Have a watch of this footage of a Commercial Radio reporter being unjustly rough handled and threatened by Hong Kong police rough handling reporters in doing their jobs: #記你老母 錄影片段 (timecode 32s).
Also reported in this news article “【睇片】商台記者表明身份 仍遭揮警棍粗暴推撞 警：「記你老母！」” with link to original June 12, 2019 Commercial Radio 商台新聞’s Facebook video post.
FB user 劉仁顯 took time to create a FB profile frame tool for #記你老母 in which he translated “#記你老母” to “Port Your Mother”. While I thank the user for the effort, I think translating #記你老母 to “Port Your Mother” is a bit too polite and also incorrect.
X你老母 usually are curse words for “F*ck your mother!” (or simply “You Motherf*cker!”)
So #記你老母 really should include F-word or ”Motherf*cker” in it somehow. Anyway, the first work-in-progress translation I used was “Re… you Motherf*ckers!” Upon further considerations, I think the following are worth considering:
1) “You Jurnos Motherf*ckers”
2) “Jurnos Motherf*ckers”
3) Journof*cker (Note: “Jurnos” is of course short for journalists.)
(Note: JìNǐLǎoMǔ is probably the most Beijing & mainland Chinese friendly translation inspired by Hanami for 花見. The dictionary entry for JìNǐLǎoMǔ (記你老母) can give a detailed explanation plus a link to Commercial Radio 商台新聞’s Facebook video post for context and usage example by the brutal authority and inventor of the phrase 記你老母.)
*) Port Your Mother [HT 仁顯]
*) Journfucknalist [HT a friend]
*) “Report, your ass” [HT a friend]
*) “Remember Your Mother” [HT internet, this one is very HK 無厘頭 and cute in some sense]
14 June 2019 Update: Thanks to the super wise 蕭叔叔 for sharing his take. [HT Vivian] Here is 蕭叔叔’s video explaining his rationales for translating #記你老母 to “Reporter, my arse!”. (assuming Brits are saying it). Have a watch.
While I respect 蕭叔叔’s insights, I feel it a bit “too polite” and failed to matched the tone of the unjustly violent policeman.
Imagine a “super big mean” English speaking Hollywood actor playing the role of the unjustly violent policeman saying the line “Reporter, my arse!” Sorry to be frank, I would laugh and NOT feel threaten at all as if Mr. Bean himself was threatening me!
Here lies a general translation challenge of how a culture say certain things. 蕭叔叔 wisely restricted his observation to the Brits. As a further aside, which I hope is illuminating, base on my limited understanding of Japanese people, they are exceedingly polite so their common curse words are like telling people they are “stupid” (in Cantonese, it sounds like 8+26)! And dare I say, “stupid” is NOT exactly a strong curse words in most cultures! In Canada and US, etc, people regularly use versions of the f-word, Motherf*cker, etc when cursing. So, to me, the Brits way of “Reporter, my arse!” is rather inadequate for HongKongers’ X你老母 or the unjustly violent policeman’s #記你老母!
Based on the above and other news video footages, unjustified violence have been deployed against many journalists trying to record and report on facts. So the words #記你老母 don’t feel like one off isolated incidents but feel like part of a “general declaration of war against journalists” reporting on the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests.
At this moment, I’m leaning to translate #記你老母 as “You Jurnos Motherf*ckers”. Feel free to share your ideas and suggestions in how to better translate #記你老母!
14 June 2019 Update #2: By the way and on the fun aside, my favourite open/unsolved grand translation challenge remains 「撒嬌」有沒有英譯 since I read a 2009 article. I haven’t yet given up.
The ultimate solution for 「撒嬌」 may end up being something I got inspired by Hanami (Japanese 花見), just coin a word for it. I know it is a “cheat” but a perfect cheat has some merits right?