Watching the Sea

I was first xīyǐn to this song’s peppy beat and funky accordion accompaniment. This is the first song by Zhōu Xùn 周迅 I’ve translated. I called it “Watching the Sea,” but “Kàn hǎi” 看海 could be translated “Looking at the Sea” too (not that it matters).

The lyrics, while providing useful examples of many uses of the “de” particles (two different ones, if you look at the hanzi), have the typical Chinese pop song vagueness problem. Ironically, the singer herself complains of vagueness in the chorus. To be honest, it was the spunky “nàme, nàme zhòngyào” in the chorus that made me want to translate this.

If you go to, I’m sure you can download the MP3 for this song by putting in the hanzi title and/or singer.

[Download not found]

(requires Adobe Reader)

If you like learning Chinese pop songs, check out the other song translation I’ve done.

4 Replies to “Watching the Sea”

  1. A coconut palm frond enjoying its state of leisure along the road
    It owns a whole free day
    Lifting the red face which was dried by the sea breeze
    Quietly flew to the southeast
    Because of our most romantic picture
    I have an intuition that I’ve been given the cold shoulder
    Originally the impulsive wish
    Was just to watch the sea with you
    When lying on the shore, the seashells are lonely
    I appeared to be happy but not naturally
    Leaving the tranquil life at the bottom of the sea
    And then truly understanding the bitterness
    Fearing the ocean spray’ revelry which happened after noon
    The air suddenly becomes sensitive
    Actually the idea is really simple
    It’s just to watch the sea with you
    After I left you, then I realized
    (That) you’re so, so important to me
    Who knew what you wanted was so vague
    I found no place to run away
    You’re not here, you always want to escape
    I only want to accompany you, accompany you to go search
    I know it’s not that you don’t want it

  2. Helen,

    Thanks for the corrected translation. It seems that there are a lot of nuances in the language that I wasn’t aware of. For example, “rang wo kuaile de bu ziran” you translated as “I appeared to be happy but not naturally.” That’s quite different from my translation, “(the seashells) made me unnaturally happy.”

    Your insights are very interesting. Do you mind if I ask whether you’re Chinese?

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