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Japanese Pun Help

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Japanese Pun Help

Postby Musiflare » Sat 03.13.2010 2:36 am

Hello, everyone!

So, I'm entering a Japanese speech contest, and I have some questions about my title. Just for my own amusement, I'm trying to make it a pun, but I'm unsure as to whether or not it would go over in Japanese. The speech is about self-teaching piano, how it relates to my self-teaching of Japanese, and how often alternate paths are better than taking the typical, well-beaten path. Anyway, I decided that because the word for "key" as in door key also happened to be the same word as a piano key, at the suggestion of a classmate, I decided I might try to name it 知識へのかぎ (Key(s) to Knowledge). Does this come off correctly?

Also, in case that one didn't work, I was going to just go with 植松とある違う道 (Uematsu and a Different Path). I couldn't decide if the ある here, though, was really adding anything, or if it sounded odd.

Any input?

お願いします!
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Re: Japanese Pun Help

Postby NileCat » Sat 03.13.2010 7:38 am

I like your idea, Musiflare-san!
The concept seems very clear and sounds very interesting.
Here are a couple of things I thought. Just my two cents.

1) "知識へのかぎ" sounds good and very decent as a title to me.
2) You may want to take "知識への鍵" into account. It is a difficult kanji for "かぎ", however, it can be pronounced "ken" as well when we refer to musical instruments such as 鍵盤(keyboard),黒鍵(black key), or 白鍵(white key). But hiragana will do, of course.
3) When we refer to key of a song (key=G or something), we use the word "キー" or "調(ちょう)". 長調 or メジャーキー(major key), 短調 or マイナーキー(minor key), or "キーはGです". We don't use the word "かぎ" for it. When you sing Karaoke, the key of the song is important. "キーが高すぎて歌えない" for instance. But this usage is a little bit technical. Not all people know it. (I believe many young people who like Karaoke use it though)
4) We use the word for three meanings: "キー" for "車のキー" , "ピアノのキー" , and "曲のキー", as if it is a Japanese word.
5) If you want to make the pun palpable in the title, you may want to take "知識へのキー" into account. But I personally don't think it's a good idea. Since it is a "Japanese speech contest", you would want to make it pure Japanese, wouldn't you?
6) In short, at a glance, the title doesn't seem to be a pun, though, I think it would work perfectly when you explained about the "profound meaning" in it in your speech.

"植松" sounds like a name of a person to me. I'm afraid I wouldn't understand what you mean by that.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Japanese Pun Help

Postby Musiflare » Sat 03.13.2010 1:02 pm

Thank you for your quick reply!

Ah, I'm glad it sounds okay. Though I must say, I hadn't taken 知識へのキー into account, but I do like the idea. As far as the titles are concerned, I'm not terribly concerned with it being composed entirely of Japanese words as many people do theirs entirely in katakana. The reason I was using かぎ in this situation is because it seemed versatile to apply both to musical keys, other keys, metaphorical keys, and so forth, but if キー is actually used more widely, that could be better. I had been trying to make the pun on piano keys and the metaphorical keys to knowledge, but for some reason it didn't occur to me to make the pun on music in general. I think because 知識への鍵 (I had been debating using the kanji--after your input, I think I will) is the working title, I will go with that one if it works.

Also, 植松信夫 is the composer for the music for the Final Fantasy series (most of it). I started playing piano by self-teaching many of his pieces, and they helped get me into music and film/game composition in general. I figured that because he was Japanese, and this is Japanese music that helped, it'd be relevant in a speech contest that needs a Japanese focus. :)

どうもありがとうございました!
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