Japanese poetry

Do you have a translation question?
Post Reply
PurpleMatcha
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat 07.07.2012 9:27 am
Native language: NA
Gender: Female

Japanese poetry

Post by PurpleMatcha » Mon 07.23.2012 1:19 pm

Hey guys,

I was wondering If you could help me with the following poem translation that I just somehow can't get to "sound" right. Since I'm not translating into English, I've provided a rough english translation. I'm especially having problems with the pronouns, it is hard for me to figure out what they describe.

"その名"

愛しかないときに
愛をうしなうと
どうなるかという話
昔のひとは
真空を信じなかった
完全に何もない
ということを
エーテルという物質が
何もないときに
そこを満たしていると
考えた
愛しかないときに
愛をうしなえば
そこに何かが
流れこむだろうか
それ
次のひとたちよ
きみらはどんな名で
よぶだろうか

"Their Name"

The story of what will happen
If you lose love
When there is only love
People of the past
Didn't believe the emptiness
They thought that there is completely nothing
That the substance of ether
Will fill them up
When there is nothing
If you lose love
When there is only love
Will something
flow into there?
By which name will
you call
the next people?

User avatar
Ongakuka
Posts: 1034
Joined: Mon 09.26.2005 1:07 pm

Re: Japanese poetry

Post by Ongakuka » Mon 07.23.2012 1:35 pm

Great translation! :D well it seems really good to me anyway.
By which name will
you call
the next people?
I think this is a bit misleading. Should it not be asking what the 'next people' (generation?) will call (the vacuum after love is lost)
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ

NileCat
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Native language: Japanese
Location: Tokyo

Re: Japanese poetry

Post by NileCat » Mon 07.23.2012 6:46 pm

I too think that’s great!

I have a question. Is the following logic clear in the translation?
I just want to see if I read your translation correctly. :)

People of the past didn’t believe the emptiness

<describing the emptiness/vacuum>
(they didn’t believe) that there is/exits completely nothing

<instead of nothing> they thought
the <place >(where it is supposed to be empty) is filled with ether

Thank you!

PurpleMatcha
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat 07.07.2012 9:27 am
Native language: NA
Gender: Female

Re: Japanese poetry

Post by PurpleMatcha » Tue 07.24.2012 1:18 pm

Thank you both so much, you've been very helpful! It kinda makes sense now, those pronouns were really killing me. If I understand correctly そこ refers to 完全に何もない and それ to 何か (the stuff that the people of the past called ether, and we, the people of the future, still don't have a name for it)

I've made some adaptations to the former translation, but I'm still having some doubts about it

It's name I've changed the title according to the content of the song

What happens Can I replace どうなるかという話 with this?
if you lose love
when there is only love?
People of the past
did not believe in emptiness.
They thought
that when there is nothing
the substance of ether
is filling
the complete nothingness. Instead of "there is completely nothing" in the meaning of 完全に何もない
If you lose love
when there is only love
will something flow I interpreted the meaning of だろうか as "will?"
into there? "there" as a place that is now empty because the love is lost
By which name
will you, is きみら is connected with 次のひと - as if the author is addressing us, future people?
people of the future,
call it?

NileCat
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Native language: Japanese
Location: Tokyo

Re: Japanese poetry

Post by NileCat » Tue 07.24.2012 2:31 pm

I think you completely understand the meaning of the original Japanese lines. :D

User avatar
Ongakuka
Posts: 1034
Joined: Mon 09.26.2005 1:07 pm

Re: Japanese poetry

Post by Ongakuka » Tue 07.24.2012 2:54 pm

It would never had occurred to me to translate その名 as 'it's name' but I think it works perfectly :D
is きみら is connected with 次のひと - as if the author is addressing us, future people?
that is I how I interpret it, and what I think is intended. 次のひとたちよ is very much like having an exclamation mark (people of the future! What will you call it?)

Arguably an exclamation mark is undesirable in the English translation, and your order of phrasing, which is very beautiful, would not allow for one anyway. All in all, great job, I would never be able to half as well as this.
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ

PurpleMatcha
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat 07.07.2012 9:27 am
Native language: NA
Gender: Female

Re: Japanese poetry

Post by PurpleMatcha » Wed 07.25.2012 9:44 am

Thank you, I could never have done it without the help of you two! :wink:

Post Reply