Then let’s take another look at the state of union, the East-West union with this soft power bias. How is the soft power exchanged between these two roommates? Are there songs in English that have become hits in China? For sure. How about movies? There are so many that China has to limit the number of Hollywood movies imported into the country so that local films could even have a chance at success.(有难度的复合句,could even表才有可能,chance at success搭配准确)



What about the flip side of that? (“翻过来的另一面”,是不是比the other hand更酷炫)


Well, I think there’s a bit of an imbalance here. And I think it’s a soft power deficit(不足), let’s call it that. When we look in this direction, that is to say the West influences the East more than vice versa. (more than vice versa相互对比时注意学习使用,地道)


I think in any healthy relationship or friendship, or marriage, isn’t it important for both sides to make an effort to understand the other? And that this exchange needs to have a healthy balance? And how do we address this?


As an ambassador for Chinese pop music and movies, I have to ask myself the question: why does this deficit exist? Is it because Chinese music just is lame? Don’t answer that, please.(幽默感十足)



The argument being that the content that we’ve created just isn’t as internationally competitive and why shouldn’t it be? Look at Korean pop (K-pop) for example. Korea is an export-based economy and they are outward looking(开放向外看), and they must be outward looking. Chinese pop on the other hand can just kind of stay domestic, tour all over China, stick in territories and comfortably sustain(闭门造车,自给自足). So when you’re that big and powerful, there’re over 160 cities in China with a million or more people, you tend to kind of turn inward and be complacent (自满的,高分词).



So this certainly can be made an argument made for Chinese pop, being not marketed with international sensibilities in mind(这表达堪比商科论文了). But the other side of the argument that I think is more interesting and thought provoking (发人深思的,好用搭配)and even more true is that Western ears aren’t familiar with and therefore don’t really understand how to appreciate Chinese music. Ouch!



The reason I think that the argument holds water (站得住脚,必学高分习语搭配)though is because that’s exactly what I went through, so I happened to know a thing or two (略知一二)about learning to appreciate Chinese pop as a Westerner, because I was 17 years old when I went from being an Asian kid in America to being an American kid in Asia, and the entire paradigm suddenly got flipped on its head (整个世界都颠倒了).


I grew up listening to the Beastie boys, Led Zeppelin, Guns and Rose, and my found myself in Taiwan listening to the radio and thinking where’s the beat? Where are the screeching(尖声的) guitar solos? Here I am as an American kid in Asia listening to Chinese music for the first time and thinking this stuff is lame. I don’t like it! I thought it was cheesy(俗气的), production value was low. The singers couldn’t belt (形容大声唱) like Axl Rose or Mariah Carey, but then one day, I went to my first Chinese pop concert and it was 庾澄庆 Harlem Yu performing in the Taipei Music Centre, and as he performed, I looked around the audience and I saw their faces and the look in their eyes and their response to his music and it was clear to me finally where the problem lay(终于搞清了问题所在). It wasn’t that the music was lacking, it was my ability to appreciate it and to hear it in the right way.


The crowd, they would sing along, and be totally immerse in (全神贯注于)his music and I had this epiphany(顿悟,显灵,罕见高端词), that I was missing the point. And from now on, I was going to somehow learn how to get it, I was gonna learn how to hear with local ears, and I deconstructed and analysed (拆解分析)what it was that made Chinese audiences connect with certain types melodies and rhythms, and song structure, and lyrics and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past almost twenty years. And it took me a long time and I’m still learning but at some point I not only began to be able to appreciate the music but I started being able to contribute to it and create my own fresh spins (旋转这个词口语常用于形容新鲜的尝试)on the tried-and-true(经过验证的可靠事实,习语搭配).


And I think this happens to everyone really, who is on the outside looking in(旁观审视). It always looks strange if you looked at things from your perspective, you’re always going to think that these people are weirdos(怪胎)and what’s wrong with them, why are they listening to this stuff? And I’m saying that you can make an effort and get it. It can be done, and I’m living proof of that(活生生的例证,proof不可数). And as an ambassador of Chinese pop, I’m trying to get people to open up to a sound that they may not feel as palatable (没那么悦耳动听,高分词)at the first listen.


