(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Do you think it has golddigger vibes to it?

I’ll go in a completely different direction:


On bonus day, my wife turns back into the woman she was when we first met

My analysis (?):
Like with the 運動会, the ボーナス日 just gives a setting, some context for what follows after, but in my opinion it’s not a part of a complete sentence in that sense.
出逢った頃の妻: my wife when we first met / the woman my wife was when we first met
出逢った頃の妻に逢う: meeting the woman my wife was when we first met (edit: maybe „encountering“ would be more fitting?)


It’s his wife so that seems a little harsh.

These things tend to be rueful and light hearted and less pointed.

I’m still a little confused by this specific wording, however. I’m unsure if it’s just due to the 5-7-5 constraints, or if I’m just not catching some specific nuance due to that phrasing choice.

I still think it’s just about a salaryman making a rueful observation: his wife is well aware of his bonus timing.

One cultural thing I do know: a “bonus” in Japan isn’t the same thing as with most western companies. They are kinda de riguer and expected, baked into a compensation package. A worker knows when they will be getting their “bonus” and usually knows exactly how much it will be.

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Ooh! You might well be right. I’m not confident in my interpretation at all.

The more I look at it, I think you’ve nailed it. For some reason my eyes just glossed over the 頃 - that confirms your interpretation to my understanding.


That’s perfect! I hadn’t posted yet because I was having trouble understanding how it all fit together, but you got it


Yup. I think @Myria is today’s winner.

How’s this for an attempt at matching the brevity:

Bonus day: I meet my wife … the one from our first meeting

(Several edits – unhappy with any. A “poetic” version in English may be too much of a stretch for me.)


I think I most recently saw it in 群を抜く and 抜群

I think that’s as good as it gets. :+1:

One thing I wonder, though, does ボーナス日 play a double role here in that the speaker also pleased that he gets to 逢った his 出逢った頃の妻 in addition to getting paid more? I mean, as a less cynical take.


Uh oh. I kept making changes. Not sure which version you liked. <laugh>

I didn’t know about the ばつ reading, much less 抜群(ばつぐん).

As for your final nuance, I think that’s captured in the final edit I left here.

I’ll line-out that version if I make any further changes rather than just overwriting it!

This is fun. About the same effort as a sentence a day with a novel, but more self-contained and puzzle-like. I’m learning more than I expected, too. I’m digging this!


I’m probably just going to peek in from the sidelines, but I wanted to pop in and say, yeah, this thread is really cool. Thanks for sharing. I had never even heard of these but they’ve been really interesting to learn about.


I think the latest one is fine. I don’t think you could do better without adding what’s explicitly said and get into more localization like:

Bonus day - I get to meet the woman my wife was when we married, again

Haha, aye. Wish I saw it sooner.


I’m having a lot of trouble trying to figure out my own interpretations, but they’re short so it’s not incredibly frustrating, and I feel like I’m learning something by breaking down the grammar into such small pieces without much other context. Thanks so much for this thread! I probably won’t post my interpretations for a long while, but I will definitely be following along and trying to puzzle it out on the sidelines.


Bonus day
Chance encounter
With the woman I married

Edit: oops, not intended as a reply


Got my bonus
And had a chance encounter
With the woman I married


These are much more poetic than anything I came up with.

I’m probably trying too hard to not introduce words that aren’t in the original (e.g. married) and keep words that are (wife).

Because I like puzzles and word games, I also wish I could figure out a way to keep the same “first encountered” / “meet” (出逢(であ)った(ころ)()った) word play that @Myria’s version captured:

On bonus day, my wife turns back into the woman she was when we first met

That sense of meeting a different, earlier version of his wife that he first had a chance encounter with (if I’m not reading too much into it).

