(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

クラクション「どけ」「ありがとう」の区別あり

クラクション・「どけ」「ありがとう」・のくべつあり

“Move!” and “Thanks!”
sound distinct on
a car’s horn

  • 3-4-3 translation
  • It is the way/manner of honking that is actually different, I’d think (short bursts vs long blasts). I haven’t honked a “Thanks!” so far and haven’t seen it used to that end in Japan either. Usually done with a wave of the hand (accompanied by a small bow in Japan!), or flashing headlights.
  • Perhaps an instructional senryu that is telling the reader that they should sound different
5 Likes

I learned a new English word today… I always assumed the word クラクション was a Japanese invention.

I‘m also gonna add that in my understanding, the 川柳 is neither a question nor a wish, but simply a statement (。。。区別がある).

2 Likes

As is often the case though, the meaning doesn’t quite line up, at least in UK English. To me a klaxon is one of those awooga-awooga submarine-dive-alert sirens, and never a car horn, so because I’d forgotten the meaning of the Japanese word I wandered off into a wrong interpretation of this senryu…

3 Likes

You weren’t alone! :smile:

Klaxon doesn’t mean car horn in American English either. “Awooga-awooga submarine-dive-alert sirens” (or air raid siren) describes my mental image perfectly.

I suspect someone used “klaxon” to describe a truck or ambulance horn once after the war and it stuck.

Truly the hardest part of Japanese!

TIL: the word is from an early 20th century company that made electric horns for submarine dive sirens! klaxon - Wiktionary

Apple also thinks it means car horn:

2 Likes

I had run into Klaxon before as the word for car horn in Japan, but didn’t know about the submarine origin…

The other word that flummoxed me was コンセント (although I guessed the literal translation from katanglish as having something to do with “conentric”) which means “concentric plug” or electric outlet. Amazing how they managed to turn that into コンセント :roll_eyes: But, then, there’s テレビ…

2 Likes

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Apologies for the delay today. I ended up having to run up to spend the day in San Francisco


Previous senryu

  1. クラクション「どけ」「ありがとう」の区別あり
    クラクション・「どけ」「ありがとう」・のくべつあり
    “Move!” and “Thanks!” / sound distinct on / a car’s horn

Notes:

  • To the question raised earlier, the あり wording would normally mean there already is a distinction, rather than querying if one exists.

  • I think the humor is that in reality, the sounds are absolutely identical, but the emotion invoked is markedly different depending on context! When someone acknowledges a kindness with a honk (letting them in or whatever) it sounds cheerful and friendly. If someone wants you out of the passing lane or whatever, it sounds like an angry “Get the hell out of the way!”.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Ladies

  1. 二番目に好きな男といる気楽

Ahem. No hints today. Pretty sure I know what it means, but I’ll be curious to see how folks word it in English (especially without getting into trouble with political correctness, even with the genders going in this direction!).


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.

1 Like

二番目に好きな男といる気楽

にぱんめに・すきなおとこと・いるきらく

Being with
Mister Second choice -
so carefree!

  • 3-5-3 version
  • “No pressure, no worries,” unlike with First choice, which is “always pressure, constant worry.” Is this a blunt way of saying that with Mr. First Choice, one is “lovesick?”

That makes a lot more sense and sounds just right.

2 Likes

Thursday, September 1, 2022

September already. How can that be?!

Apologies for the lateness again. Busy week!


Previous senryu

  1. 二番目に好きな男といる気楽
    にぱんめに・すきなおとこと・いるきらく
    Being with / Mister Second choice - / so carefree!

Notes:

I get the sense of “no pressure”, “stress-free” with this one (as opposed to trying to live up to having “caught” #1). Female chauvinism! :smile:

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Ladies

  1. 探してたハンカチが出る夏バック

No hints because I’ve no clue!

Does バック mean background or does it mean “summer’s back”? Why 出る rather than 出すと? I noticed on the second read-through finally learning to slow down) that it was 探してたハンカチ (“handkerchief I was searching for”?) and not 探したハンカチ (“searched-for handkerchief”) but I’ve no idea if that little subtlety is important or changes the meaning. Nope. No clue.


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.

What the heck is 夏バック? (Note: It is not a バッグ - “bag”). The best I got from Uncle Google is that it is something like this and these - a hamper? Is 夏バック a picnic hamper?

