Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crazy cover!

This is hilarious!!! There's this (questionable) music competition in Europe called the Eurovision song contest. In 2004 a very well known Swedish singer (who has been around for ages!) participated with a typical ”Euro vision song” called ”It Hurts” or ”Det gör ont” in Swedish. The song did quite well in the competition and became a big hit in Sweden, something that is quite common when it comes to these kind of songs (for some reason, Swedes love these Euro vision songs, there are even bars playing only that kind of music, which in Sweden is referred to as ”slager” songs).

I personally don't like the stuff and I figured most foreigners wouldn't either... until I found this cover made by Jolin Tsai!!! A cover of a Swedish ”slager” hit?! Now that's really something you don't see everyday on youtube. I wonder who's going to make the most cash with this one: Swedish Lena Philipsson with, I don't know, maybe something around 1 million fans if you are using a very positive imagination technique.... Or, mega super pink pop princess Jolin Tsai?!

Oh, and in case someone wonders, Jolin's version doesn't really stick to the original message.

Original, in Swedish:

In English:

Jolin's version: 越慢越美丽


Aileen said...

Hahaha! How funny! Chinese artists do cover versions of European songs all the time! Sometimes they just use the melody if they think it is catchy. I think the O-zone song "Dragostea Din Tei" was made cover of in almost all countries in Asia?!

Anonymous said...

Do you know another Taiwanese band, SHE?
They make a lot of cover music too!!!

One of their covers《对号入座》is taken from Aneka's Japanese Boy.

Plumflower said...

...och plötsligt låter den SÅ kinesisk, melodi, uppbyggnad och allt. Nästan så att man kan tro att Orup har översatt en kinesisk original-låt till svenska. :D

Anonymous said...

Yeah people copy other people's songs all the time. I used to follow Hong Kong pop and they used to copy songs from other countries all the time. But Western countries also copy songs from Asia too sometimes, although exact examples elude me atm.

On a totally different subject Jonna, I read in this weeks Newsweek magazine has an article on a subject close to your heart-

It's about China's Chinese language schools being very rigid, using books written decades ago having no application to the real world, and being too passive- not enough spoken practice.

Apparently 100,000 foreign students each year are studying Chinese in China and not getting very good value for their money.

I didnt know that many people were studying Chinese!

Take care and rest your foot.

Zai jian


livia said...

Schlager menar du väl?;) Och jag dör av skratt!!xD

Brad Farless said...

I'm mobile at the moment so I'll have to check the videos later but I just wanted to say that I've never heard of either singer.

Also, in regards to what Adrian said, why am I not surprised? China is becoming well known for delivering subpar products (melamine, lead toys, poison pet food, etc) so why should the education be better? I have a feeling that a better Chinese language program could be found outside China. On the other hand, studying in China means living in China, so a person would get much more practical experience with truly native speakers.

Little Tiger said...

This reminds me of something one of my lecturers in college told us one day that stuck with me. He told us to patent any product we invented as soon as possible, if not, it would turn up in China the next day!
I think there is some truth in that: the Chinese are great copycats. I saw one news item one day where some Chinese artists were hand painting famous artists' paintings (like Van Gogh) in some village in the south. Honestly, it was hard to spot the difference between the 'fake' and the original when they were finished.
The reporter then went on to say that it was places like this that were holding China back and giving it's products a bad name. That to be competitive internationally it would have to be original.

Jonna Wibelius said...

aileen -I know they do covers, I just never thought this song was one they'd make a cover of?!

londoncalling -hehe, f course i know SHE... Many people think I'm a bit SHE fan because of the name of this blog :) They have also done a Brittney cover of the song Everytime... their version is called "别说对不起"

plumflower -hahahaha, jag veeeet! Helt sjukt, eller hur?! Jag undrar om Lena PH + Orup vet?!?!

Adrian -hm.. interesting. Well, I have complained about the same things in my blog many times. On the other hand, though, where else would u go to learn Chinese? There is no better place than China. I totally agree about not getting enough speaking time in class, but I kind of like that the teachers are a bit harsh... it pushes you. I think many foreigners get a big surprise when they start to study Chi however and realize that it's not that easy.. it's not like going to French class 3 times a week and that's it. learning Chi requires so much home studying and also, u need to go out there and practice on your own. Taking classes is not enough to learn the language...

As for not good value for money... ehhhh I don't really agree seeing how cheap it still is to learn Chinese at a Chi university! Insanely cheap compared to studying in England, Australia or USA for instance...

livia -shit, kan inte ens stava längre.. jo, men det e precis vad jag menar. Lite dålig koll har man dock allt! Men ja, visst e den rolig?!?!

Tales -Yeah, China is very known for all of their bad products, but there's a lot of cheap, good stuff coming out of this country too.. and remember why everything is nowadays "made in China"... because many foreign companies have chosen to move their factories here/like to buy from Chinese suppliers since it is so cheap... so I don't think it is fair just to point a finger at China and saying: "you guys are bad!". It is far more complicated than that.

