(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Friday, August 26, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. 故郷の駅ではずした鼻ピアス
    A nose-ring / — removed at my home / town station


  • 鼻ピアス is a nose piercing, a piece of jewelry. I think the two most common words in English would be nose-ring or nose-stud rather than “nose-piercing”. “Ring” isn’t actually specified in the original, but for some reason adding the word “a” sounded better to me, so I changed “nose-piercing” in @LaVieQ’s version to “a nose-ring” to save a syllable. Mea Culpa.

  • As described at length, it’s worthwhile to realize that this senryu is a sentence fragment about an object, and not a complete sentence. Translations like “I removed my nose-ring at the hometown station” capture the essential nuance, but miss the mark. “A nose-stud — removed at my hometown station” retains the sentence fragment nature. The 駅で外した bit adds descriptive detail about the object.

  • Even for something as “simple” as this senryu, I found the diagramming exercise quite worthwhile, if only for stimulating discussion. Here is the (hopefully) final-final version of my diagram for this poem. The last change was remembering that every Japanese sentence (complete thought) has a subject with が, but it’s very often implied and not stated explicitly. The adverbial phrase about removing didn’t include the implied subject so it was also incorrect.

I’m pretty confident in this one now.

I think the rules for diagramming are:

  1. Every word and particle must be included

  2. Any implied words and particles not in the original must be in brackets

  3. Each complete sentence is on a horizontal line with a vertical line separating the SUBJECT from the VERB. The vertical line (usually? always?) represents が,

  4. DIRECT OBJECTS or nouns being operated on by the verb should be separated from the verb with a slanted line above the horizontal one. The appropriate particle (に・で etc.) should attach to the slanted line (in brackets if it’s implied).

  5. Modifiers like adjectives and adverbs should dangle below what they are modifying (as shown).

[Remember that I’m making this up as I go along. I don’t know if anyone has ever tried to diagram Japanese sentences before.]

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Seniors

  1. このハゲはかつらですよと笑わせる

I think this one is pretty easy to understand.

Here's how I parse it (SPOILER!)

The author makes people laugh by saying his bald head is a wig:

I don’t know if that is the correct symbology, but I’m unsure of a better way to denote “[Me saying] [quotation] 笑わせる”.

Any ideas/corrections/comments will be appreciated.

Remember to please use the spoiler tag with your translation attempts! Also, please include the reading in kana with your submission.

Everyone is encouraged to participate, no matter your level! Questions and comments are as valued as translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).
Online tools like dictionaries, sentence databases, and even AI translation engines are fair game and can be extremely helpful. Yomichan is particularly handy if you use the Chrome or Firefox browser. The 語源(ごげん)由来(ゆらい)辞典(じてん) is also an excellent resource for researching the etymology of various words and expressions.

Here are the links to the 356 Japanese originals (spoiler free) and to the the spreadsheet with all the upcoming senryu as well as the translations to date.