Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Do you have a translation question?

tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby Jack W » Thu 12.16.2010 9:08 pm

Recently I read the entry for 楽しい in Akira Miura's book Japanese Words and Their Uses, which says that this word is best used for a "sustained state of happiness," and that 嬉しい is the correct choice for "momentary joy." So far so good, but what I'm wondering is where the verb 喜ぶ enters in with all this.

I ask because of a script I've been working on recently, for a comic that may or may not come to fruition. Although the text is English, the story is loosely based on existing anime characters. Thus I can't help thinking of them as "really" speaking Japanese, although I usually can't tell what they're "really" saying unless it's very simple.

In one place, a young man of about 20, a member of a rock band recently gone pro, is speaking before a large and diverse audience as one of the hosts at an amateur band contest. Besides his own bandmates, the audience includes fans of various ages, music professionals who he would consider higher in status than himself, and members of contestant bands who I am guessing he would consider lower in status or roughly equal. He is talking about his and his bandmates' desire to reach the hearts of their fans through their songs. "When this happens -- when we know that it has happened," he says to the group as a whole, "we rejoice." Then turning to the group of contestants, he adds (to enthusiastic cheers), "We rejoice! Don't we?"

Now "rejoice" is a strange and stiff-sounding word, one which this character would be unlikely to use if he were "really" speaking English. I chose it because (at least to my ear) it conveys the precise meaning I intend. He is saying that, when he and his bandmates play a gig (and are presumably already experiencing 楽しい), the knowledge that their work has hit home with their fans, causes an additional outpouring of intense joy in their hearts.

In trying to get at what this character is "really" saying, at first I had in mind the verb 喜ぶ. I figured that the end of his first sentence would be 喜びます, using the polite form when addressing the mixed group. When he turns to address his peers, I figured he'd switch to the plain form: 喜ぶんだ!ね?

But on looking at some sentences on Jim Breen's site, I found some that use this verb more loosely, like the English word "glad." For instance, if I said I'd be "glad" to come help you move this weekend, I don't necessarily mean that I would literally rejoice to do so. I might only mean that I'd be willing to do so. Perhaps 嬉しい is a better word choice then? Or would it not be strong enough? Or would the whole thing be rephrased somehow? (Perhaps 最高の感じです or something similar.)

I'd appreciate any light shed on this matter. Thanks in advance!
Jack W
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon 05.09.2005 3:18 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby Hyperworm » Thu 12.16.2010 9:48 pm

At first glance, "rejoice" does seem kind of close to 喜ぶ...
But I think "rejoice" implies a (dramatic) outwards display of joy? I guess you can internally rejoice, but...
In any case, 喜ぶ doesn't necessarily require a (dramatic) outwards display. It can be read as nothing more than "be happy/pleased with (a situation)".
Maybe you're looking for words more along the lines of "celebrate"? I'm not really sure of the right answer in Japanese here.

Incidentally, I doubt ね would work if the line was said with any degree of power. It'd be なあ! or そうだろ! or something like that.
fun translation snippets | need something translated?
BTC@1KMZXgoWiDshQis5Z7feCx8jaiP4QAB2ks
User avatar
Hyperworm
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Tue 11.20.2007 2:26 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby Jack W » Thu 12.16.2010 11:39 pm

Good point about the outwardness vs. inwardness of the rejoicing. I guess I was thinking less of an outward celebration and more of an inward rejoicing, though one as strong as I had in mind would be all but impossible to suppress outwardly. I do know that "It makes us happy" or "we are glad" would fall utterly short of describing the experience I had in mind, and I'm concerned that 嬉しい may fall short in a similar way. But it is the inward experience I was concentrating on, not the outward manifestation.

I was wondering whether ね would be right in the other case and will gladly change it, as I think either of your suggestions would be very appropriate to the speaker. I'm leaning toward なあ only because it is shorter.

Eventually I'd like to try to quote the rest of the line and get it all into Japanese, but first I would like to make sure that 喜ぶ will work in this context. From what you're saying, it sounds like it would.

Thanks for the help! :D
Jack W
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon 05.09.2005 3:18 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby NileCat » Fri 12.17.2010 10:10 am

There are a couple of possibilities.
Reading the given context, logically speaking, the most appropriate word in the three choices would be “ureshii”. “嬉しいんだ、おれたち” “嬉しいよな、そうだろ?” or something like that.
“Yorokobu” has a nuance that it is describing a feeling objectively. 彼は喜んだ is fine. 私は喜んだ is fine, because it is describing your feeling in the past from an objective viewpoint. But we don’t use the expression 私は喜ぶ (present tense), especially when we are excited. Well, if he is speaking very calmly...still, I don't think a young musician uses the word unless he has a strange "professor-type" personality.