As for the edu, I think the system is totally old-fashioned over here, but I don't think it sucks completely, if I did, I would have never learned so much and I would have never been able to speak/write like I do now. It's easy to say that a system sucks but each individual should be responsible for their own learning curve. I hear so many foreign students complaining that they never get to speak in class.. when I ask them if they have Chi friends/language partners they go "noooo!". Hm.... OK. Well there u go then. I mean, how r u going to get good in class if you are not even interested in speaking in real life.

I tried to study Chinese before I went to China. Our company offered us private lessons once a week for 6 months and I learned absolutely nothing, I even dropped out after 2 months and only 8 lessons... Everything seemed completely messy and I simply couldn't comprehend how it all came together. When I eventually moved to China I still couldn't speak or understand a single word more than "Ni hao! In China I have had some really really bad teachers, but I have also had some really good ones. Just like everywhere in this world.

I think the people who say they get "nothing out of it" probably haven't realized what they are getting into when they start studying over here. They don't realize how much work you need to put in on your spare time. It's not like ENglish: you study for 1 year and then you're pretty good. I mean, I have friends that have studied in China for 4-5 years and STILL think their level is a bit so-so... "There is always more to learn with this language!" they tell me. And there sure is.

Little tiger -yeah, I hear you. I have interviewed various Swe design companies and sometimes I asked them if they were thinking about taking their business to China... "I don't know!" they said. "we are so scared that our products are going to get copied. There are no real law protecting your product in China"... funny then because later that year the same company took their products to a fair in China... :) Copied!!!

Unknown said...

hmmmm, I think I prefer the Jolin version. I couldn't tell you why. It just sounds better. I think the cute music video helped. LOL!

Hans Engnell said...

Yeah, saw that a while ago. Well, they do make ABBA covers as well... And often the Chinese themselves have no idea that the music they are listening to is sometimes rip offs of Western songs.

Brad Farless said...

@Little Tiger: China's products already have a horrible name for themselves. I guess you saw that in my comment. I agree with you too. I'd rather have a hand-painted, original Chinese work than a hand-painted, copycat item.

@Jonna: Only thing I could think of in those people's defense is that they have problems making local friends. Not everyone is as open to being friendly with locals, and may just want the language skills for business reasons. It's not really asking too much to expect to be able to practice speaking a language you're learning in class, since the class is supposed to help you develop your skill. That's kind of weak though. If those guys really want to learn then yes, they should actively seek people to speak with, even if it's just other students from their home countries.

I know what you mean about bad teachers. I took Spanish classes in high school. Granted, they're just short classes for half a year, but I took it for three years. My first teacher was horrible. She could never explain the grammar well enough for me to grasp even what a verb conjugation was. I wound up figuring it out myself toward the end of that year and then my grades perked up. I was supposed to take an advanced course my last year, but the school dropped the course due to lack of student interest and my language skill gradually slipped away. Mostly it's the vocabulary that disappeared. I could probably relearn Spanish in a year if I set my mind to it.

Jonna Wibelius said...

tales -you get a chance to speak in class, however, not as much as you do during a language class in Europe. That's due to the old fashioned way of thinking here.. the teacher is the authority and therefore the one should speak. Students should listen. Once this old system gets reformed I believe the whole education system will become better.

Brad Farless said...

@Jonna: Funny, most of my classes in high school were "teacher speaks, student listens", boring type classes. I remember how much fun, and how exciting it was when the teacher actually encouraged discussions in the class, and then sat back and simply moderated or guided or injected some facts into the conversations. It didn't always work too well, because some subjects are just too dry, but it certainly helped us to remember the lesson.

Hm. I should really get back to studying...

Anonymous said...

Currently, many chinese companies are indeed using/copying outdated western technology to fabricate a wide range of cheap products, which are affordable to many people. Anyway, before China can be original, innovative and creative, she should at least be able to copy or reproduce old and contemporary technologies. At present, China is heavily investing in many high-tech areas, e.g. in nanotechnology and automobile manufacturing. I believe in a few decades's time, China will be competitive in almost every technologies, perhaps then the "Made in China"-brands will be associated with high-quality products.

In response to many comments regarding the chinese educational system: it may not be perfect, but do you realise that there are a plenty of chinese graduate students, PhDs, Post-docs, and professors working in western countries, contributing greatly to the advancement in science and technology?!

Anonymous said...

hand painting famous artists' paintings (like Van Gogh) is totally legitimate. There are great demand from North American and European households. You think everyone can hang a real Van Gogh painting in his living room? To be a great artist, before you come up your own paintings, you have to learn to paint others first. It's always easy to point finger and criticize.

L said...

I'm sorry but I really want to ask. is blogspot banned in China? do you proxy past or is it not? thanks alot for the help.

Anonymous said...

omg yea, the o-zone song hahaha it was everywhere in Asia!!

Anonymous said...

haha, hörde låten när jag var i Kina. Förstår fortfarande in varför Jolin Tsai skull vilja göra en cover av schlager låtar. Fast jag håller med Plumflower, plötsligt så låter den väldigt kinesisk! :P