(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Monday, July 25, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 「ありがとう」 そのひとことが 潤滑油
    ありがとう・そのひとことが・じゅんかつゆ
    “Thank you” — that one / phrase acts as social / lubrication

Notes:

  • I found it interesting that the struggle today seemed to be adding enough English syllables (we even had a seven syllable submission!). Usually it’s the other way around. 「ありがとう」 そのひとことが is eleven 音, but can be expressed in just four English syllables (“‘thanks’ that one word”).

  • No more winners going forward as we seem to have unintentionally made people feel like losers. I would like to keep track of the participants though. I want to thank everyone on the credit screen of the userscript I plan to create once we have at least ~100 translations. I’ll do my best to keep track, but please help me recognize any newcomers.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Life in one page

  1. 湯の旅の疲れをいやす家の風呂

This one seems quite poetic! Hopefully we will see some creative submissions: “direct translations preferred” doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for creative word choices!


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! Questions and comments are every bit as welcome as actual translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).

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.

2 Likes

Since I already started working on a translation, I might as well post it. I don’t think I managed to capture the nuance, but it’s a start.

ゆのたびの つかれをいやす いえのふろ

tiring spa trip –
to relax, I take
a bath at home

4 Likes

Administrivia and the mythical senryu dashboard script

One thing that I’ve neglected to mention before:

For readability, it would be great if the translation submissions had the readings written with furigana rather than a separate line of kana. Furigana is written in HTML using the <ruby> markup element — easily created on these forums with the excellent IME2Furigana user script. Several submissions have done this, and while it’s appreciated, it’s actually caused me slightly more daily work.

Unfortunately, Google spreadsheets won’t display <ruby> markup correctly. Worse, when I cut and paste Japanese text with furigana it removes all the markup and just puts the kana immediately after the kanji (without html tags or even the IME2Furigana notation).

So until I figure out something better, I’d prefer submissions with just a kana-only line for the reading. For example:

離婚後も同居続けるへんな仲
りこんごもどうきょつづけるへんななか
divorced but still / living together. / odd dynamic


Notes about the eventual script

What I’d REALLY like, though, is a column in the spreadsheet using IME2Furigana notation. Something like this:

<離婚後>{りこんご}も<同居続>{どうきょつづ}けるへんな<仲>{なか}

Then in the app it would render in the eventual dashboard script like this:

離婚(りこん)()同居(どうきょ)(つづ)けるへんな(なか)

(where you have to click on the furigana to see it).

But that’s an utter PITA to type, so for the time being just continue to submit plain kana if you don’t mind (I had to escape every angle bracket and curly brace with a preceding backslash).

I’m envisioning that the script will contain a hard-coded “database” that’s just a line of text for each senryu, with the original in IME2Furigana “spoiler” notation and the English translation delimited somehow.

The script will then create the blurred furigana using <ruby> tags, implement click-to-unblur, and add a button to show the English translation.

1 Like

Ah! Thanks for posting quickly, you helped me catch my misunderstanding.

I thought the ()(たび) was the trip to the bath at home, but it makes MUCH more sense as a senryu with your interpretation. The bath at home is to recover from the exhausting trip to the hot spring!

I love it.


With @Myria 's assist, here’s my attempt:

湯の旅の疲れをいやす家の風呂

ゆのたびの・つかれをいやす・いえのふろ

recovery
from grueling spa trip:
a bath at home

5 Likes

湯の旅の疲れをいやす家の風呂

ゆのたびの つかれをいやす いえのふろ
Cure for the / hot-spring-trip’s fatigue: / Home’s hot tub.

3-5-3. Learned that 家の風 (いえのかぜ) = family tradition. I suppose that is what an お風呂 is for the Japanese family. 日本で家の風呂は家の風ですよ。

4 Likes

Tuesday, July 26, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 湯の旅の疲れをいやす家の風呂
    ゆのたびの・つかれをいやす・いえのふろ
    Cure for the / hot-spring-trip’s fatigue: / Home’s hot tub.

Notes:

The key to this one was realizing that 湯の旅 meant a trip to hot water, i.e. a trip to an onsen or hot spring most likely!

@LaVieQ pointed out something interesting that was new to me: 「(いえ)(かぜ)」 means “family tradition.” It seems likely that this is why お風呂(ふろ) contains the character for “wind.”

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Husbands

  1. 晴天がやけに空しい月曜日

Welp. This one has me completely mystified.

I always find it kind of delightful when I’m able to guess the meaning of a 塾語(じゅくご) like 青天(せいてん) while being far less certain of the reading. Usually it’s the other way around.

Still, I’m totally unsure of the meaning. Maybe it’s just that Monday’s are supposed to be cloudy and gloomy? But why an “awfully empty Monday”?


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! Questions and comments are as valued as translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).
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

せいてんが やけにむなしい げつようび

blue skies / all in vain / Monday

That is, the beautiful weather is meaningless and wasted, because the author has to go to work :slight_smile: NB that in the original it is not the 月曜日 which is 空しい but the 晴天 – the whole of 晴天がやけに空しい is a relative clause, I think.

