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Song Translation Attempt (long)

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Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby Hektor6766 » Wed 11.11.2009 1:50 pm

With 3 months of Japanese study under my belt, I took on the challenge of translating the song Love by Hanako Oku, I hope that some of you would review it and offer your advice. The kanji has the refrain but I didn't repeat it in the translation. I've tried to be accurate to the best of my abilities and still keep some poetry in it. Hey, if you don't dare to make mistakes, how will you learn?

偶然街で二人を見かけた
あの子があなたの言っていた彼女ね。
お似合いだった事よりもずっと
見た事もないあなたの笑顔が悔しかった
どうしてあたしじゃ駄目なの?
どうしてあなたでなくちゃ駄目なんだろう
好きなのに。。。
届かない想いをあたしの胸に隠して
苦しくて息出来なくて
これ以上あなたを想い続けらるかな
好きになってくれる人だけを
好きになれたらいいのに
あなたと同じ性格をして
同じ顔した人がいたらいいな
そんなくたらない事を言って
苦いコ-ヒ-
真似してあたしも飲んでみた
何度も聡めようとして
何度も嫌いになろうとしてみたけど
もう少し
このままの気持ちで
あたしをごまかしていて
淋しくて声を聞きたくて
どれくらいあなたを想い続けらねるかな
好きになったくれる人たけを
好きになれたらいいのに
どうしてあたしじゃ駄目なの?
どうしてあなたでなくちゃ駄目なんだろう
好きなのに。。。
届かない想いをあたしの胸に隠して
苦しくて息出来なくて
これ以上あなたを想い続けらるかな
好きになってくれる人だけを
好きになれたらいいのに


By chance on the street two people appeared
That young woman is your beloved, isn’t she?
Oh! The sight of a couple well-suited to each other embraced,
And from a distance I watched,
Left with nothing.
Your smile brings tears of regret

Why should I be of no use?
Why, without you, have I no hope?
I love, and yet

Lost-letter feelings hidden in my breast
Difficult, painful breaths, spirit I cannot release
I wonder at these strange thoughts affixed to you

Love is good to bear, to give to just one person
Growing to love feels good, but then…

You, that very same one
The same exquisite face of that particular person.
That stupid, worthless need, I call it a bitter cup of coffee
I pretend to drink up and make light of it.

How many more times to play the stunned victim?
How many more times as the hateful doubter?
Only a few more!

I am deceived to feel this way as it is
I hear a lonesome voice
This darkened longing for you persists.

Love is good to bear, to give to just one person
Falling in love is good, and yet…
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby yukamina » Wed 11.11.2009 3:14 pm

Here's my translation of the first section:


偶然街で二人を見かけた
あの子があなたの言っていた彼女ね。
お似合いだった事よりもずっと
見た事もないあなたの笑顔が悔しかった
どうしてあたしじゃ駄目なの?
どうしてあなたでなくちゃ駄目なんだろう
好きなのに。。。

I happened to see a couple on the street
She's the girlfriend you were talking about, isn't she?
More frustrating than how good you looked together
was your smiling face which I had never seen before
Why aren't I good enough?
Why am I no good without you?
Even though I love you...



By chance on the street two people appeared
見かけた means " to happen to see" or "to notice", not "to appear".
That young woman is your beloved, isn’t she?
Your translation excludes the 言っていた part and inserts "beloved"?
Oh! The sight of a couple well-suited to each other embraced,
And from a distance I watched,
Left with nothing.
Your smile brings tears of regret
Hmmm...There are no embraces, no watching from a distance, no tears... how did you interpret that from the Japanese? Stylistic choice? The お is simply part of the word お似合い.
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby Hyperworm » Wed 11.11.2009 7:21 pm

I'm afraid you're way off the mark on the next section too.

It's to be expected after only 3 months; if you ask me, you're giving it good effort (though many will argue it's misdirected). There's nothing wrong with trying though.

Here are the next few lines by me.

