(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. 飛行機は座れたかいと聞く婆ちゃん
    ひこうきは すわれたかいと きくばあちゃん
    Did you get / a seat on the plane? / asks granny


  • To steal @pm215 's explanation: Granny thinks planes work like trains, where if all the seats are full you must stand for the whole journey.

  • かい is just an interrogative like か, and is often used by the elderly.

  • Apparently,「かい」 is only answered “yes” or “no”, with subsequent explanation optional.「か」 is more open-ended.

  • I mistakenly read this as 座ってるかい on first read (are you sitting) vs. 座れたかい (were you able to sit)! I really need to slow down when reading these things!

  • @LaVieQ mentioned that it would seem to parse better with では or には. As @pm215 explained, the bare は suffices to specify the topic or context of a plane, though. It’s possible that this is just due to 音数(おんすう) (already a weird 5-7-6 as mentioned).

    Digging deeper, though, I think it might be worded this way (vs 飛行機座れたかい) because Granny’s quoted question didn’t mention a plane at all: she just asked 「座れたかい?」. In other words, I think the author is providing a topic to the “outer” sentence, not Granny in her “inner” quoted-question.

    If the author had used では or には, I think it might imply he was quoting what Granny asked while on a plane, vs. the quote being about a plane (trip).

    I suppose the humor could also be her not realizing the author had traveled by plane, and thinking they came by train.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Various settings

  1. クラクション「どけ」「ありがとう」の区別あり

Katakana-go is still the most difficult part of Japanese! I don’t think it’s worth a spoiler to point out that the first word is “klaxon”.

I’m not even going to attempt interpreting this one until I spend some more time with it, though.

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.

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