6 Likes

せいてんがやけにむなしいげつようび

what a waste
the skies are so clear
on monday

7 Likes

And a 3-5-3! I think “what a waste” captures the vibe of the “awfully empty” really well.

3 Likes

Thanks! I considered using the phrase “awful shame” at first, because I wanted to capture “awfully” somehow, but it just didn’t quite have the right connotation. Alas!

3 Likes

せいてんがやけにむなしいげつようび

clear skies are
extremely pointless
on Monday

another idea:
Monday’s blue skies: all in vain

6 Likes

to add onto previous discussions, I only post when I have time to and when I feel inspired by my own particular translation. (also sometimes I’m not confident I understand how to translate the senryuu to begin with). I personally didn’t mind the little shout-outs, but I can see how they would be bothersome for others.

I understand the desire to try to capture all the nuances of the Japanese original, but as people have previously stated, translation really is an art. Not to mention that poetry is also subjective. Sometimes a directly-translated thing doesn’t sound as poetic, simply because Japanese and English present ideas in a different manner. I have definitely run into this problem whilst translating my peers’ work into English: you want to capture the original nuance, but also make it sound natural in English (to a certain extent). The other day I literally spent an entire hour translating one sentence! :sob: (in my defence it was a long sentence) Anway, it’s all quite complicated, but i’ve really enjoyed this thread’s attempts at creating stuff together.

5 Likes

晴天がやけに空しい月曜日

せいてんが やけにむなしい げつようび

Fine, clear sky
on Monday. Feels
so futile.

3-4-3.
Is it because one is inside, working away on such a fine day? Makes sense, particularly after a rainy/snowy weekend. Can’t think of any other explanation…

I thought of using “empty” for 空しい but “futile” gives a sense of the tragedy of not being out and about :face_in_clouds:.

Don’t understand why this is under the “husbands” category.

EDIT: After reading the submissions from @pm215 , @fallynleaf, @tiredkiwi, I can see that the “Feels so futile” in my translation erroneously attributes that feeling to the author, as opposed to the sense that the clear skies are wasted on a Monday.

That made me curious and I looked up 風呂 in the 語源由来辞典 and it enumerates a few theories around the word’s origin. Alas, none of them accord with the 風 in 家の風 as a possible starting point. :neutral_face: :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Darn!

But, then, that entry led me to the very interesting phenomenon of ジャングル風呂!!. “Ya Mon! Jungle Bath!!” A rather obscure Japanese 家の風, as the wiki entry says. :smile:

Interesting rabbit hole.

2 Likes

I’ve not explained terribly well why I’m (now) emphasizing more direct translations.

My goal with this thread was expressly to create a user script for the WK dashboard. The script will be for Wanikani users to practice their Japanese reading.

We all seem to enjoy the reading of the originals and the translation process itself as much as the end result. I know my reading has improved noticeably since this thread started, simply due to daily practice with such varied content.

If the thread aimed to publish a list English senryu based on the Japanese originals, I’d judge things entirely differently!

In other words, the goal is for people to be able to read and enjoy the Japanese originals, not the English versions on their own. I’ve intentionally de-valued natural sounding and “poetic” English in favor of more exacting translations to help people understand the Japanese.

The script will include a translation as well as some of the descriptive notes I’ve included in the daily summaries (especially when the feelings are difficult to express in English).

Poetic, natural sounding submissions are definitely encouraged, however! I certainly enjoy reading them. I probably won’t select them as the daily “winner” for inclusion in the script unless they are fairly direct translations, though.

Hopefully this makes at least a little sense.

That’s disappointing! It made sense to me.

2 Likes

I don’t know. Personally, I feel like the important thing should still be to convey the poem, not the exact wording of the Japanese. I think it does the poems a disservice to favor stilted wording instead of phrasing that makes more sense in English. People can still attempt to read them in Japanese and check their understanding with the translation. These poems are so short, if you get within the ballpark, it’s just as easy to confirm that with a natural sounding translation.

Plus, there will probably be plenty of people who download the script just to passively read the senryu, who won’t bother to attempt a translation for most of them. Or beginners who don’t feel confident yet. I understand not going with the more creative interpretations of some of them (I’ve definitely put out a few of those, haha), but I think it’s best to pick the translation that best conveys the concept and feel of the poem, which occasionally might not be the most direct translation.

4 Likes

Sorry folks, but I’m pretty sure that no matter which submission I choose each day, it won’t satisfy everyone.

You’ll have to live with my choices and alterations. There’s a saying about opinions, and I’ve got one too.

I’m going to be traveling in mid-August to visit family. If anyone wants to volunteer to maintain this thread for a few days, it would give me a little more time with them, and you can experience the fun of judging first hand.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 晴天がやけに空しい月曜日
    せいてんが・やけにむなしい・げつようび
    clear skies are / extremely pointless / on Monday

Notes:

I think this version captures the feeling quite well, and “extremely pointless” was an inspired choice for やけに空しい.

