《恭喜发财》 by 刘德华 – a translated Chinese New Year song to get you in the Spring Festival mood!

There are a handful of songs we hear around as Chinese New Year approaches. This Andy Lau (刘德华) song is the one we notice the most. And it’s fun. Especially if you jump around and sing along with your three-year-old. Overly literal translation below (also fun).

The main Chinese New Year’s greeting is literally, “Congratulations! Get rich!” (恭喜发财), meaning: “May you have a prosperous New Year!” The ‘congratulations’ apparently comes from the ancient New Year’s story, where a monster comes on New Year’s Eve to devour people, so everyone who survives to the next year congratulates one another on their survival. For more about that see:

Homeboy’s from Hong Kong, so even though he’s singing in Mandarin his pronunciation is noticeably different on some words.

恭喜发财 / gōngxǐ fācái / Prosperous New Year!


(If you can’t access YouTube, hear it on Youku.)

耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o
耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o

我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome

我祝满天下的女孩 / wǒ zhù mǎn tiānxiàde nǚhái
I wish every girl under heaven
嫁一个好男孩 / jià yīgè hǎo nánhái
will marry a good boy
两小口永远在一块 / liǎng xiǎo kǒu yǒngyuǎn zài yīqǐ
The two will forever be together
我祝满天下的小孩 / wǒ zhù mǎn tiānxiàde xiǎohái
I wish all the children under heaven
聪明胜过秀才 / cōngming shèngguò xiùcai
intelligence to pass the exam to become a scholar
智商充满你脑袋 / zhìshāng chōngmǎn nǐ nǎodài
Your heads filled with IQ

我祝尊敬的姑奶奶 / wǒ zhù zūnjìng de gūnǎinai
I wish revered Great Aunt
三十六圈的比赛 / sānshíliù quān de bǐsài
in a 36-lap race
气不喘面容不改 / qì bù chuǎn miànróng bù gǎi
won’t be out of breath and face won’t flush
我祝三叔公的买卖 / wǒ zhù sān shūgōngde mǎimài
I wish 3rd Great Uncle’s business
生意扬名四海 / shēngyì yángmíngsìhǎi
will become world-famous
财运亨通住豪宅 / cáiyùn hēngtōng zhù háozhái
Your money-making luck will go smoothly and you’ll live in a mansion

大摇大摆 老天替你消灾 / dà yáo dà bǎi, lǎotiān tì nǐ xiāozāi
Swagger about, heaven will help you avoid calamities
恭喜 发财 要喊得够豪迈 / gōngxī fācái, yào hǎnde gòu háomài
Congratulations! Get Rich! (We) will shout it boldly!

恭喜发财! / gōngxǐ fācái
Congratulations! Get rich!
我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome

耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o
耶咿耶咿耶咿耶哦哦 / ye yi ye yi ye yi ye o o

我祝大家笑口常开 / wǒ zhù dàjiā xiào kǒu cháng kāi
I wish everyone always has a smiling mouth
用心把爱去灌溉 / yòng xīn bǎ ài qù guàngài
use our hearts to irrigate with love
明天拿我们更厉害 / míngtiān ná wǒmen gèng lìhai
Tomorrow will take us even greater
我祝全世界的无奈 / wǒ zhù quán shìjiède wúnài
I wish all the hopeless matters in the world
跑得比那黑人更快 / pǎode bǐ nà hēi rén gèng kuài
(will) run away faster than a black man
岁岁年年出人才 / suìsuìniánnián chū réncái
Each and every year will produce talented people

大摇大摆 老天替你消灾 / dà yáo dà bǎi, lǎotiān tì nǐ
Swagger about, heaven will help you avoid calamities
恭喜 发财 要喊得够豪迈 / gōngxī fācái, yào hǎnde gòu háomài
Congratulations! Get rich! (We) will shout it boldly!
我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome

啊再来 / ā zài lái
Again!
我恭喜你发财 我恭喜你精彩 / wǒ gōngxǐ nǐ fācái, wo gōngxǐ nǐ jīngcǎi
I congratulate you, get rich! I congratulate you, wonderfulness!
最好的请过来 不好的请走开 / zuìhǎode qǐng guòlái, bùhàode qǐng zǒukāi
(I) invite the best to come over, and the bad to go away
礼多人不怪 / lǐ duō rén bù guài
(When there’s) Much propriety, people aren’t quarrelsome
恭喜发财 / gōngxǐ fācái
Congratulations! Get rich!

More Chinese New Year/Spring Festival stuff:

More Chinese songs to learn:

4 thoughts on “《恭喜发财》 by 刘德华 – a translated Chinese New Year song to get you in the Spring Festival mood!

    • Ha, well, that’s pretty much what it says: 跑得比那黑人更快 “run compared to those black people faster”. I assume he’s thinking Olympic sprinting. Mainlanders aren’t afraid to make racial comments and generalizations like we are.

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