Nothing like a bit of Budaixi after a hard day at work in Wanhua 萬華街頭布袋戲

budaixiThere was a big celebration going on in in Wanhua (萬華) on Saturday, with people from the local temples dressed up as gods (some of which were eating bento boxes and others sneaking a quick pee in alleys, but well-behaved all in all). As I was cycling home, I saw this Budaixi truck, playing to no one, so I stopped to have a lookey-loo and as no experience is complete without being filtered through the ‘me-machine’ (a description of smartphones in Joshua Ferris’ new book To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – a promising book that didn’t really seem to come to a satisfactory end), I filmed a bit of it. This kind of thing offers a great opportunity to study a bit of Taiwanese, although I’m not sure how useful the vocab is. Below the video is a transcript courtesy of a Pingtung friend, the “x”s mark the bits that even he couldn’t understand. Anyone with a better ear for Taiwanese welcome to comment below to fill in the gaps:

XXX的信使,到現在一點消息都沒有,我的女兒XXX,女兒不見只好對付(fight)大宋(Song Dynasty 960-1279)官兵,來去(出發)啊~~~ (015~025音樂)


使差 or 使俠? (This one isn’t clear but the meaning is 信使 or messenger) it sounds like  kiap or gia̍p, but can’t be sure. Any help in the comments below would be appreciated.

到現在  kàu (click words to hear) chit-má Up until now

一點 chi̍t-tiám (click words to hear, without the final sound in the recording) (even) a little 

 消息 siau-sit (click words to hear) news, information

lóng(都)沒有 lóng  (click words to hear) still have not; even (a little) have not

ê(的)   góa  ê (click words to hear) my

查某囝 cha-bó͘-kiáⁿ (click words to hear) daughter (女兒)

無見  kiàn (click to hear words) disappear

只好 chí-hó (click to hear words) can only; the only thing to do is…

對付  tùi-hù (click to hear words) to face; to tackle

大宋 tāi sòng (click first word for link to site with pronunciation, click second word to hear) The Song Dynasty

官兵 koaⁿ-peng (click to hear words) officials and soldiers

So obviously on this list there are things we can use and things we probably will rarely get the opportunity to. Sometimes when I want to hear what DPP supporters are plotting I listen to 綠色和平電台 in the morning (not an endorsement but you can stream on a computer or mobile by following the link or tune in at 97.4 roughly – when I want to get the pan-blue perspective I listen to News 98 here) and sometimes catch the intro to 《活力宏不讓》 presented by 陳立宏 (he’s repetitive and code mixes between Mandarin and Taiwanese – although he says some pretty dubious things most of the time). During the intro the phrase “啥 無啦 siahⁿ lóng   la (什麼都沒有)” appears for example, using the lóng  featured above, which is a pretty useful expression to know. Obviously knowing how to say “mine” is helpful too. Good luck using 官兵 and 大宋 though…

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