(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Translation Attempt

5-7-5 attempt:

Prematurely sent
Just a draft; the enter key
Stepped on by the cat

4 Likes

So glad to have lost / when we had the argument / wife in a good mood

Reminded me of the advice from a long married (male) colleague, who said these sort of phrases had saved him in the nick of time in heated arguments:
- “I understand why I’m feeling so lost! Let’s do it your way”
- “Honey, you are so right! What was I thinking!!”
- “Oh, I wish I could have thought about that!!”
- “Brilliant, just brilliant! Honey, you’re so smart!!”

Of course, how one delivers these line matters as much as what they say

PS: Delayed submission. But since I did the 5-7-5 this time, I’ll put it in anyway :wink:

1 Like

Still a rough draft / Oh, no! that e-mail was sent - / Cat pawed the send key

I took too many liberties with the translation, trying to make it 5-7-5

2 Likes

Translation attempt

Okay, since we’re all agreed on the interpretations and we’re just playing around with liberally-translated English 5-7-5 attempts, I’ll submit one anyway:

Disgusting rough draft,
send key pressed deliberately
not me but the cat

Once again I wonder how on earth I set myself up to judge a poetry contest — daily! These are all so great, and while I’m known for many things, artistic sensibilities aren’t even on the list!

3 Likes

Another really plain translation from me, unfortunately :sweat_smile:

(した)()きの送信(そうしん)キーを(ねこ)()

rough draft submitted
by the cat who stepped on the
computer keyboard

4 Likes

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 下書きの 送信キーを 猫が押し
    したがきの・そうしんキーを・ねこがおし
    Prematurely sent / just a draft; the enter key / stepped on by the cat

Notes:

  • Congrats to @rosencrantz :confetti_ball: (5-7-5 bonus)
  • I thought you folks were gonna make it easy for me when I went to bed: clear winner with six likes. Then I woke up to a 4-4 tie!
  • Many great submissions!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Life in one page

  1. オレ粗大ゴミならおまえ危険物

Comments

  • I don’t quite get this one yet
  • I do know that parts of Japan take separating their garbage to a whole 'nother level with a half-dozen or more different categories.

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 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. オレ粗大ゴミならおまえ危険物

おれそだいごみならおまえきけんぶつ
“If I’m oversized garbage, then you’re hazardous materials”.
I’m wondering if this is a play on the second definition below. Something like, “I may be a garbage husband, but you’re a toxic wife.”

5 Likes

I think that one captures the intent. :+1:

2 Likes

Translation Attempt

Really happy my translation of the cat one went down well, thanks everyone! Gonna try this one then look at everyone else’s versions.

Literal-ish:

If I’m trash, you must be hazardous materials!

5-7-5:

Fine, I guess I’m trash
There, I said it. Now admit
You are toxic waste

Notes:

Though my understanding is that 危険物 is usually more like, explosive-type dangerous things, I don’t think it’s restricted to JUST that, and I feel like the relationship connotations of “toxic” in English fit the spirit of the poem. At least the way I read it.
Also went for just “trash” instead of “bulky trash” because 粗大ゴミ can be slang for a useless husband, and I think that is better expressed in English simply as trash.

2 Likes

I think the play on words here that matches the second meaning of 粗大ゴミ is the 物 connotations from things like 動物 and 生物 where it’s an animate object.

The translations so far seem extremely harsh to me (“garbage husband” and “toxic” seem especially aggressive). I’m wondering if it might sound slightly more teasing and light-hearted if worded differently:

Translation attempt

  1. オレ粗大ゴミならおまえ危険物

オレそだい・ゴミならおまえ・きけんぶつ
If I belong in “oversized trash” / you must be “dangerous goods”!

(I’ve cribbed the specific translations from my Kenkyusha J-E dictionary.)

In other words, I think (hope?) it’s more likely a playful scene from everyday life: taking out the trash, a husband joking with his wife, not a vicious argument.


