Mrs. Chang, Mrs. Lee,
Mama has a small babee;
Stands up firm,
Sits up straight,
Won't eat milk,
But lives on cake.
The Chinese title above is part of the first line in Chinese. The English title is different and comes directly from Headland's book.
Here's a translation I came up with, trying to make it more literal:
Grandma Zhang, Grandma Li,
Our family has a young baby,
Stands proud, sits up straight,
Instead of mama's milk, eats tasty cake.*
*I think even more literally, it would be: "Eats delicious cake, not breast milk." But the very slight change in meaning allowed me to make a soft rhyme, so that my translation basically rhymes, while still staying close to the meaning.
I welcome comments and criticisms on my translation! -Mama Lisa
If anyone can provide the Pinyin or the simplified Chinese text, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks! -Mama Lisa
I also welcome comments about the translations and alternate, more literal translations if applicable.
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Thanks and Acknowledgements
This rhyme and the English translation above are from the book, Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes, by Isaac Taylor Headland of Peking University (copyright 1900).
Many thanks to Yuan Ping for typing this rhyme in Chinese text for us!