我不会唱歌,一唱就走调 (I can’t sing, as soon as I sing…..)

我不会唱歌,一唱就走调
Wǒ búhuì chàng, yīchàng jiù zǒudiào
(I can’t sing, as soon as I sing…..)

Last night René was at KTV function where he was expected to sing a song in Chinese. He wanted to tell his colleagues that he couldn’t sing. To his relief, most of his colleagues couldn’t sing either, but this didn’t stop any of them selecting songs they loved to sing.

One of René’s colleagues said:

我不会唱歌,一唱就走调
Wǒ búhuì chàng, yīchàng jiù zǒudiào.
(lit: 'I can’t sing, as soon as I sing the tune walks away’)

Another co-worker chimed in and said basically the same thing, but instead of saying 走调 said 跑调 pǎodiào (lit: ‘a tune that runs away’):

我不会唱歌,一唱就跑调
Wǒ búhuì chàng, yīchàng jiù pǎodiào.

While everyone was busy selecting songs, René was thinking how he could perhaps make a quick exit.

Seeing that René was somewhat hesitant about choosing a song, one of his clients said:

我也不会唱, 没关系, 我五音不全

Wǒ yě búhuì chàng, méiguānxi, wǒ wǔyīn bùquán.

Don’t worry, I can’t sing either. I don’t have perfect pitch.

五音不全 wǔyīn bùquán literally means ‘five pitches not complete.’

René decided that he was going to sing regardless of whether he could or not. He drank two glasses of beer and then made his way to the song monitor to pick out a song.

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