I’m not quite sure about the nuance of the English phrase “when this happens – when we know it has happened”. What does “this” mean here? To reach the hearts of their fans through their songs? If so, 楽しい would be the second choice. But, in this case, it would be 楽しくなる or 楽しくなってくる. This expression can convey that the fact (it has happened) will MAKE US happy. Only 楽しい or 楽しいんだ doesn't sound that weird, though.

The third possibility is…it might be one of other expressions, such as 飛び上がりたくなる or ゴキゲンになる or ぐっとくる or ハッピーだ or 感極まっちゃって…

In any case, I don’t think a rock musician uses the word “yorokobu” to tell about his excitement to the audience.

Just my two cents.


EDIT:
I've come up with another expression. :D
喜びを感じるんだ/喜びを感じるんです
would work here.
And, to the members: "感じるよね/感じるよな?"
And, it might be understandable why the translator chose the word "rejoice"?
Hey, ask the translator, please! :D

About the general usages:
Someone invites you to the party
→ you are 嬉しい (adj.)
At the party
→ you are 楽しい (adj.)
Watching you are enjoying
→ the host of the party 喜ぶ (verb)
And he says to you
→ I am 嬉しい for your coming
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby Jack W » Fri 12.17.2010 7:54 pm

Well, this is certainly a lot of information. I see I have many things to think about, but I wanted at least to write back to thank you for taking the time to answer, while I think about it all. :)

EDIT: I've cut most of my original post since it's a moot point now. I just watched an anime episode in which something happened that had two teenage boys pretty much weeping for joy. It was meant to be at least partly humorous, but to say that they were "rejoicing" would be an understatement. Sure enough, one of the characters used the word 嬉しい to describe what he was experiencing. The subtitles said, "This is the happiest day of my life!" If that's not rejoicing, I don't know what is. And if 嬉しい is a strong enough word to describe what they were experiencing, it is more than strong enough for my character's situation.

That doesn't help with the "English translation" of what the character is "really" saying. I'm embarrassed that it took me this long to figure out, but I now see what the main problem is with the word "rejoice." To my ear, it sounds too purposeful. True, something could happen to me that is so great that I cannot help rejoicing, but I doubt that is the clearest way to describe the experience. The experience I have in mind is a deep and profound joy filling the hearts of my character and his bandmates, as a separate experience from the enjoyment they are already getting from performing. It's not a response: it's something that happens to them.

tl;dr: "It fills us with joy" and "It gladdens our hearts" now sound much closer to what I'm looking for, than "we rejoice." Both are correct English phrases that I have seen used, but the first of these sounds more likely to be something the character might actually say if he were speaking English.

Now the question is whether him saying to the audience as a whole, "It fills us with joy," could conceivably be an English translation of simply 嬉しいです. This line would be spoken softly -- I imagine a hush having fallen over the crowd by this point, so no one will have trouble hearing him (he's using a microphone anyway) -- but with the utmost intensity.

Or perhaps one of NileCat's suggestions would be better here, such as 楽しくなります or 楽しくなってきます? (I assume I'm changing these from the plain form to the polite form correctly?) I only worry about Miura's point that 楽しい expresses a sustained state rather than a momentary or sudden state, but then again this is not 楽しい but 楽しくなる.

Or should I try again? I don't mind trying again, because otherwise I'll have to try to translate "when we know that it has happened," and that sounds difficult! :shock:
Jack W
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon 05.09.2005 3:18 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby NileCat » Sat 12.18.2010 1:44 am

Let me tell you my personal opinion.
I always find that one of the characteristics of Japanese is its ambiguity in the colloquialism. We knowingly omit the subject and there are huge varieties of desinences to convey the subtle nuance. In addition to that, the vocabulary differs a lot depending on the speaker’s sex, generation, or social class.
If it were an academic essay or something, it would be relatively easy to determine the “right” expression. But it seems almost impossible to me to analogize the original dialogue by only studying the arbitrary translation.
In theory, you could define the appropriate usage of 楽しい for instance. But how about チョー楽しい or 楽しすぎっ or 楽しっす or た~のし~?
As you know, Japanese doesn’t belong to Indo-European language family. The origin of a word itself is totally different. If it were French or Italian, there would be a lot of similarities, and you might be able to determine the word that shares the same concept as English. But Japanese language doesn’t have one-to-one correspondence for English language.
Besides, you should take account of the big difference of lifestyle habit or “normal” attitude, I'm afraid. For instance, self-expression sometimes can be assumed as “RUDE” in the Japanese society. In public, the form of “expected speech” or “good speech” can be totally different from yours. Only God knows which style the musician chose to deliver his lines. "Formality" is not that simple when it comes to artistic field. Well, like...as same as "leather jacket is the formal wear for punk rockers".

Or, it seems only a matter of ability of the translator. In that case, it is not a matter of Japanese but English. :)

Just my two cents. Hope it helps.


EDIT:
Let me show you some EXTREME examples.

