This is a song I guess many Chinese may have heard it in their life. Well. I notice it is found in many Kungfu Movies and even my Chinese friends who cannot converse in mandarin knows this song…

Actually I found many transalation of the title, They are “A Man Of Determination” , “A Man Should Better Himself”. t personnally I think the word 自强 should mean “To Strive To Stengthen Oneself” which I think is a more accurate translation of that.

In a time of crisis now, I guess its time for everyone to strive to become stronger, so I decided to try translating the meaning of the song to english so that everyone can understand what he is trying to say.

It is interesting to know that the tune of the song actually came from a chinese folk song called The General’s Mandate” 將軍令. It was also known to be a military drill song as well. The Lyrics were written by someone called Wong Jim and it is the theme song for the  movie “Once Upon A Time In China”

In this song there are many characteristics of a man that I think its quite relevent to our lives now. But in order to preserve the logic of the lyrics, I may not directly translate certian terms literally. But rather I will try to translate the implied meaning instead.

Title: 男儿当自强
Singer: Jackie Chan, George Lam and many others before

(Stanza 1)
傲气面对万重浪 ào qì miàn duì wàn zhòng làng
热血像那红日光 rè xuè xiàng nà hóng rì guāng
胆似铁打骨如精钢 dǎn sì tiě dǎ gǔ rú jīng gāng
胸襟百千丈眼光万里长 xiōng jīn bǎi qiān zhàng yǎn guāng wàn lǐ cháng
我发奋图强做好汉 wǒ fā fèn tú qiáng zuò hǎo hàn
做个好汉子每天要自强 zuò gè hǎo hàn zǐ měi tiān yào zì qiáng
热血男儿汉比太阳更光 rè xuè nán er hàn bǐ tài yang gèng guāng

(Stanza 2)
让海天为我聚能量 ràng hǎi tiān wèi wǒ jù néng liàng
去开天辟地为我理想去闯 qù kāi tiān bì de wèi wǒ lǐ xiǎng qù chuǎng
看碧波高壮 kàn bì bō gāo zhuàng
又看碧空广阔浩气扬 yòu kàn bì kōng guǎng kuò hào qì yáng
我是男儿当自强 wǒ shì nán er dàng zì qiáng
昂步挺胸大家做栋梁做好汉áng bù tǐng xiōng dà jiā zuò dòng liáng zuò hǎo hàn
用我百点热照 (*) 出千分光 yòng wǒ bǎi diǎn rè zhào chū qiān fēn guāng
做个好汉子 zuò gè hǎo hàn zǐ
热血热肠热 rè xuè rè cháng rè
比太阳更光 bǐ tài yang gèng guāng
In some lyrics, I saw the word 耀 is used instead of 照. However, I think its easier to translate if I use 照 instead, but either way it represent to give forth brilliance

The English Translation is as follows

Title: A Man Should Strengthen Himself
Singer: Jackie Chan, George Lam and many others before

(Stanza 1)
Vigorous when facing the beatings of ten thousands heavy waves
Ardent just like the rays of the red sun
Having courage like forge iron and bones as hard as refined steel
Having lofty aspirations and excellent foresight
I worked extremely hard, aspiring to be a strong and courageous man (AKA Hero)
In order to become a hero, One should strive to become stronger everyday
An ardent man shines brighter than the sun

(Stanza 2)
Allowing the sky and sea to amass energy for me
To split heaven and part the earth (To create a new world) , to fight for my aspirations
Watching the stature and grandure of jade coloured waves
at the same time watching the vastness  jade coloured sky,  let our noble spirit soar

I am a man and I must strive to strengthen myself.
Walking in firm steps and standing upright let us all aspire to be a pillar of the society, and to be a hero
Using our hundredfold warmth, to bring forth a thousandfold of brilliance
Be a hero
Being ardent and with strong courage
Shine brighter than the sun

Those who are curious hows the original song “The General’s Mandate” 將軍令 sounds like, here is the youtube of it