(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. いい家内10年経ったらおっ家内
    いいかない じゅうねんさったら おっかない
    wed your soul mate? / after ten years it’s / more like checkmate


  • :confetti_ball: to @pm215

  • As @LaVieQ said, this is a great translation as opposed to mere transliteration. It takes significant creativity to translate puns since they depend on sounds in the original language. @pm215 has pulled it off admirably here, so I’ve allowed significant deviation from a more “direct” translation. Well done.

  • 家内(かない) is a normal, humble word for “wife” with no hidden baggage. Despite it seeming politically incorrect from western viewpoints, it isn’t in Japan (my wife assures me it actually has nuances of “the one who rules my home”).

  • おっかない is a very old word (dating back to the 1600s) that means frightening or scary. This site says that it is a 関東(かんとう) word used like the 関西(かんさい) equivalent, 「こわい」.

  • おっ家内 is therefore a pun, not a real word. A direct translation would be the joke that after ten years your かない (wife) turns into おっかない (something powerful and scary).

  • This one gets a star in the previous translation list!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Corona

  1. 抱き上げた 孫が一言 密ですよ

No hints, I’m afraid. Once again I can read every word, but I’m completely mystified regarding the meaning for the moment. Direct translations are still preferred, but meaning notes must be included with your submissions! :smile:

Okay, this one is a real spoiler. Frankly, I cheated! I just googled the entire senryu to see if anyone else was as confused as me. What was the single word?

I discovered this one came in 10th place in the 2021 salaryman senryu competition, submitted by “White Crow” (a 60 year old male).

After carefully deciphering the description with many unfamiliar words describing the feelings evoked (e.g. ほろ苦い or bittersweet), I was left just as bewildered. Then my eyes finally focused on the image that had become completely invisible as I read the words:

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.10.57 AM

I think the word was 「マスク」

Edit: Nope. See the reply from @Myria below.

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. The 語源(ごげん)由来(ゆらい)辞典(じてん) is also an excellent resource for researching the etymology of various words and expressions.

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.