争不过朝夕又念着往昔

Thime

Senior Member
Italian
大家好!

"争不过不过朝夕又念着往昔" is a phrase taken from the lyrics of the song 岁月神偷 of 金玟岐. (Link to the full lyrics).
From what I understand, there's a girl who would like to go back in time to find a person she lost (maybe his lover).
I am not sure about my translation. "I can't argue with time either continue to miss the past".
Is it possible that in this case 念 mean "to miss" and "争" mean "to argue"?

Explanations from native speakers are very welcomed.
Thanks in advance.
 
  • windisfalling

    New Member
    Chinese
    I agree with you that "念" could be interpreted as "miss", but "争" as "argue" sounds wired to me. "争不过朝夕" means you can't hold back time lapse. "朝夕" literally means a very short period, like one day. "朝" is the morning and "夕" is the nightfall. But it is usually used to describe that time goes by extremely quickly, so when you say you "争不过朝夕", you are often sighing that time moves so fast that you are unable to do something you should have done.
     

    Jeremy_Chen

    New Member
    Chinese
    争不过朝夕----Literally meaning: It's hard to grasp the fast-moving time. So it becoming hard to make a good use of current time. We actually want to express that we should have cherished the current every second, including things or people we are with RIGHT now.

    又念着往昔 ---- Literally meaning: We miss the time in the past, but in Chinese, we say we miss the time, actually, it indicates that we still missed things or people that occurred in the past time.

    So, the whole sentence here, he/she wanted to say: Time flies fast, it's already hard to cherish things or people around us right now, but we still hold the feelings that happened in the past, and cannot let them go. So it's kind of complicated. Her feeling is in a dilemma.

    I think you can feel such feelings. Sometimes, we know we should look forward to bravely face things or people we are having right now, but in some soft spot in your heart when you are alone, you wanna go back to the good old times with something or someone. Lol.
     

    Oswinw011

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    争不过,(竞)争不过,fail to win a competition against. I tried to race against time, but failed to win the competition, only to reminisce about(怀念) the past.
     

    Ghabi

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    Is it possible that in this case [...] "争" mean "to argue"?
    争不过朝夕 seems to be a play on Mao Zedong's famous words 一万年太久,只争朝夕 "Ten thousand years are too long; [we should] fight for/seize the day". As is usual in lyrics, the usage is "creative", not idiomatic.
     

    Oriflamme

    New Member
    Chinese
    Hello!
    Personally I would interpret "争不过朝夕" as something like 'Everyday time elapses before I know it' or just '时光流逝如白驹过隙'.

    And for "又念着往昔" I would put '(I know I shouldn't) But I still hold on to the past and don't let it go'

    Thank you for posing such an interesting question XD. Pondering over it is an enjoyment to me.
     
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