デーモン小暮 is a name of a real rock musician.
IF he were the speaker, his speech would be like this:
我々の言葉がお前達に届き、それを我々が見届けた時には、吾輩は歓喜に打ち震えるのだ。

河村隆一 is another real musician.
He WOULD say:
そういう時って、それを感じた時って、やったーって思うんですよね。

ローリー寺西 might say:
その瞬間、わかった瞬間、至福と恍惚のエクスタシーですわ。

宇多田ヒカル might speak in English:
omg, that's like kinda rejoice-ish like, ya'know?

Madonna wouldn't say anything more complicated than:
I love you Tokyo!

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

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby Jack W » Sat 12.18.2010 11:06 am

I think I'm finally coming to my senses here. As I often do, I've overthought this completely. Here we have a nonexistent character in a nonexistent situation, who would be speaking real Japanese (if he existed, which again he doesn't), whose nonexistent words I am trying to put into English. And I am worried about how well the words in the two languages correspond?

At least in all this I've learned something, which is worthwhile. I do appreciate the time you've put into addressing my somewhat foolish curiosity, NileCat, and I will go back to focusing my attention on something better in the meantime, such as learning more grammar. :)

Thanks again!
Jack W
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon 05.09.2005 3:18 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby NileCat » Sat 12.18.2010 11:18 am

Jack W, please feel free to post any question about Japanese, anytime. We are always happy to help you.
And I like your logical way to describe your question.:wink:
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 12.30.2010 6:00 pm

I know the usage of Yorokobu in the Japanese kings james version of the bible, directly relates to the English word rejoice. I'm not really adding much, just a particular thing I noticed.


(edit) because English work and English word just don't mean the same th ing.. lol
Last edited by two_heads_talking on Mon 01.10.2011 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby Jack W » Tue 01.04.2011 1:26 am

Actually that's quite interesting. Probably one of the reasons I was first drawn to the word "rejoice" was because of its religious overtones.

Anyway, I've put some more thought into this, though I really should stop. :doh:

I did Google searches on the real-life musicians that NileCat mentioned. Of the ones who are male, 河村隆一 is definitely the one most like my fictional character -- bleach his hair and make him the bassist rather than the lead singer, and you'd be pretty close. Likewise I could imagine him saying the line NileCat gave him. Although my character would probably go with one of NileCat's other suggestions for the end of the line, rather than "やったーって思うんですよね".

In the end, it will come down to what looks right when I actually draw the page, which as I said may never even happen. For reasons previously discussed, I am thinking that even the English word "rejoice" won't work as well as I thought, whether it corresponds to 喜ぶ or not in this context. (By the way, the entry for 喜ぶ in Miura's book says more or less what NileCat said -- that this word shouldn't be used to describe oneself in the present tense, except in the sense of being "glad" to do a favor for someone.)

In any event, whatever variation I may use on the "English translation" of what the character is "really" saying, at least this convinces me that there are a number of plausible "Japanese original versions" that correspond reasonably well. To waste bandwidth (to say nothing of everyone's time) getting at which one is the best, would require getting into this fictitious character's personality and psychology in a way that I am certain would bore everyone, possibly even including myself. :D

Unfortunately, there are still two or three more lines like this one in various scripts of mine, where I'm terribly curious as to what the character is "really" saying. I will try to keep such questions to a minimum, though, since I am afraid of trying everyone's patience too much.

Although I've suddenly remembered another word that I believe has overtones of both "happy" and "fortunate," that we haven't even mentioned in this thread yet: 幸せ.

(runs for his life) :shock:
Jack W
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon 05.09.2005 3:18 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 01.10.2011 1:52 pm

If you are going for good luck, good fortune, or the like, shiawase is a very good word. but, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's similar to joy.. Perhaps I'm incorrect.....
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby Ongakuka » Mon 01.10.2011 2:51 pm

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's similar to joy..


depending on the context, it could be translated as joy (but perhaps more commonly as 'happiness')
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
User avatar
Ongakuka
 
Posts: 990
Joined: Mon 09.26.2005 1:07 pm

Re: tanoshii / ureshii / yorokobu

Postby NileCat » Mon 01.10.2011 4:11 pm

When I was at school, my English teacher gave us an assignment saying "translate this line into good Japanese in Japanese way". The line was “I love you”.
I remember the class really enjoyed it. Someone translated it like this: 星がきれいだね. And someone made up a line like this: 夜明けのコーヒー一緒に飲もう…
Do you get the idea?
At least by the end of 20th century, Japanese people didn’t use the line "愛してる" much in our real life. It is only a matter of custom, you know? So the assignment was to try to find a good line to tell someone "I love you" without sounding like an American movie’s fictional hero.
I’m not sure if this silly story has something to do with the OP’s serious endeavor, though. :colonthree:
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese


Return to Translation Questions or Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests