(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Based on @alo’s find, I’ll submit this 4-5-4:

Here yet again
unpleasant business
doesn’t matter I just don’t care

Because it affects the last part of the poem. If it’s just like “whatever” in a truly neutral way, then the unpleasant thing could be just “not worth worrying about,” but knowing that どうでもいい has more of an “annoying/agh whatever” connotation to it would change the translation accordingly to like “not caring” or “fuck it” or like “doesn’t matter”

  1. Yes
  2. Essentially
  3. It’s a quasi-synonym (類語) so kind of? The article says なんでもいい has a bit more of a positive connotation
  4. Yeah
  5. Yes

Language that you use to make requests/objections/rejections seem softer/more polite. Like “I’m sorry for taking the time out of your day but…” or “I can see why you might think that but…” or “It’s hard to say but…” (申し上げにくいのですが…)
Graphic:

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Also: very important fact about クッション語:
Independent of people with normal-sized heads, people with extremely tiny heads compared to their giant bodies don’t know how to use it.

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I’m honestly confused how this is more or less negative than “not worth worrying about”?

Even the sources you cite just say it mostly has a negative connotation. I don’t think it’s quite that black and white.

My question is that since we already know definitively that the particular (こと) at hand has a negative vibe (やな(こと)), how would ending with “anything is good” be so different from “i don’t care” anyway?

P.S. Thanks for explaining “cushion” language. First I’ve heard the term, but you’ve described it well (and it’s quite familiar!).

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To be honest, we might just be having a cultural communication issue. Phrases like “not worth worrying about” or “doesn’t matter” probably vary somewhat in negativity and intensity from region to region. They seem different to me, but I’m not sure they’re universally different

Maybe kind of like some New Yorkers can come across as rude to Americans from some other parts of America due to differences in conversational styles and what phrasing is considered rude

Probably lol. I have something to say but it’s too late to express it properly

YW! I actually hadn’t heard it before either but I happened to guess right + a quick Google search confirmed it

2 Likes

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Special “I just had my eyes dilated” edition (I was in for a checkup on my self-diagnosed CSFS*1). Apologies in advance for any typos or other mistakes — everything on my screen is even blurrier than usual.


Previous senryu

  1. 更にヤな事ありどうでもよくなった
    さらにヤな・ことありどうでも・よくなった
    Here yet again / unpleasant business / I just don’t care

Notes:

  • It appears that any time I think something is pretty straightforward we will be sure to have lots of discussion proving me wrong!
  • Apologies for choosing my own interpretation. The 4-5-4 made me happy and I think it captures the spirit pretty well. It just ekes out a win over @GearAid’s “A bad event on / yet another bad event / Don’t care anymore” 5-7-5.
  • :confetti_ball: to @GearAid for much well-researched and well-argued commentary (and for teaching me クッション()) and to @alo for connecting this to Linkin Park. Now there’s an unexpected connection. (God I love this thread!)
  • :trophy: @Arzar33 and @Axazel for also submitting very strong contenders.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Seniors

  1. 恋かと思っていたら 不整脈

I’ll be curious if GearAid gets a chuckle out of this one like I did (we’re in somewhat different age brackets!).

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 CSFS: Can’t see for … something

2 Likes

Translation attempt

  1. 恋かと思っていたら 不整脈

こいかと・おもっていたら・ふせいみゃく

“It’s love!” I thought,
but no: Cardiac
Arrythmia

It’s not fair that I get a jump on everyone else, so I usually try to wait before submitting an entry, but I was too pleased with how this 4-5-4 came out to wait!

6 Likes

But, that’s what makes the thread lively and stimulating. Not to snicker at the effort that all put into translation, which is in itself rewarding…

4-5-4 attempt:
こいかとおもっていたらふせいみゃく
“My! I’m in love!!” / I thought - it was just / my arrhythmia

:grinning: Still, many thanks for the effort and time you put into answering my question.

When I started studying Japanese, I used to bitch about the need to learn kanji, given Japanese had two kana. But, it became clear soon enough that kana running together can be quite confusing and confounding. Long strings of kana can cause all sorts of optical and word boundary illusions. Plus I could see kanji elucidated meaning further: (as in 見る vs 観る). And thus, here I am learning kanji without further 文句や愚痴.

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So true! As irritating as it’s been misreading these things, it’s actually incredibly heartening that I’m now reading Japanese so quickly. I never thought I’d get to this point. Even when I was a teenager first learning the language, kanji seemed like an insurmountable hurdle. I thought it required utter devotion for an impossible amount of time. I thought I’d have to give up all my other interests and study for many years. After all, even Japanese natives need several years of primary and secondary schooling to become literate.

Wanikani made what seemed impossible almost effortless. I just had to devote about 30 minutes per day — for about 2.5 years so far. Admittedly, two or three years seems like a trivial span of time to me now. When I was a teenager — not so much.

At the risk of becoming maudlin, finally learning to read Japanese has had a profound impact on my life (both personal and professional). My only regret is knowing how much better my spoken Japanese would be if I’d only learned to read back when I was in my teens!