I'm going to add a disclaimer here that I haven't listened to the song (yet) so I'm taking the breakpoints from your translation in the OP.

japanese original wrote:届かない想いをあたしの胸に隠して
苦しくて息出来なくて
これ以上あなたを想い続けられるかな <- れ was missing
好きになってくれる人だけを
好きになれたらいいのに

あなたと同じ性格をして
同じ顔した人がいたらいいな
そんなくだらない事を言って <- missing dakuten on た
苦いコーヒー<- don't mix up hyphens with long vowel marks
真似してあたしも飲んでみた
my (not very poetic) translation wrote:I know you'd never understand my feelings, so I keep them hidden on my chest
It's painful and makes it hard to breathe
How much longer can I keep up these feelings for you?
I wish that you could only fall in love
with the people who'd love you back

I wish there was someone else who had your exact personality
and the very same face, as well
Such are the meaningless things I mumbled
as I lifted my bitter coffee
and wondered if I'd like it as much as you
Hektor6766 wrote:Lost-letter feelings hidden in my breast
届く here means "to be successfully conveyed (通じる)".
私の好意は彼に届かなかった He did not appreciate my kindness.
女の誠意が彼に届いた Her sincerity touched him.
here means chest/breast as in "The seat of affection and emotion: 'Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast' (Shakespeare)" but since it links up to difficulty breathing in the next line you probably want "chest"

Difficult, painful breaths, spirit I cannot release
spirit? release?
I wonder at these strange thoughts affixed to you
check your kanji, 以上 is not 異常
Love is good to bear, to give to just one person
Growing to love feels good, but then…
see below

You, that very same one
what happened to "personality" (性格)?
The same exquisite face of that particular person.
That stupid, worthless need, I call it a bitter cup of coffee
need?
I pretend to drink up and make light of it.
I think 真似して refers to her imitating him, by drinking the bitter coffee which he's drinking (he always drinks?) but she's never had before. At first I imagined her alone at a table, but I suppose he might be with her? She could be obsessing over him, thinking that drinking the same thing he always drinks will bring her a little more into his world, or maybe they are actually having coffee together and she's trying to bond by picking the same thing. Not sure. ^^


I feel like pointing out this line.
「好きになってくれる人だけを 好きになれたらいいのに」

Many other lines in the song might be a little vague or use words in a characteristic song-like way that's a little harder to understand (届く, 胸, 苦しい), but that particular line spells everything out for you I think. ^^;
It might be a good starting point to make sure you're familiar with the grammar constructs used in that line.

好き に なる (twice)
て form + くれる
だけ

potential form (なる→なれる)
~(たら)いい, のに, and ~(たら)いいのに
and the ability to piece it all together.
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby Hektor6766 » Fri 11.13.2009 3:27 am

Thank you for your responses

I've seen that "o" can be used as an exclamation as well as an honorific. Lose the exclamation.

Datta and itteita: Well, I've learned my lesson about e-dictionaries! datta isn't the past tense of daku, "to embrace", and itteita doesn't mean "constant". I'm embarrassed. But the polite forms are introduced before the plain or direct, and I'm not yet accustomed to these.

I used "beloved" instead of girlfriend because for the more mature connotation. A personal preference.

I took "zutto" to mean "far away" or "for the entire time". Is this actually what you're interpreting as the singer's frustration, or does that come from the reference to regret or mortification?

todokanai...so: really needs tegami to be a lost letter, but for "ideas or thoughts undelivered, or not conveyed" it's a nice alliterative.

Breast/chest Another stylistic choice (one beats their chest in aggression or beats their breast in despair). I saw something in there that I took to mean something like "pneuma, spirit"

I thought the cup of coffee was figurative, too. Mane can be imitate, mimic or mock. Since the ex-boyfriend isn't mentioned I presume this meant miming the act of, or appearing (mita) to be drinking the bad cup of joe. The singer seems to switch gears here: where are we drinking a cup of bad coffee all of a sudden? Did she stop off at a Denny's?

On the lines about wishing for someone else with "his" qualities, I missed the subjunctive flavor there. I was thinking since these things make individuals unique, those qualities make "him" irreplaceable, hence the pathos of the song.

Ijo is the kanji from the source. I can't remember where I got the "dark" interpretation from. So that should be "Now that this thought of you continues"? (I copied the source faithfully-sorry about the hyphens; I thought they'd be passable as vowel extension.)

