng de liúxīng Busily chasing the shooting stars in the sky
人理所当然的忘记 Rén lǐsuǒdāngrán de wàngjì People always forget and take for granted
是谁风里雨里一直默默守护在原地 Shì shéi fēng lǐ yǔ lǐ yīzhí mòmò shǒuhù zàiyuán dì Who’s the one always guarding us in the wind and storms
原来你是我最想留住的幸运 Yuánlái nǐ shì wǒ zuì xiǎng liú zhù de xìngyùn So it’s you, my happiness that I wanted to keep the most
原来我们和爱情曾经靠得那么近 Yuánlái wǒmen hé àiqíng céngjīng kào dé nàme jìn Realizing that we had once been so close to love
那为我对抗世界的决定 Nà wèi wǒ duìkàng shìjiè de juédìng Your decision to fight this world with me
那陪我淋的雨 Nà péi wǒ lín de yǔ Soak in the rain with me
一幕幕都是你 Yīmù mù dōu shì nǐ You’re everywhere in my life
一尘不染的真心 Yīchénbùrǎn de zhēnxīn Your flawless and sincere heart
与你相遇 好幸运 Yǔ nǐ xiāngyù hǎo xìngyùn So lucky to encounter you
但我也失去为你泪流满面的权利 dàn wǒ yě shīqù wèi nǐ lèi liú mǎnmiàn de quánlì But I’ve lost the right to shed tears for you
但愿在我看不到的天际 Dàn yuàn zài wǒ kàn bù dào de tiānjì I just hope that in the edge of sky where I can’t see
你张开了双翼 Nǐ zhāng kāile shuāngyì You’re opening your wings
遇见你的注定 Yùjiàn nǐ de zhùdìng And meeting your Mr./Ms. Right
她会有多幸运 Tā huì yǒu duō xìngyùn She/he will be so lucky
青春是段跌跌撞撞的旅行 Qīngchūn shì duàn diédiézhuàngzhuàng de lǚxíng Youth is a stumbled journey
拥有着后知后觉的美丽 Yǒngyǒuzhe hòu zhī hòu jué dì měilì With the beauty of having regrets
来不及感谢是你给我勇气 Láibují gǎnxiè shì nǐ gěi wǒ yǒngqì I was late to thank you for giving me courage
让我能做回我自己 Ràng wǒ néng zuò huí wǒ zìjǐ To become who I am
Repeat # & [Chorus]
Chinese Language Learning: Phrases and Chengyu
If you’re already familiar with Chinese Chengyu then you’ll be quick spot several cheng yus hidden within this song. For those in the dark, a “Chengyu” (成语, Chéngyǔ) a Chinese idiom that typically consists of four Chinese characters. With only 4 characters, Chengyus are a very concise way of quickly expressing a deep meaning based on a familiar story. Chengyus are so popular and efficient, you will hear them frequently used in daily conversation by all levels of society.
In order to remember Chengyus you have to know not only 4 characters of the idiom, but also the background story that gave birth to it. Below are several Chinese phrases a Chengyu in the song and their meanings.
1. …的时候 (…de shí hòu) : When…
时候 (shí hòu) means “a period of time”. We can put some words in front of 时候 to become different meanings.
(1) “什么 (Shén me)”, meaning “what” + 时候 = when
(2) “小 (Xiǎo)”, meaning “little” + 时候 = when I was young/childhood
(3) In the content, 的 means “of” in English, and thus …的时候 means “the time of/when…”
2. 刻骨铭心 (Kè gǔ míng xīn) : [Chengyu] 刻(carve) 骨(bones) 铭(print) 心(heart)
Something is too unforgettable just like it’s engraved on one’s bones and memories.
3. 遇见 (yù jiàn) : meet/encounter
The word “遇” means to meet or to come across. In this song, there are “相遇 (Xiāngyù)” and “遇见 (yùjiàn)” two words related to “meet”. The former one 相遇 emphasizes meeting “with each other” while the later simply means you “meet” someone.
4. 理所当然 (lǐ suǒ dāng rán): [Chengyu] 理(matters)所(suppose to be)当然(of course)
理所当然 means something seems naturally reasonable and right. In Chinese, we often say “take something for granted” using this chengyu.
(1) 视…为理所当然 (Shì… wéi lǐ suǒ dāng rán): take…for granted. Usually, this contains negative meanings, indicating someone always think themselves deserves to have anything but actually they don’t.
(2) The chengyu in this lyrics, “人理所当然的忘记” means “naturally and unevitably doing something.”
5. 一直 (yī zhí): keep doing…
6. 幸运 (xìng yùn) : good luck/happiness (Noun.)
7. 一幕幕 (Yī mù mù): every scene/screen
Literally “幕” means movie screen or stage curtain, but further we would use this word as the scene in our memories.
8. 一尘不染 (yī chén bù rǎn) : [Chengyu] 一(one)尘(dust)不(not)染(stained)
Normally this chengyu is used to describe the house is so clean that there’s no even a dust. In the song, “一尘不染的真心” means the sincere heart is so true that it’s flawless.
9. 泪流满面 (lèi liú mǎn miàn) : [Chengyu] 泪(tears)流(running down)满(full)面(face)
This is a common-used chengyu describing someone crying so hard that the face is full covered by tears.
10. 注定 (zhù dìng): destined to…
In the lyrics, 注定 is a noun meaning “destiny” or “destined one”.
11. 跌跌撞撞 (dié dié zhuàng zhuàng): [Chengyu] 跌跌(fall down)撞撞(bump)
The image of the chengyu is that someone stumbles and cannot walk steadily, kind of like walking like they’re drunk. In addition, we often use it to describe abstractly that the life journey isn’t going smoothly. This sond adopt the later meaning that the youth is a stumbled path.
12. 后知后觉 (hòu zhī hòu jué): [Chengyu] 后(after)知(found out)后(after)觉(feel)
The chengyu describes someone has slower reaction and takes longer than the right time to figure out the fact or their feelings.
Hope you enjoy this Mandarin song and film. It’s also a good way to improve your Chinese listening skill or you can just relaxingly listen to this touching theme song. As for the film, I’m sure it will be a movie that make you laugh, cry, and feel touched!
Have Songs and their Music Videos helping you with language studies?
3 thoughts on “Guest Post: Learn Chinese through Mandarin Song – “A Little Happiness””
Brings me back to the time when I was learning chinese…I used to listen to a lot of S.H.E songs as well but I kinda stopped listening once I started working. Thanks for this song recommendation though…:)
Ah yeah, I still remember some S.H.E songs. Not because I used to listen to them when studying Chinese but because my wife used to listen to them 🙂
For me music helped a lot when studying English back in the day and still these days when I hear interesting Chinese songs I try to translate as much as possible/ ask for help as it helps me also to understand a bit more each time.
Yeah, listening to music is one good way to practise a new language..I agree…haha 😊