Actually I think the tides have already started to change(潮汐方向已开始转变,比喻逆转性的变化,地道表达), very slowly, very cautiously, and almost calculatingly(副词递进,越来越谨慎). You see more cross-cultural exchange now, more interest in China, definitely a lot of joint ventures, a lot of co-productions in recent years. It’s begging to be kind of like a world pop and that’s what I’m looking forward to and focusing on these days. There’s J-pop, there’s K-pop, there’s C-pop, and there’s like this W-pop that’s kind of starting to emerge(开始浮现).


World-pop is more about breaking and tearing down age-old stereotypes(打破陈规印象), the artificial confines (人造的界限,好搭配)that have kept us apart for way too long. It’s a melting pot(熔炉), and it’s a mosaic (马赛克)that even if we looked up close we’d still see the colours and the flavours of each culture in detail.



So today what’s my call to action(呼吁行动)? I want to help improve and promote the cultural exchange between East and West, I think I’ve made that clear, but how?



My call to action is this: build and protect that roommate relationship between the East and West. Value this relationship and take ownership of (拥有,全心投入)it.


Don’t come to Oxford as an exchange student from Taiwan and only hang out with other Chinese students. Why would you do that? You could do that back in wherever you came from.



Don’t buy into (不要太过相信)the headlines or the stereotypes or into the hyper-nationalism(极端民族主义). Think for yourselves, and this goes for the East and the West, both. Get to know one another and think for yourselves and don’t believe the hype(夸张的宣传,好词).


For a moment, if we could just disregard(忽视) the governments, and what the media are saying, just for the sake of argument(客观起见), with our own tools of critical thinking. Can we build relationships that actually see one another as individual human beings and not faceless members of a particular ethnicity (种族)or nationality? Of course we can do that.


And that’s the goal and dream, I think, of the romantic artists and the musicians. That’s what I wish for. That’s what makes music and arts so powerful and so true. It breaks down instantly, disintegrates(瓦解) all the artificial barriers that we’ve created between each other, government, nationality, black, brown, yellow, white, whatever colour you are and shows each other our hearts, our fears, our hopes and our dreams. And it turns out in the end that the East isn’t that far after all, and the West, well the West, ain’t so wild (东方不远,西方不野).



And through understanding each other’s popular cultures, we gain insight into (深刻理解,替换deeply understand,高分搭配)each other’s hearts and true selves, and for those of you who are just beginning that journey to the West and East, I want to invite you today on this amazing journey with me, and I as an experienced traveller on this road, on the West to East road, I prepared a mixtape for all of you today of ten songs that I love over there. That’s a C-pop mixtape that you can check out.



I was gonna burn you all CDs, but my publicist reminded me lovingly that that would be illegal, so because I’m a professional recording artist, I shouldn’t do that. But actually the links work out nicely, because you get to see the music videos as well on a lot of these songs. And these ten songs are songs that I love and ten different Chinese artists to start you off on getting to know and love Chinese pop and I think these guys are awesome and I hope you do too.


I just want to wrap up by (口语表总结)saying that being here on the Oxford campus really makes me nostalgic(怀旧的,高分词) for my days at Williams and when I look back on those four years, some of my fondest (最喜欢的,替换favourite)memories are spending time with my roommates. I suppose in the beginning we were strangers who didn’t know much about teach other, and sometimes we did compete for the shower and there were times we did intrude on(侵犯)each other’s privacy, but I always loved listening to their stories. They were always attentive and respectful, when I told them about what it was like for me, growing up in a Chinese household with strict parents who made me study. (这句话相信大家都可以用,逗笑全场)So we shared stories, but strongest bonds between us were formed (by) just sitting around and listening to music together. And I really do see that as a model for East and West, so that’s why I want to share Chinese music with you today because it’s the best way I know how to create the lasting friendships that transcends all barriers (超越所有阻碍)and allow us to know each other truly, authentically (真正确实地,高分词)and just as we are. Thank you.





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