そんなくたらない事を言って "That kind of [くたらない] thing (matter, incident) I call..." I interpreted kutaranai as something worthless or stupid. Is that right?

I agree about that particular line defining the theme of the song. "Falling in love with only one person/falling in love is nice, but..." seems essentially right to me. But then, I'm just the student. I'm grateful for all the suggestions.
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby Hyperworm » Fri 11.13.2009 8:57 am

Hektor6766 wrote:I've seen that "o" can be used as an exclamation as well as an honorific.
In that case it'll probably be something like おっ! on its own, as an exclamation of (positive) surprise. お immediately followed by a noun is almost certainly the honorific.

Hektor6766 wrote:I took "zutto" to mean "far away" or "for the entire time". Is this actually what you're interpreting as the singer's frustration, or does that come from the reference to regret or mortification?
悔しい (past tense 悔しかった) means "emotionally painful (when things turn out differently from how you hoped)", so that's where "frustration" came from. ~よりも means "more than ~" (how good you looked together; see yukamina's translation), and ~よりもずっと means "far (far) more than ~".

Hektor6766 wrote:I thought the cup of coffee was figurative, too. Mane can be imitate, mimic or mock. Since the ex-boyfriend isn't mentioned I presume this meant miming the act of, or appearing (mita) to be drinking the bad cup of joe. The singer seems to switch gears here: where are we drinking a cup of bad coffee all of a sudden? Did she stop off at a Denny's?
「真似してあたしも飲んでみた」 "in imitation, I too tried drinking [the bitter coffee]" implies there's someone else who is drinking it or does drink it. I doubt it's figurative; the lines seem too literal. And maybe she was always at the coffee shop, thinking about him, right from the first line where she saw them walking through town. (which would seem to imply she is on her own here.)

Hektor6766 wrote:On the lines about wishing for someone else with "his" qualities...
あなたと同じ・・・ = "the same ... as you".

Hektor6766 wrote:Ijo is the kanji from the source.
以上 and 異常 are both read いじょう. My point was the word "strange" crept into your translation, which would seem to be a translation of 異常, but what appears in the lyrics is 以上. Be careful when you look up words. ^^
(これ以上 = "more than this", roughly)

Hektor6766 wrote:そんなくたらない事を言って "That kind of [くたらない] thing (matter, incident) I call..." I interpreted kutaranai as something worthless or stupid. Is that right?
らない, but yes. Something (in this case) not worth committing to voice.
However, the grammar's wrong. 「~を言って」 can only mean "saying/[I] say ~" here. For "That kind of worthless thing, I call ~" I'd expect 「そういうくだらないことは、~と言う」 rather than 「そんなくだらないことを言って」.

Hektor6766 wrote:I agree about that particular line defining the theme of the song. "Falling in love with only one person/falling in love is nice, but..." seems essentially right to me.
It's still way off. Those two lines form a coherent single logical well-constructed sentence that would stand up just fine in spoken Japanese, and there's nothing omitted at the end. And most importantly your translation doesn't even slightly mean what I put ("I wish that you could only fall in love / with the people who'd love you back"), so unless you're arguing ... :lol:
I don't think you should be expected to translate that kind of line after 3 months, and you probably haven't covered any of the grammar that line demands of you yet, so don't worry about it, but I'm a little concerned by "seems essentially right". Please don't brush off misunderstandings or think guesses are in any way a substitute for nailing the grammar. There are far too many mistake-riddled song translations out there already, and it really sucks when the mass internet populace gets their experience of what should be a good song through a mangled translation of the lyrics. Save songs from this fate ^^

Incidentally, I forgot one item of grammar that line also uses, which is "[plain form] verb(/clause) + noun" ([好きになってくれる]) for noun modification, so add that to the list. ^^
(If you're following some kind of course or textbook, though, keep up with the order you're doing stuff there, of course.)
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby IceCream » Fri 11.13.2009 9:38 am

sorry i can't help with your translation, but you might like to look at Rikaichan to help you make sure your on the right lines... it'll un-conjugate things for you and save a lot of work. Maybe you're translating using a j-j dictionary or something though, in which case, ignore me... 8)

http://www.polarcloud.com/rikaichan/
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby yukamina » Fri 11.13.2009 6:57 pm

Here's my translation for the last section. I don't know the word 聡める and I can't find it in a dictionary, so I've inferred the meaning from 聡い.

