Friday, July 29, 2022
grandmother’s phrase: / “wasteful!” — memory / of the grandchild
I’m glad I let this one go another day (this one gets a gold star)!
Thanks to @fallynleaf’s explanation, this senryu makes sense to me now. But as in @LaVieQ’s friend’s drawing, I think the grandmother used the phrase constantly in all sorts of circumstances, not just chastising the child for something they’d done.
I love the fact that even when I’m initially right, I somehow manage to convince myself into believing something ultimately wrong.
I was correct that 「もったいない」mostly means “what a waste” or “so good it’s a shame to waste". As explained in the tofugu article, “too good to waste” applies in general, but also as a common expression of humility: “too good to waste on me” (or us, or whatever).
While this expression of humility is particularly Japanese, I think it’s also universally common for people of a certain age (those were adults in the late, post-war 40’s) to be especially sensitive to waste. My grandparents would use old soup cans to store things, etc. and hated to throw anything away.
Thanks to the group effort, we can confidently state that this one is about a grandchild’s main memory of their grandmother being her saying もったいない all the time (in many different circumstances).
Good job, gang!
Current senryu challenge
- お先に is a common expression when leaving earlier than others. It’s an etiquette thing: you’re apologizing for leaving before someone else (leaving them to continue some task or whatever.
It’s used very frequently when leaving the office while others are still there.
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 語源由来辞典 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.
@LaVieQ: thanks for volunteering!
I’ll figure out the details later. It shouldn’t be an issue if the top post updates are delayed slightly.
I’ll be traveling for about 10 days total. Is anyone else willing to volunteer and share the load with @LaVieQ?