Ko P’s naughty language in the Taipei Dome PowerPoint Presentation 柯P簡報中的「呼死啦」和「ㄍㄢˋ!」

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Former doctor and current Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je has been in the news again, this time for using bad language in a PowerPoint presentation that he gave at a meeting of the city council. To be honest I think that the bad language “ㄍㄢˋ” (pretty much every second word a high school student says) he used was the least cringy thing about the whole affair. The more worrying problem is Ko Wen-je’s continuing attempts to paint himself as some sort of folk superhero with his comically named White Power movement.

The offending picture, shown to the right of the slide above, shows Chao Teng-hsiung, chairman of the Farglory Group, the company contracted for the project, former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-pin and Ma Ying-jeou bursting out of an egg labelled the Taipei Dome on the head of a dragon (I guess they’re the true kings of Westeros). The reason there is an egg is because in Chinese the dome’s name is “大巨蛋” which means big arena or dome, but contains the character for egg. Most people seem to be reading the cartoon from left to right:

Ko Wen-je (cutting open the egg with a scalpel in his doctor’s white coat): There’s a problem with this egg. (這顆蛋有問題)

Ma Ying-jeou: Fuck! He’s actually using a scalpel to cut it open. (ㄍㄢˋ!他還真的用手術刀來切呢)

Hau Lung-pin:  (random symbols indicating swearing)

Chao Teng-hsiung: Let it die! (呼死啦!)

TVBS’s Situation Room, which I blogged about previously, did this report on the affair:

Ko Wen-je previously halted the construction of the Taipei Dome, accusing the previous mayor of colluding with the chairman of the Farglory Group in corrupt dealings and complaining about the standards of the building. He’s now ordered the chairman to start work on the project again – not a likely scenario – or he’ll dissolve the contract. There’s background on the story in this Taipei Times article.

Here’s Ko Wen-je being arrogant and indifferent about the whole thing in a council meeting:

Politics be as it may, we can still take the chance to learn a little Taiwanese. The words Chao Teng-hsiung says:

「呼死啦」or “ho   la” – the presenter in The Situation Room also says it at the timecode below:

The 「呼」 is a passive marker similar to 「給」 – so the phrase means “Kill him”, in the sense of “give him death”.

Update: Commenter Chenfra suggests that the omitted subject here is “it” not “him”, so the translation is likely to be “let it die” or “let it go” rather than the “kill him” or “give him death” I originally posted. He also suggests other more likely candidates for the passive particle “ho” including “互” and “予”.

I welcome any corrections if I’ve misunderstood anything!

3 thoughts on “Ko P’s naughty language in the Taipei Dome PowerPoint Presentation 柯P簡報中的「呼死啦」和「ㄍㄢˋ!」

  1. “pretty much every second word a high school student says”
    Yup, and it’s besides the point.

    All this is feigned outraged by the councillors points at the fact that they are all pretty much powerless right now to do anything about this nasty situation.

  2. Just talk about the question of TAIWANESE linguistic problems, Chinese letters in particular. Let me shift to Mandarin 滿大人:

    「呼」只表音,常見用「互」字似乎較近理,台灣教育部推薦用「予」,太隨便。我已發表見解,這是「付」(to give)與「負」(to be given)的混淆mix up!這兩個白話音在福州話也一様,跟日爾曼Germanic語系的音變furt >ford完全一樣。但是台語(閩南語)的俚語久久沒找到字源。我付汝錢I give you money;我負汝罵I was scorned by you (I burden with your scorn)。所以正字是:

    付死啦!Let it die ! ( subject “it ” was omitted. Grammatically somewhat different from Mandarin. It would mean “heading for death”.)

    Chenfra

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