何度も聡めようとして
何度も嫌いになろうとしてみたけど
もう少し
このままの気持ちで
あたしをごまかしていて
淋しくて声を聞きたくて
どれくらいあなたを想い続けらるかな
好きになったくれる人たけを
好きになれたらいいのに

I've tried to wise up so many times
and I've tried to stop loving you so many times (lit. I've tried to get to dislike you)

Fool me with these feelings
the way they are now
a little more

I'm lonely, I want to hear your voice
How much more can I continue to love you?
I wish I could only fall in love with someone
who would love me back




How many more times to play the stunned victim?
How many more times as the hateful doubter?
Only a few more!
The key grammatical structure here is ~ようとする which means "try to ~". もう少し is part of the next section.
I am deceived to feel this way as it is
I hear a lonesome voice
This darkened longing for you persists.
さびしい is in the -て form so it's not modifying 'voice'. It's separate from the words that follow.
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby Hektor6766 » Mon 11.16.2009 12:37 am

Hyperworm,

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was second-guessing anyone. It was precisely that my ignorance of the grammar prevented me from seeing the reasoning behind your translations. No, I'm definitely not prepared to joust with my dull arsenal. Both you and Yukamina laid out the translation, you yourself gave me the hints about -tara making the preceding clause provisional and I failed to pick up on them :oops: . I can now see it as the conditional phrase both of you were providing.
I still have a couple of questions about those lines, though. You had translated them as "I wish that you...", while Yekamina translated as I wish that I..." Did you decide on directing them toward the 2nd person from the noun modification you referred to? Or because of the preceding lines (or maybe another construct I'm not aware of)? And is the "ii noni" incorporated in the "I wish...", as in "But it would be nice if..."? (but that would move that clause into the other one...[scratching head])

Presumptive=volitional; toshite after volitional form= "tried"; '-me": derogatory suffix: "Many times I've tried to wise up/Many times I've tried to despise you." Aha!

-ite: "As these feelings are, keep deceiving me a bit longer"

-te form, continuing, progressive action; -'takute, "want": "I'm lonely, I want to hear your voice." Ok, a light's coming on...

I now understand the yori zutto is the "ever" in "More vexing was your smiling face that I never saw (for the whole time we were together)" I don't quite understand the use of koto in there, though.

I'm going to keep parsing the song until I do have the grammar nailed down.
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Re: Song Translation Attempt (long)

Postby Hyperworm » Mon 11.16.2009 10:03 am

Sorry if I sounded a little harsh also. :)

Hektor6766 wrote:I still have a couple of questions about those lines, though. You had translated them as "I wish that you...", while Yekamina translated as I wish that I..." Did you decide on directing them toward the 2nd person from the noun modification you referred to? Or because of the preceding lines (or maybe another construct I'm not aware of)?
You can interpret 「好きになってくれる人だけを好きになれたらいいのに」 either way. Either as a wish for oneself, or as a more general wish of how the world should work. I thought it a little more poetic to go with the latter, that's all.

Hektor6766 wrote:And is the "ii noni" incorporated in the "I wish...", as in "But it would be nice if..."? (but that would move that clause into the other one...[scratching head])
Yes. "I wish [I?] would..." / "If only [I?] would..." / "It would be good/nice if...".
I'm not sure what you mean by the last part though. ^^;

Hektor6766 wrote:I now understand the yori zutto is the "ever" in "More vexing was your smiling face that I never saw (for the whole time we were together)" I don't quite understand the use of koto in there, though.
Hm. There are a couple of 事s here, in that line and the previous one. ^^
The "ever" in "that I never saw (for the whole time we were together)" actually comes from こともない; see ことがある.

よりもずっと refers to how much more(far and away more?) frustrating the smiling face was than the fact that(←other こと) the couple looked good together.

Both these 事 are actually acting as nominalizers.
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