Yours are nice and short/poetic. I’m torn, so let’s vote (my entry is the last one):

What’s your preference?
  • On bonus day / my wife turns back into / the woman she was when we first met
  • Bonus day / chance encounter / with the woman I married
  • Got my bonus / and had a chance encounter / with the woman I married
  • Bonus day / I meet my wife / the one of our first encounter
  • Other (please provide)

0 voters

I can’t change the poll after 5 minutes, but please read the 4th entry as:

Bonus day / I meet my wife / as she was on our first encounter

Nobody had voted yet, so I feel morally clean changing my entry. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Edit: the head fake worked! Another vote :laughing: (My vote is also withdrawn in the event of a tie)

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It’s fun to watch the birth of a thread. It was a neat idea & it’s neat to see you debate over Japanese nuance even though I can’t take part in it yet - maybe one day…

Edit: Just realized that @Daisoujou three levels above me (36 vs. 39) posted earlier with the same thoughts.


Tbh, I don’t mind if the translation isn’t poetic, I don’t think it has to be. Especially because wi be poems that will refuse to translate nicely however hard you try.
On the other hand I think it’s important that the translation somewhat captures the actual essence of the joke, here the fact that the wife “turns back” into the woman she was when they first met, which I think the shorter translations don’t quite do.


I’m an engineer: we aren’t exactly known for being poetic! :slight_smile:

My bias is really about keeping the translation as direct as is reasonable.

It’s like a puzzle: word-for-word translations wherever possible, avoiding new words not in the original, and minimizing ordering changes, all while still capturing the essence (and subtle nuances) of the poem.

Ordering is the hardest since Japanese and English grammar tends to be almost exactly backward!

In the end, though, I agree that capturing the meaning (stated or implied) trumps all the other concerns.

The “community consensus” idea appeals to me. I expect we will have more polls in our future! It makes it easier for me to discern the consensus.

I have a column for notes in the spreadsheet where I’m trying to capture things like the background context that’s hard to capture in the translation itself. I suspect this will be important for some of the poems.

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Wednesday, April 20

Previous senryu

  1. ボーナス()出逢(であ)った(ころ)(つま)に逢う
    On bonus day, my wife turns back into the woman she was when we first met


  • Congrats to @Myria :confetti_ball:
  • The key is realizing that 出会った頃の妻 refers to “his wife when they first encountered/chanced-to-meet”

Current senryu challenge

It occurs to me there is no reason we have to do these in order. Let’s take a nice easy one from the Coronavirus category:

  1. お父さん マスクも会話も よくずれる

All simple kanji and no tricky grammar today. Please use the spoiler tag with your translations.

Remember: anyone (I’m looking at you, @UInt2048 and @Daisoujou) can participate, and online tools like Jisho and Weblio are fair game if you struggle.

Previous translations are here: Senryu - Google Sheets


Translation Attempt

It will be difficult to get this one into a nice translation, but I’ll try

Both dad’s masks and conversations are often slightly off.


Translation attempt

I came up with something nearly identical:

  1. お父さん マスクも会話も よくずれる
    おとうさん マスクもかいわも よくずれる
    My dad / mask and conversation / both a little off


  • Pretty much word for word. It adds the word “My” but I think it helps with the English
  • OTOH it condenses the two も into a single “both”
  • “A little off” seems to capture the essence of よくずれる, but this is the weakest point of the translation, I think. “Both often askew” might be a more literal translation, but it doesn’t work as well in English.
  • Overall, this one seems pretty straightforward

It occurred to me that I can make my life a little easier if we use “likes” to see which translation the community likes best, rather than building a poll each day.

So from here on out, please add the heading

# Translation attempt

As the first line of any translation attempts (vs. other commentary/discussion).

As before, please wrap the translation and any thoughts/additional-comments that might provide a clue in [spoiler] / [/spoiler] tags.

Bonus points if you also include the original text with furigana in your submission (and/or just kana in parentheses, or on another line). That will also save me some work each morning.

See my most recent reply above this one for an example submission.

This way, I can just count the likes to determine the community favorite (and :confetti_ball: winner) each morning when I post the next senryu.

I’ll update the top post to include these requests.

Let me know if this seems too onerous or if you have a better suggestion. Also please, check the kana in my submissions at least — I’ve been known to make reading errors!


EDIT: One thing worth mentioning: discourse doesn’t allow you to “like” your own replies, so if you like your own submission best, don’t “like” any other submission. Note that discourse lets you remove a like if you change your mind (within a few minutes) and decide to give it to a different submission, too.