Spoiler/ネタバレ:

夏バック is a wide hamper used in summer and it is easy to find things in it. So, something to the effect of “The usually hard to find handkerchief comes easily out of a hamper” But that is hardly poetic and leads to more questions.

  • Why is a handkerchief so important in summer (the 蒸し暑い summers of Japan?).
  • Why put it in a hamper (if that is what it is?). Why not in the ハンドバッグ?

The spirit of the senryu is missing in the above reading/interpretation.

1 Like

Nice to know I’m not alone in being mystified. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Maybe the thought is you’ve been looking for that damn handkerchief all winter and spring, and now finally in June when you haul the summer picnic hamper out from the back of the closet – there it is! you must have left it lurking in the bottom there when you put the hamper away in autumn ?

3 Likes

[spoiler]Am I correct in thinking the entire thing is just a noun phrase? Everything before 出る modifies 夏バック?

In that case the meaning is just The summer bag that the handkerchief I was looking for came out of[/spoiler]

Not sure what it actually means though. This is the same gripe I had with a previous translation, if it can’t be understood in English by English speakers to have some meaning outside of the original Japanese, then the translation probably sucks :grimacing:

3 Likes

@pm215 & @KJules - that’s it! Why didn’t this common, frequent experience that we all have not come to my mind? Doh!

探してたハンカチが出る夏バック

さがしてた・ハンカチがでる・なつバック
Missing hanky -
emerges from the
picnic hamper!

  • 4-5-4 translation
  • Fixated on the 夏バック, instead of the main topic, which is the missing hanky’s reappearance.

It’s like saying, “Ah, the picnic hamper! That’s where the handkerchief was all this while!!”

Not unlike my “Doh!” moment above. :wink:

I’m going to be out for a coupla days over the long weekend - labor day on Monday here in the US. Y’all have fun!

3 Likes

Yup. I, too, think you and @KJules have nailed it.

Searching for 夏バック images on google, though, turns up images for ladies summer handbags (lots of woven hemp bags like the image below) not picnic baskets. Most of the linked sites convert バック to バッグ but a few still omit the だくてん for some reason that still mystifies me.

As always, katakana-go is the hardest part of Japanese.

One other thing caused a bit of confusion for me. It may be related to being the son of a US navy officer, but to me a “handkerchief” is a square of plain white cotton cloth that men keep in their back pocket. In Japan, though, ハンカチ are definitely available for either sex, are almost invariably patterned or dyed, and are available in many different materials (those targeted for women often in silk). I’ve known this, but still think of my dad’s cotton handkerchiefs whenever I hear the word.

1 Like

Friday, September 2, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 探してたハンカチが出る夏バック
    さがしてた・ハンカチがでる・なつバック
    Missing hanky / emerges from my / summer handbag!

Notes:

  • Good job gang. This one was weird.

  • I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that the missing 濁点(だくてん) is a typo, albeit a pretty common one. It appears that 夏バック is a summer handbag, regardless.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Various settings

  1. 二番目に好きと言われて終わる恋

Hmm. Another one involving 二番目に好き!

I think this one seems more straightforward though (which I suspect means I’m about to be proven wrong).


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.

2 Likes

Since no one else has commented, I’ll chime in

いちばんめにすきといわれておわるへん

I’m not sure how to parse 言われて終わる. Is it something like “to end [something] by saying”?

I’m also thrown by the category “various settings” and my inability to discern notable clues about what has finished. My first instinct is to think of it as a breakup - like, the flip side of the last 二番目に好き, where now being second place is the excuse for a breakup? But I’m not sure that tracks. Or maybe its the end of a job interview and the candidate says the company is their second choice?

Strange, to end it / by saying “this is / my second choice”

Once again, what am I missing here?

1 Like

Maybe instead of this is my second choice it’s you are my second choice

1 Like

Yes, sort of, to my understanding. Note that it is 終わる恋, however (こい not へん). Also the 言われて inflection perhaps means being told something?

Was that what you were missing?

(Apologies I’m on my phone)

:woman_facepalming:t2: Yes of course that is a 恋 not a 変, I can read kanji, really I can :tired_face:

1 Like

No, I caught the “being told”, I guess my question is more one of cause and effect:

Is it that B told A “you’re my 2nd choice”, so A ended the relationship
Or
B told A “I’m ending this because you are my second choice”

1 Like