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!

Ko P’s team gets it in the neck for Weibo proposal 王世堅說柯P「食碗內 洗碗外」

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 12.03.12 AMI don’t have a TV at home, so when I was recruited by a friend to wrap tamales at his house, I got a rare opportunity to watch some political talk shows, which are usually amusingly varied according to the political affiliation of the channel they’re broadcast on. This one from TVBS (relatively Kuomintang-leaning/blue), is called ‘The Situation Room’ in English and 「少康戰情室」 in Chinese. Footage from the Legislative Yuan is always a great opportunity to learn some Taiwanese of the shouty aggressive variety:

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Wang Shih-chien is upset because Taipei mayor (independent but largely seen as DPP leaning) Ko Wen-je proposed setting up a Weibo account for the Taipei City government in line with a suggestion from across the strait. Weibo is a social-media platform, similar to Twitter, but set up to conform with Mainland China’s censorship guidelines, which is why the DPP legislator isn’t a fan. This is the phrase in Taiwanese he uses with the Mandarin context:

台灣政治界沒有一個人
No-one in the Taiwanese political arena
會上去微博
Goes on Weibo
微博是給黃安們用的
Weibo is for the likes of Huang An (China-based Taiwanese singer)
你知道嗎?
Don’t you know?
莫名其妙
I’ve never heard the like of it
不務正業
It’s a dereliction of your duties
這典型的叫食碗內 洗碗外
This is a classic case of biting the hand that feeds you

The phrase is 食碗內 洗碗外 pronounced”chia̍h  óaⁿ lāi  óaⁿ meaning that you eat the provisions of your own community, but wash dishes for another community, and by extension, to bite the hand that feeds you.

The Ministry of Education Taiwanese dictionary, however, states the phrase as: 「食碗內,說碗外」, which makes slightly more sense, meaning “You eat food from your own community, but say that you got it from another community”, i.e. to bite the hand that feeds you, or deny gratitude to those who provide for you. The 說 is pronounced “seh or soeh” (depending on what variety of Taiwanese you speak), and 洗 is pronounced “sé or sóe” so there’s little difference of sound between them. Most places on the internet use 洗 however.

It’s equivalent to the Mandarin phrase 吃裡扒外 chīlǐpáwài.

Incidentally, the singer mentioned in the rant, Huang An, is quite famous as a traitor to Taiwanese independence by the independence lobby. He’s one of the people who criticized K-Pop singer Chou Tzu-yu for waving a Taiwanese flag and he’s for unification with China. Apparently he still loves one part of Taiwan though, the National Health Service

Here are the tamales in progress for anyone who is interested:

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And if you want to know what else I was watching, check out my post from the day before yesterday on 台灣國語 in the Taiwanese version of Adventure Time.