(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. お先にと帰り飲み屋で鉢合わせ
    おさきにと・かえりのみやで・ はちあわせ
    “Gotta run” they said — / returning home, found / them at a bar


  • The lack of subjects in Japanese sentences can be confusing in general, but especially in these necessarily brief senryu!

  • One interpretation was that the author said お先に, apologizing for leaving ahead of others (most likely leaving work, and wanting to avoid going out with them later). Later, the author is embarrassed after running into his coworkers at at the same bar.

  • Another interpretation (what I went with above) was that the author’s coworkers said お先に and didn’t invite him out to go drinking with them. The embarrassment was on their end!

  • Note that お先に doesn’t necessarily mean leaving early, it just means you’re leaving before others. It’s cliché for Japanese Salarymen to work long past official quitting time, and not unusual at all to say お先に at, say, 6:30 for a 9-to-5 job while everyone else is still ostensibly plugging away. After further thought, this was what convinced me that @fallynleaf’s interpretation was closest. If the author said お先に then it wouldn’t necessarily be odd or embarassing to stop for a drink on the way home.

  • I’m still unsure why this was in the “husbands” category, but I’m imagining the husband telling the story to his wife.

  • Another gold star day. This was an interesting one to decipher.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: School

  1. 質問をしたら寝ていた事がバレ

An easy read again. (Famous last words!)

Just one hint: バレ is a nounified (technical grammar term) version of ばれる (to be caught/discovered).

I think we’ve all been there! At least I clearly remember falling asleep despite my best efforts in the nice warm lecture halls during 8:00 am winter quarter classes at university.

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.