(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Tuesday, July 12, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. ゴミ収集の前日わが家スイカの日
    ごみしゅう・しゅうのまえびわがや・すいかのひ
    Our “Watermelon day” falls the day before garbage day

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @superelf94

  • :trophy: @LaVieQ

  • As usual I applied liberal editorial privilege. I really liked “conveniently” capturing the spirit, but since it wasn’t in the original, I felt better about adding an implied “falls” instead. I don’t think there’s any way to capture this one with a 3-5-3 or 4-5-4. I gave up on even creating three stanzas!

  • As discussed, large amounts of 生ゴミ can be inconvenient in Japan. It makes sense to schedule activities.

  • Apparently, スイカの() really is a thing invented by growers in Japan. It falls on 7/27 which is a rhyming pun on (なつ)(つな). The “rope” is from the striped pattern on the rind which is reminiscent of a Yokozuna (Sumo) belt.

  • This one gets a star as I enjoyed the discussion and the 7/27 thing interested me!

Obligatory photo of Chiyonofuji (the wolf) who will always have a special place in my heart as the greatest ever in the sport!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Corona

  1. 掃除して! 一応これでも 勤務中

No hints, but this one hits close to home (laugh). It still amazes me that the entire planet has now “worked” from home for so long.


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.

1 Like

Sorry. Had to be done.

I blame COVID …

2 Likes

Suggest you add one more to make him look a truly menacing, fierce wolf… :upside_down_face:
Sorry, couldn’t resist…

1 Like

そうじして! いちおうこれでも きんむちゅう

3-5-3

“Clean up!” While
seemingly not, I’m
still at work!!

This translation is somewhat clumsy , but it will do.

I never got a good understanding of how to use 一応, despite having heard it used by the natives. This 川柳 definitely motivated me to look for a good explanation. These definitions for 一応 and これでも一応 proved helpful.

The 川柳 sounds like the life of a disgruntled サラリーマン in the 新コロナ時代. As opposed to my initial impression that he was stoically adding 掃除 as part of his “work from home” life: “I’ll do it. After all, in general, clean up is also working at home,” it turns out the he is grumbling about his lot. :laughing:

2 Likes

That’s really good.

I’ve always translated 一応 in my head as “more or less” or “roughly”. I also thought これでも was it’s own thing and didn’t realize the two were sometimes paired. I always understood これでも to mean “even I” or “even this”, but Kenkyusha has these relevant entries:

  • これでも ローマ字
    such as I am; whatever you may take me for.
    ►これでも私は幸せです. Even like this, I am happy.
    ・これでもまだ 40 前だ. Old as I may appear, I haven’t turned forty yet.
    ・これでもかというほど殴られた. They beat me and beat me (as though they wanted to see how much I could take). | I ┏got mercilessly beaten [got a merciless beating].
    ・雨はこれでもかというくらい降り続いた. The rain fell ┏mercilessly [without pity].
    ・これでもくらえ. Take that.

I also thought the author was saying that even cleaning/sweeping was still work (like he was explaining himself to his boss in his head).

The “take that” example still has me leaning that way a bit. これでも勤務中 on its own could definitely mean “even this is working”.

I’m conflicted but since I’m still not fully recovered and your explanations make sense, I’m going with your interpretation: “I may not look it, but I’m working”.

1 Like

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 掃除して! 一応これでも 勤務中
    そうじして!・いちおうこれでも・きんむちゅう
    Clean up! I’m still working, after a fashion

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ (who’s on a roll)

  • Ultimately, I decided to go with my own more direct word-for-word translation (or transliteration). @LaVieQ 's interpretation is almost certainly correct, but I decided against using “seemingly” as it isn’t quite stated explicitly in the original.

  • これでも勤務中 on its own basically means “even this is working”.

  • I’ve intentionally left the English version ambiguous. It can be interpreted as being directed to a spouse: “I can’t clean, I’m working (despite appearances)”. Alternately, perhaps less likely, it can be interpreted as “Cleaning is still working” (as an internal monologue).

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Ladies

  1. 兄さんがいるのでしょうとよく聞かれ

Well. Reading the kanji shouldn’t be difficult with this one (level 5 and level 10).

I’m presuming her brother is good-looking!


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.

I would have assumed his brother

1 Like

It is in the Ladies volume…

1 Like

The ladies would be the people doing the asking.

おにいさんがいるの でしょうと よくきかれ

I often get
asked, “Is your big
brother around?~”

I don’t think the gender of who is being asked is important here. Either way the brother is definitely an イケメン is the vibe I get.

2 Likes

にいさんが いるのでしょうかと よくきかれる

3-4-3

I’m often
asked: “Have any
elder bros?”

