Even Dogs Dislike Me who is a President!




“Even dogs dislike me during my 3 years’ of presidency.” Source (in Chinese) from Singapore’s LianHe ZaoBao : https://www.zaobao.com.sg/wencui/politic/story20111225-165294

– Ex-President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan made this self-depreciating remark tongue-in-cheek during a radio interview in 2011. He said – there are “baggage” in political administration and it is not possible to please everyone in administrating national affairs; but the most important aspect is the attitude towards issues. He also debunked the notion of “incompetence” describing his performance by the public at large; as he claimed that he has achieved things during his presidency that were not done in the past. 


Note : The traditional Chinese poem has 3 characteristics : the beauty of “music”音乐美 yīn yuè měi, the beauty of “architecture” 建筑美 jiàn zhú měi and the beauty of “painting”绘画美 huì huà měi . What it means is that due to the concise nature of poems, the characters chosen must be pleasant sounding through rhymes, the characters themselves exhibit a form of linear representation that is uniform and lastly, the characters portray the scenario and situations vividly like a painting.

In the example above, Ma begins with 4 characters, followed by a comma, and then another 4 characters. So Four (4) characters (like four buildings) is like a beauty of “architecture”. In pinyin the words are “当家三年 dāng jiā sān nián, 连狗都嫌 lián gǒu dōu xián“. Here observe that the 4th character 年 nián rhymes with 5th character 连 lián, and both of them rhyme with 8th character 嫌 xián. But alas, not much beauty of painting here since it is a self-depreciating remark with dog as the protagonist!

ps. 当家 literally means to be in charge of the household. It is used as a figure of speech to mean “someone who is in charge”

三年 – three years

连 – even

狗 – dog

都 – it functions like a totalising adverb which is like “all” or “both” in English. In this context, it means all dogs hate me. It is covered in details in the BCMIP course, see https://lemandarinschool.com

嫌 – to dislike

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