(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Not sure I follow.

Nicole has it right, I think: the author plans to resign if they win the lottery, but they keep losing so the letter keeps getting torn up.

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Yeah I agree dunno where my mind went

Edit: I think I might have been thinking of like 約束を破る and then got all mixed up

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Well. I’ve never accidentally overcomplicated something and confused myself ever in my life. :lying_face:

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This thread looks super fun. I might take part in the next one if that’s alright!

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Please do! Bring Guildenstern!

I think it’s great fun, but I might be biased.

(I’ll post the next one in a couple hours.)

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Monday, May 2, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 宝くじ はずれて辞表 また破り
    たからくじ・はずれてじひょう・またやぶり
    Drew a blank at the lottery - once again ripped up the letter of resignation

Notes:

  • Congrats to @NicoleRauch :confetti_ball:
  • 破り basically means the tattered remains of something torn up, but can be used in many ways.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Life in one page

  1. 忘れ物してたまるかの十五階

Fairly easy kanji, again, but this one is a little tricky to parse.

Hints:

  • I’m pretty sure it uses ()まる.
  • Don’t forget the か.

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!

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.

Translation attempt

No peeking until you’ve tried it on your own! (As we’ve proven, my translations are usually wrong, anyway.)

  1. 忘れ物してたまるかの十五階

わすれもの・してたまるかの・じゅうごかい

Do I retrieve my forgotten item / from lost-and-found on the 15th floor?

Comments:

  • I think (わす)れもの refers mostly to the forgotten item itself here, but it can also mean the lost-and-found office. I’m using two words in English, though.
  • I think the か makes it a question.
  • In summary: I think the author is basically asking themselves whether it’s worth walking up 15 floors to retrieve an umbrella (or whatever they forgot).
  • If you’ve ever been to the 忘れもの office for a major train line in Japan, it can be a bit overwhelming. By far the most commonly lost items are umbrellas. At any given time they’ll have about a bazillion of them. If you know exactly which train you rode (time of departure, station, and direction), can remember which car you were on, and can describe the item exactly, they will happily (and suprisingly quickly) retrieve it. Every so often they have used-good sales for things that haven’t been retrieved in over a year (I think that’s how long they wait, anyway). Like so many things in Japan, it’s shockingly well organized.

  • Another umbrella-fact that surprised me: in the cities at least, umbrellas appear to be considered communal property. Japan has ridiculously low crime rates, but the most law-abiding person imaginable seems to have no qualms whatsoever grabbing whatever umbrella is in the stand. If you’ve purchased an expensive one, you’d better hang onto it or ensure you lock it up in one of the stands that has little locks with removable keys!

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Translation attempt

  1. 忘れ物してたまるかの十五階

わすれもの・してたまるかの・じゅうごかい

Lost items / are accumulated on / the 15th floor

I think knowing the 7-5-7 thing helped with this one, since I had several different ideas for how to parse it.

  • わすれものしてた・まるか as in “mound”
  • 忘れ物して・たまるか sort of made sense

But putting 忘れ物 on its own was exactly 5 mora so I went with that.

The deeper meaning, I think, is that whenever you lose something, the lost and found is always in an inconvenient place.

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I’m at least reasonably certain it has nothing to do with burial mounds! (laugh)

I was thinking ◯◯して溜まるか indicated a question like “whether I should ‘collect’ ◯◯” but now I’m not sure (I think the English translations “collect” and “gather” confused me).

溜まる can be translated as “collect” or “gather” but I think it’s more like accumulate than retrieve. I’m unsure if, like collect/gather, it can also be used transitively or if it’s strictly intransitive. My dictionaries all indicate the latter.

So maybe it’s something like:

Lost items only accumulate / when lost-and-found / is on the 15th floor

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〜てたまるか (or たまるもんか) is a set expression.
Maybe this would change your interpretations a bit?
For some more information:

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Ha! I was just looking at the same thing:

https://ejje.weblio.jp/sentence/content/たまるものか

I think you may be right. It might be a shortening of たまるものか.

So maybe something like:

How could I have forgotten something / on the 15th floor?

(Genuine question.)

Nice!

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Yeah I discarded that right away but I like to look at as many options as possible. lol

Nice work! I actually tried to see if there were any set phrases but came up empty so your Google-fu must be strong. :wink:

I’ll have to do some more thinking to see how this impacts my translation, which I wasn’t sure about anyway. :joy:

From the first link @Myria sent (I, of course, read them in reverse order — never fails):

~て堪る is followed most frequently by either か or ものか to show that one would never let something happen.

[Edit: Can’t believe I’d never been to imabi.net before — wow, there’s some great content there!]

So now I’m wondering if it might mean something like:

I’ll never forget something if lost-and-found is on the 15th floor

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Ooh yeah, I’m leaning toward that being the one. :+1:

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Confirmation from #1 daughter that that’s the closest so far.

She says 〜してたまるか is basically like 絶対に〜したくない/しないぞ. The correct kanji would be 堪る (but most people would use hiragana) and the phrase is short for (たま)るものか.

She struggles to translate this one without adding words, too, but says it’s something like “I vow to never forget anything from (my/the room) on the 15th floor.” There’s an implication they live or work there.

Looking like @Myria wins definitively today!

This thread is the most fun I’ve had learning in a long while. :grinning:

3 Likes

Tuesday, May 3, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 忘れ物してたまるかの十五階
    わすれもの・してたまるかの・じゅうごかい
    I vow never to forget anything from (my room/the office?) on the 15th floor

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: @Myria for helping us to figure this one out!
  • 〜てたまるか is short for 〜て堪るものか and is a set phrase to indicate that one would never let something happen (explained perfectly in the imabi.net article posted by @Myria)

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Salaryman

354.「鬼は外」 鬼が豆まき オレは外

Hints:

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!

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.

354.「鬼は外」 鬼が豆まき オレは外

おにはそと おにがまめまき おれはそと
“Demons outside!” The demon’s scattering beans, I am outside.

Hmm. I know about Setsubun. Chuckin’ beans at a person in an oni mask and yelling “Oni out! Fortune in!” to drive away evil spirits and purify the home, but I’m not sure what’s happening in this poem. I don’t think I’ve interpreted it quite right.
Is it an “I am the bad luck in this house” type thing? I could also picture like, someone’s kid in the oni mask flingin’ beans at his dad and not quite understanding the assignment.

4 Likes

You aren’t alone!

The author says the demons/ogres/devils are throwing the beans and he or she is the one outside, but what that means isn’t exactly spelled out.

I’m inclined to think the “demons” are just the kids in masks throwing beans at the their dad going to (or coming home from) work. It’s not uncommon for the kids to want to wear the masks and throw the beans! (Speaking from experience.)

2 Likes

Haha okay good, that was kind of the mental image I was getting.

1 Like

Translation Attempt

354.「鬼は外」 鬼が豆まき オレは外

おにはそと おにがまめまき おれはそと

“Oni outside!” / The Oni is bean scattering / It’s me outside

My interpretation here is that the dad is dressing up, like he does every year, and he’s doing so with a bit of a resigned smile. My only real clue for that is that it’s in the Salaryman category.

1 Like