I’m traveling from 8/10 to 8/20. I should still have time to make updates, but if anyone would like to volunteer to guest-host this thread for any days during my trip, it will be appreciated. I’ll append the steps to the end of this post.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Seniors

  1. 祖母が居て「もったいない」を孫覚え

This one really feels like a puzzle/riddle to me. Once again, I know the words but I’m struggling to figure out the meaning. I’m looking forward to getting some help!


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! Questions and comments are as valued as translation submissions.

Please try not to be disappointed if your translation isn’t selected or if you disagree with the daily choice: the judge isn’t terribly consistent with his grading (and has awful taste!).

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.


Daily process for the host

This process is greatly aided with something like Alfred on a Mac that lets you store “snippets” of pre-formatted text with macros and provides multiple cut-n-paste buffers.

  1. Reply to the thread with boilerplate like this reply, with appropriate edits.

    a. Change the date at top.
    b. Change the previous senryu entry to the previous day’s
    c. Add the reading (I’ve been trying to remember to put “・” between stanzas)
    d. Add the meaning you’ve chosen to go with
    e. Add any notes or other comments you’d like to make
    f. Add the current day’s senryu (I’ve got a secret list of senryu numbers in random order — I’ll provide a guest host with the numbers for the upcoming days when they are hosting).
    g. Add any hints or other comments they’d like to add about the current days poem.

  2. Update the top post.

    (NOTE: I think only I can edit my own post currently. I’m a little worried about making it a publicly editable wiki, so this step will likely remain my responsibility unless someone has a better suggestion).

    a. Move the previously “current” link to the “Previous translations” section.
    b. Add the link to the current day’s entry.

  3. Update the spreadsheet.

    a. Add the reading (kana) below the original.
    b. Add the date the poem was translated
    c. Add the meaning
    d. Add any notes or other comments

  4. Realize you forgot to do steps 2 and 3 on prior days, so go back and do them.

It only takes a few minutes (with Alfred’s assistance) so I’ve not been terribly motivated to automate the process any further. Most of the time is spent deciding what I want to say.

祖母が居て「もったいない」を孫覚え

そぽがいて・「もったいない」を・まごおぼえ

Grandma saying
“Unworthy of you!” All that
grandchild recalls

4-7-4

My guess of the meaning:

Perhaps a reference to Grandma spoiling grandchild by saying that he/she deserves only the best. Obviously, that’s all the kid remembers. After she leaves, anything the parents give him is met with a 「もったいない」, vexing them to no end.

居て merely indicates that the quotes are from grandma to grandchild when they were together. I don’t think its presence or absence makes any difference, and suspect that it is a filler to get the proper syllable count in the 日本語 version. I used “saying” instead of 居て, which gives the same meaning and also used “recalls” instead of “remembers” for reduced syllable count, even though the meaning is slightly different.

I’ll volunteer for the “thread sitting”, with the caveat that I may not be able to keep up the “one 川柳 per day” pace throughout as I have one (maybe two) day long commitment(s) in that time period. If that’s okay, I’ll do the best I can. Perhaps a trial run before the 10th would be useful…

As for the top post, I don’t think it should affect it much even if it doesn’t keep in sync. In my case, I don’t look at the top post every day. Just getting to your latest message with the results is enough… Of course, you can update it daily (or as soon as you can) so that anyone new who wanders in here can see the latest challenge right off the top.

1 Like

This is the first one in a while that I interpreted wildly differently from you.

My thought was more along the lines of, when grandma’s around, it’s wasteful not to have the grandchild around too, maybe for free childcare?

But the thing I don’t understand is the を, how is that functioning here?

An alternative interpretation: The only thing the child remembers is the criticism from their grandma, and not the good things?

2 Likes

Geez. The things I think I know…

もったいない is a phrase I’ve heard and used regularly forever, but the usage I’m most familiar with is “what a waste” or “so good it’s a shame to waste”.

But that’s actually the third usage for the phrase listed in the dictionary.

First was this one (which is a new usage to me):

もったいない
1 〔おそれ多い〕 impious; irreverent; profane; sacrilegious.
►そんなことをしては神仏に対してもったいない. It would be a ┏sacrilege [sin against Heaven] to do a thing like that.

That’s obviously not the usage here, though.

It appears that LaVieQ has it exactly right: the grandson is remembering grandma saying he was too good for her, that she was unworthy. (Basically, that he was too precious.).

This is the second usage listed in the dictionary (I’ver heard this before, but didn’t realize it was the usage here until @LaVieQ put it together):

2 〔過分である〕 be more than one deserves; be too good 《for…》; be unworthy 《of…》.

For example:

・彼にはもったいないほどの奥さんだ. His wife is too good for him.

2 Likes