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恋かと思っていたら 不整脈

Hiragana:

こいかとおもっていたら ふせいみゃく

My attempt:

Are these butterflies
Which I’m feeling, I wonder
No – arrhythmia

6 Likes

Ooh. Nice!

You don’t post much, but when you do … :smile:

1 Like

Friday, May 20, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 恋かと思っていたら 不整脈
    こいかと・おもっていたら・ふせいみゃく
    “It’s love!” I thought, / but no: Cardiac / Arrythmia

Notes:

  • Awarding it to my own entry two days in a row feels dirty, but I’ll use the fact that it’s my birthday as an excuse! :stuck_out_tongue:
  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ for a very similar 4-5-4
  • :trophy: to @valvictorine for another strong entry
  • I must say that whoever wrote that article that @fallynleaf found suggesting that 3-5-3 or 4-5-4 English syllables are a closer match to 5-7-5 (おん) really knew what they were talking about. The shorter form feels much closer to the originals.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Seniors

  1. 誕生日 ローソク吹いて 立ちくらみ

It should be obvious why I picked this one!

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.

2 Likes

Been so busy with work, I haven’t been able to do a lot of these.

Translation Attempt

たんじょうび・ろーそくふいて・たちくらみ

On my birthday
Blew out the candles and
Stood too fast: vertigo

Tried out the 4-5-4 format and I like it. Also, “candles” being a single syllable is not a hill I’m willing to die on, so feel free to disagree. :wink:

Translation Notes
  • ローソク for candle I had to look up, :sweat:
  • 立ちくらみ to get dizzy from standing up too fast
2 Likes

Fortunately, the judges are feeling equanimous and charitable today (especially since you can replace the “and” with a period.)

But the third stanza may still be challenged. They do like the 3-5-3 you intended:

My birthday:
blew out the candles
– vertigo.

THAT word I knew, it was the end I had to look up! I’ve given up trying to understand when/why they use katakana, though. Doubtless it refers to some deep, historical, nuanced, and comical pun that we 外人(がいじん) can never hope to understand.

In theory, senryu aren’t as difficult to interpret as haiku. I’m starting to have my doubts, though.

1 Like

I tried doing both a 3-5-3 and a 4-5-4, but ended up preferring the 4-5-4 because the truncated grammar felt too distracting to me in English. Here’s my attempt:

誕生日(たんじょうび) ローソク()いて ()ちくらみ

happy birthday!
blew out the candles;
got lightheaded

6 Likes

4-5-4 version
たんじょびろーそくふいてたちくらみ
Blowing out all / those birthday candles / made me dizzy

A more straightforward translation:
Birthday candles: / blowing them all out, / I feel dizzy

Agree & thanks to @fallynleaf for referencing it. That article made several observations that I had not really thought about. It seems that the 4-5-4 forces an economy of words that makes the translation feel closer in mood to the Japanese version. That said, a 3-5-3 translation may prove to be a challenging beast, mainly due to the need to directly mention the subject (i.e. nouns & pronouns) in English sentences, thereby losing the economy that is inherent to the Japanese language.

5 Likes

たんじょうびろーそく / ふいて / たちくらみ

birthday candles
all blown out I am
lightheaded

2 Likes

Saturday, May 21, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 誕生日 ローソク吹いて 立ちくらみ
    たんじょうび・ローソクふいて・たちくらみ
    happy birthday! / blew out the candles; / got lightheaded

Notes:

  • Congrats to @fallynleaf :confetti_ball: who tbf was chosen almost at random. You folks aren’t making this selecting job any easier.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Intense

  1. リダイヤルされないように時報聞き

I’ll be on the road almost all day today. Please behave yourselves in my absence.

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.

3 Likes

Translation attempt (low confidence)

リダイヤルされないようにじほうきき

Ah…redial!
Apparently not
Listening for the announcement

I’ve used considerable artistic license with this based on my potentially wildly inaccurate understanding of the Japanese (explained below).

Translation notes

リダイヤル - redial
されない - negative passive of する (?)
リダイヤルされない - it doesn’t redial
時報 じほう announcement
聞き audible/listening

Most literal translation I can manage:
It seems it doesn’t redial
Listening for the announcement

As far as I understand, the passive implies annoyance or having been inconvenienced. I’m imagining (but could be wrong) a humourously annoying situation where an announcement was missed, and the first instinct is to want to redial to hear it again.

2 Likes

Well, you get the :confetti_ball:! :smile:

Sorry I couldn’t try to encourage more attempts yesterday, I was driving most of the day. I was also rushing to get out of the house yesterday and didn’t have time to leave the hints below.

So I’m going to leave this one open for one more day. More attempts are encouraged.

Hints:

  1. I’m not certain about this, but I think

    リダイヤルされないように means “to avoid being redialed” or to avoid having someone call you back.

  2. Further, I think


    時報聞き might refer to the time service available back before mobile phones and GPS made the service obsolete and unnecessary. The older among us will remember dialing a number on our landlines to hear a recording saying something like “At the tone, the time will be eight oh four and thirty seconds … BEEEP … At the tone, the time … .

    Hah! For once it looks like being an old fart actually paid off: [spoiler]https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/時報[/spoiler]

2 Likes