In other words, she’s being hit upon…

Just out of curiosity, I made duckduck go do a search on 女性に「兄がいるか」と聞く理由 that unearthed vast amount of information. Enough material to fill a pop psychology paperback, as in this page. Apparently, women with an elder brother are desirable to Japanese men.

Who knew translating 川柳 would open my mind to the vast and wondrous psyche of contemporary Japan’s mores. :grin:

Good illustrative examples.

2 Likes

Thursday, July 14, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 兄さんがいるのでしょうとよく聞かれ
    にいさんが・いるのでしょうかと・よくきかれる
    I’m often / asked: “Have any / elder bros?”

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ

  • TIL! “Apparently, women with an elder brother are desirable to Japanese men.”

  • This is why I enjoy these so much. It’s as much about learning cultural things as linguistic things. I am enormously entertained when I learn the relationship between watermelons and sumo, or that women with older brothers are considered attractive/desirable in Japan. That we uncover these things in just 17 mora amazes me. (By “we” I mostly mean @LaVieQ, @Myria, etc. — folks who clearly know what they are about! :smile: )

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Ladies

  1. スカートのホックつかんでくしゃみする

I think this our first one without any kanji.

No hints because the two katakana words are in most JE dictionaries.

Once again I feel confident that there is no hidden meaning and this is an easy one to translate. Once again, I expect to be proven wrong!


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.

3-4-3 translation:

Grabbing the
clasp of my skirt
while sneezing

So, it won’t come undone? pop off? leave an imprint on the skin? All of these seem unlikely… :thinking: Not sure what it is trying to say, except for capturing an odd gesture.

That association, made all the more memorable with your picture of Chiyonofuji with a watermelon hovering between his legs, is something that I’ll remember forever. 夏の綱 :laughing:

1 Like

Googling around I found a web page that classified this one under the category of ダイエット which suggests maybe deliberately sneezing is a trick to do up a dress you’re just slightly too big for ?

3 Likes


I think the author might be a little overweight and is trying to prevent the clasp of her skirt from breaking/ripping. :laughing:

Based on the googling I’m going out on a limb and guessing that you all might be a bit skinnier than me.

3 Likes

Oh, yeah, your interpretation is definitely more plausible than mine.

1 Like

Friday, July 15, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. スカートのホックつかんでくしゃみする
    スカートの・ホックつかんで・くしゃみする
    I grab the / clasp of my skirt so / I can sneeze

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @pm215 and @LaVieQ

  • Since to my surprise the meaning wasn’t obvious: The implication is that the author is a little overweight and afraid of the hook/clasp breaking or the skirt ripping.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Various Settings

  1. 看板にシーフードとあるタコ焼き屋

This makes me hungry (I spent a lot of time in the Osaka area and absolutely love those delicious little balls of molten, doughy goo). Nice to see a level 29 vocabulary word turn up in context (看板).

I’m wondering if the humor is having to clarify that the shop’s octopus is real seafood or if it’s the incongruity (snack stand vs. fishmonger).


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.

かんばんに シーフードとある たこやきや

3-5-3

Signboard reads
“Seafood.” Octopus
dumpling shop.

Poking fun at the pretentiousness of the signboard?

That’s quite imaginative. I tried a couple of pretend sneezes, and the stomach doth recede momentarily. :wink: I need to try the trick on the jeans from my 20’s that I still have. Hope springs eternal and all that. :laughing:

2 Likes

Saturday, July 16, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 看板にシーフードとあるタコ焼き屋
    かんばんに・シーフードとある・たこやきや
    store sign proclaims / “seafood” but its just / takoyaki

Notes:

  • :confetti_ball: to @LaVieQ

  • I bet you think I’ll give up tinkering with these some day, don’t you? In this case, I just couldn’t deal with translating takoyaki as “octopus dumplings”. Dough balls maybe, but to me dumplings imply a soup or stew. Also, Coq au Vin could correctly be called “chicken with wine” but to me at least it doesn’t conjure up the same imagery.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: School

  1. 平均点下げるのいつも僕の役

Once again, I’m happy to report I could read this without a dictionary and I even think I understand the meaning. At least I don’t think there’s anything beyond the literal meaning.

Hoping to see more attempts a this one! I’ll award more points if you somehow use the word “responsibility” instead of “role” for the last word (six syllables!).


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.

へいきんてん さげるのいつも ぼくのやく

5-7-5
The average grade.
My responsibility:
Lower it. Always.

I thought of using takoyaki as such, but it is an obscure word for English speakers who’ve not been to Japan. Not that “octopus dumpling” immediately helps visualize the thing…

4 Likes