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Trying for a poetic phrase...

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Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby phreadom » Thu 10.22.2009 6:17 am

And failing pretty badly I think. ;)

I posted this on facebook the other day:

生きているのはすてきだよね。 大丈夫だよ。 (I probably slaughtered that... but I felt inspired, so I gave it my best shot at sounding casual, yet poetic and deep. Sort of a pep talk for myself and reminder about how I really feel about life.


And I hoped someone would be able to correct me, but nobody really commented and tokai devotee wasn't sure either, so I decided to post it here for some feedback. :)

As my later comment explains:
I was shooting for something along the lines of "Life is wonderful (isn't it). You'll be fine."


Thanks in advance for any pointers. :)
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby NileCat » Thu 10.22.2009 7:14 am

100% fine. Perfectly natural. Short and sweet. Poetic and deep. Beautiful.
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby phreadom » Thu 10.22.2009 10:00 am

Nilecatさん、ありがとう! :D I'm so happy I got it right. :D
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby tōkai devotee » Fri 10.23.2009 3:28 am

やった!! :D Well done, phreadom!

I'd like to ask, for a poetic phrase like "Life is wonderful", how do you choose which word to use for "life"? When I look in my E-J dictionary, (which is not a very good dictionary and gives no sentences as examples unfortunately), there are many Japanese words for the English word "life". For example, it gives

seikatsu 生活
isshou  一生
kakki  ??
ikimono 生き物
inochi  命

And I'm sure there are more such as 人生
How are these words used and what are the differences (if any) between them. Are there subtle nuances or big differences?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 10.23.2009 4:27 am

tokai devotee wrote:seikatsu 生活
isshou  一生
kakki  ??
ikimono 生き物
inochi  命
And I'm sure there are more such as 人生
How are these words used and what are the differences (if any) between them. Are there subtle nuances or big differences?


They're actually all pretty different, and just hearing the Japanese I would never think that they all had one common meaning in english *laugh*
生活 is your daily life -- work, cleaning, eating, etc
一生 is your entire life ie 一生忘れられません。
活気 is a lively, kind of 元気 feel
生き物 is something that is alive like a fish or animal
命 is "life" as in, the thing that keeps you alive. 命を大切にする means to "take care of yourself" or "don't kill things," depending on the context.

sorry if my explanations are kind of weak, that's just off the top of my head.
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby JaySee » Fri 10.23.2009 4:43 am

I think 人生 is probably the most 'general' translation of life, and would work best in translating the phrase "life is beautiful".
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby tōkai devotee » Fri 10.23.2009 5:00 am

JaySee wrote:I think 人生 is probably the most 'general' translation of life, and would work best in translating the phrase "life is beautiful".


Well, yes, I recall that 人生 is used in the phrase "Such is life" => これが人生だ。Therefore, I thought that perhaps it could be used in phreadom's example, Life is wonderful. 人生がすてきですね OR 人生がすばらしいですね。

Thanks to Harisenbon for your reply too. ありがとう。よく分かりました!
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby phreadom » Fri 10.23.2009 5:54 am

Now I'm really interested to learn more about the nuances... I actually started writing it just to find a way to use すてき, which I had just looked up after hearing it somewhere... and 大丈夫, which I had been seeing in the chat lounge and while I'd known the word for awhile, had just learned the kanji for it. :D The rest was tougher, and I had to use a dictionary of sorts for the "life" word... so my choice was rather arbitrary. :oops:
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Re: Trying for a poetic phrase...

Postby tōkai devotee » Sat 10.24.2009 4:41 am

phreadom wrote:I had to use a dictionary of sorts for the "life" word... so my choice was rather arbitrary. :oops:


Well, it seems you made a good choice! I had 書道 and ちぎり絵 classes this afternoon and I asked my やさしい日本人の先生 and they both said that what you wrote was perfect!! And you could also use 人生 as I suggested. It means life, as in one's own life. The one I suggested on Facebook (命) means life as in biological life, the thing that keeps you alive. You'd use this one in things like "Life is important" 命は大事。OR 命を大切にする =>value one's life.

Hope that makes sense!
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