(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Translation attempt

There was fighting
The winning child is crying
That’s kindergarten.

I kept the same translation of 幼稚園 as everyone else, because it seems to fit the meaning of the component kanji (and gets me closer to 5/7/5 ). I would never use that generally, given I am from the UK and kindergarten is more a US term. I couldn’t decide whether to bother with the sense of も, I didn’t in the end, but could have gone for cries as well but I don’t like the way the shift in tenses work in that case.

As for the location of the subject at the end, I feel like this is something I’ve seen in Haiku where a few observations precede the reveal of the subject of the poem (Cold Wind / bright sunshine: / spring morning)

It strikes me that Senryu often feel more like aphorisms than poems (unlike haiku) and if I was going to translate with that in mind I would say “Nursery school is where even the winning child cries after a fight”.

3 Likes

That is fair, I think it is only really used in specific contexts, like darts scoring, or to describe a triple measure of drinks. Trebles all round is a reference to Private Eye, where it is used to signify back slapping celebration, usually by people who are profiting off corruption, incompetence or misfortune.

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Nursery school or preschool are also fine, I think.
幼稚園 is for 3-5 year old children and precedes 小学校.

Pretty sure kindergarten is a German word — we just stole it!

(Also, I had to look up https://www.private-eye.co.uk/)

Edit: oh! This was a fun read: Recurring jokes in Private Eye - Wikipedia

Definitely my sort of publication. I laughed out loud at “Brenda” and “Brian”! Not entirely sure why that struck me as so funny.

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You’re right on the money here :joy_cat:

I didn’t even know you stole it including the “T” in Garten - would have been easy to replace it by “garden” but no, you went all in :+1:

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Yeah, that’s the Saxon part in Anglo-Saxon. Less that it was taken and more that it won the vote for what to call this thing where we put der kilder-en children :wink:

1 Like

Sunday, April 24, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 喧嘩して勝った子も泣く幼稚園
    けんかして・かったこもなく・ようちえん
    Kid who won the fight / cries as well / — that’s Kindergarden

Notes:

  • Congrats to @NicoleRauch :confetti_ball:
  • I made a unilateral decision to remove the final word “life” in the translation, it’s understood in colloquial American English and avoids introducing a word not in the original

Current senryu challenge

From the “various settings” volume:

  1. 待合室グリーン券を上に持つ

Remember to please use the spoiler tag with your translation attempts!


Everyone is encouraged to participate, no matter your level!

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.

Here’s the link to the spreadsheet with all the upcoming senryu as well as the translations to date.

Now that there was some talk about it, you used a D there :joy:

2 Likes

Translation attempt

  1. 待合室グリーン券を上に持つ
    まちあいしつ・グリーンけん・うえにもつ
    In the waiting room / I hold my / first-class ticket aloft
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  1. 待合室まちあいしつグリーン けんうえ

I held up a first-class ticket in the waiting room.

Green tickets in Japan are the first-class tickets on shinkansen that gives you more room and comfort.

2 Likes

It’s actually for all JR, not just the Shinkansen. Most local trains don’t have reserved seets or グリーン車 tickets, but many special trains do.

It predates the privatization of JR (国鉄) for sure. I’m pretty sure it’s also used by other private and local railways in Japan these days (it would at least be understood).

1 Like

This was one where the grammar seemed clear but i lacked the context. Knowing the green ticket/train thing is important!

5 Likes

translation attempt

I was totally baffled by this before reading the translations and explanations @Rrwrex @Gorbit99

My first-class ticket
held up
in the waiting room

Explanation: I really struggled with what this poem intended to get across. Then I imagined a crowded waiting room, and the futility of trying to get through, even if you have a first-class ticket or priority boarding. That’s the feeling I’m going for here. I have no idea if that was the intended feeling though!

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I think it’s more about showing off, lording about. Or “despite appearances, I really am in first class”.

Years ago, I was always amazed at a long haul commuter train. The regular cars were always jam packed at rush hour, but the green cars were almost empty. The price difference for a ticket was only like fifty cents or something as I recall! (Of course, I only rode it occasionally - the 50% or whatever price difference for a monthly commuter pass would have been too rich for my blood, too).

1 Like

Monday, April 25, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 待合室グリーン券を上に持つ
    まちあいしつ・グリーンけんを・うえにもつ
    In the waiting room / I hold my / first-class ticket aloft

Notes:

  • I’m sticking with my translation, but :confetti_ball: goes to @Gorbit99
  • As discussed, a グリーン車 ticket is a first class ticket on JR trains

Current senryu challenge

Volume: School

  1. 目の前に違う教師がいる目覚め

No hints today, either. Unlike yesterday, I don’t think one is needed today.

Remember to please use a 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!

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.

Here’s the link to the spreadsheet with all the upcoming senryu as well as the translations to date.

2 Likes
  1. まえちが教師きょうしがいる目覚めざ

I woke up with a different teacher in front of my eyes

I don’t quite like the like system we have going on currently, mainly because it’s heavily biased towards those that post first.

2 Likes

Yeah, I also wondered about that one… On the other hand, let’s make sure to post quickly :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Translation attempt

  1. 目の前に違う教師がいる目覚め

In front of me, there is a different teacher - I wake up

5 Likes

Yes, I mentioned that earlier. Readers in other timezones are particularly disadvantaged.

Any suggestions?

My only requirements are that it remains roughly daily and doesn’t become too much of a chore for me (“lazy” was the right word). Both of these make posting at different times difficult.

It’s not really about the competition anyway (I should probably axe the :confetti_ball:). As long as we stick with keeping spoilers spoiled, I hope people in other timezones can still enjoy the challenge.

1 Like

Just pick one I’d say, your thread, your rules, you like adjusting them a bit to your liking either way, so why not go fully subjective?

Is that any different than how it works currently? :grin:

I’m still trying to apply the weighting rules I listed earlier.

No change is always my favorite option!

2 Likes

Ooo, one I actually feel comfortable enough to attempt today! (I’ve been lurking on this thread and learning what I can :slightly_smiling_face:)

My attempt:
129. 目の前に違う教師がいる目覚め

I awoke to find the wrong teacher in front of me.

(I went kind of loosey-goosey on the translation; I don’t know if you’re supposed to go super literal or not.)

7 Likes