Some more context from my experiences living in Japan:

  • Single family homes usually take their trash out to a specified street corner or other nearby location. Garbage is separated into a bewildering number of categories, with pickups on different days of the week: recyclables, oversized items, dangerous goods, etc. Because space is such a premium it’s often surprising what you might see in the “oversized” location: brand-new looking furniture, perfectly operational TVs/appliances, etc.

  • “Mansions” and apartments usually have a covered area on the ground level with different spaces for the same thing.

  • Many locales require you to purchase specially colored bags and stickers for the various types of trash. Japan really does try to recycle stuff rather than just play-acting, so the rules can be particularly onerous. In Kobe, for example, plastic water bottles (ペットボトル) must have the tops placed in one bag and the bottles themselves with all labels removed go into another. This makes sense to me as they are different types of plastic, but it’s unimaginable in the US.

  • It’s not uncommon to see crazed-looking housewives in curlers and pajamas running down the street with a bag of some particular type of trash, realizing they’ve forgotten the pickup day/time.

2 Likes

It’s not uncommon the see a crazed KJules in her apartment sorting and googling rules, tbh. In my town the 粗大ゴミ can’t just be taken out, I have to schedule it with the city. But, we can leave the plastic bottle caps on.

2 Likes

I think a good argument for that could be that the 5-7-5 format splits 粗大 and ゴミ so it may not be a reference to the colloquial meaning. But オレ and おまえ are what lead me to believe that it’s supposed to sound rough.

2 Likes

おれそだいごみならおまえきけんぶつ
If I be our home’s / couch to be trashed, you / dear, are toxic waste!

Obviously, the pun on trash is lost in my translation. Then again, if one doesn’t know about the trash handling culture in Japan, there is no way to get it across in a poem, methinks.

Your translation captures the spirit of it well indeed…

1 Like

It just seems odd to me for senryu to have a mean/vicious rather than joking tone.

I think the choice of words is more familiar than rough. It’s common for comedians to use the ore/omae forms (Downtown, for example).

1 Like

Yeah, sorry, that’s what I meant by rough. Like, Way of the House Husband where there’s an inversion on the trope. I suppose that’s part of the problem with English translations: you’re almost always going to over- or under-shoot the tone.

1 Like

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. オレ粗大ゴミならおまえ危険物
    オレそだい・ゴミならおまえ・きけんぶつ
    If I belong in “oversized trash” / you must be “dangerous goods”!

Notes:

  • Congrats to @JazzFuneral :confetti_ball: for realizing that 粗大ゴミ here uses the colloquial meaning of a retired husband who’s become a nuisance around the house (a big lunk always getting in the way).

  • I’m going with my own translation this time, though (boooooo!). I was tempted, though, by what @LaVieQ eventually came up with.

  • I’m uncomfortable thinking of it as nasty words exchanged during an argument. Instead, I like to imagine a husband making a joke near the marked off areas for the various types of trash.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Intense

208 勤務先電話をすれば夫休み

No hints today, a dictionary should suffice. At least I think I know what’s going on.

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 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.

208 勤務先電話をすれば夫休み

きんむさきでんわをすればおっとやすみ

Okay, it took me a minute to figure out a non-negative interpretation for this, but here’s how I see it:

If I call in to
His place of business, it is
Break time for hubby

Or, more loosely but a bit more cute:

Sometimes I call in
To my husband’s work, just so
He can take a break

1 Like

Note that this one is in the “intense” category.

My interpretation:

“If I call him at work, they tell me he’s on vacation”

It still seems somewhat joking to me, like you’ve caught your spouse playing hookey or they asked someone to “tell her I’m not here”.

I think they would use 休憩中 or 昼休み or something if it was just a break. 休み can mean lots of things, of course, but bareword like this I think implies they are on holiday.

I suppose it could also be interpreted as the only time she calls in to his office is when he’s not at work (because she doesn’t want to talk to him for some reason) but that doesn’t seem to make as much sense to me.

2 Likes