(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Agreed. That’s why I think the “no longer friend but frenemy” ending is perfect.

I think this is the best group translation so far. It has my obviously unbiased daughter’s unconditional approval. 「いいねいいね」って <laugh>

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That’s a word I didn’t ever hear outside Phineas and Ferb

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I guess my only squabble is that I think “no longer foe but frenemy” would also work, so your translation loses a bit of the ambiguity that is preserved in the Japanese. But maybe the Japanese is less ambiguous than I am interpreting it to be, haha

Oh, definitely. As I replied to @KJules, that interpretation just hadn’t occurred to me.

I do think that interpretation is less likely from natives, though. Admittedly I’m mostly basing this on my daughter’s 「敵、味方」comment, but I also think more people are friends with their neighbors than enemies!

Maybe it’s my inner Fred Rogers. :grin:

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I decided to consult my friend who’s actually fluent in Japanese, haha. They agreed with the causality interpretation of the て form in the 花 senryu, and then that made me realize that it’s also possible to interpret it as saying that asking the name of the flower is how the reconciliation happens because it’s showing that the person who’s asking cares enough about reconciling to go to that length (of gifting a specific flower), so just asking about it is enough for the reconciliation to happen.

My friend also pointed out that it’s possible that there’s a pun on 献花(けんか), which is read the same as ケンカ, and which refers to a floral offering on a grave or shrine. They said that many of these involve a pun of some sort, haha, which might explain some of the ones that are more confusing to us.

Regarding today’s, they thought my translation was fine, but disagreed slightly with the explanations being discussed, because they think it’s primarily about the fact that, due to the loud applause, either the neighbors are angry that they’re being kept awake because they hate the team, or they don’t mind because they’re a fan. Which was actually my first impulse, too.

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Apologies, it’s late, I’ve had some wine, and I’m becoming confused over which poem is being discussed.

Please include the poem with you comments. They are only 17 morae long. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry, I thought since we were just discussing it a few hours ago, the context would be clear enough :sweat_smile:. I was talking about 花の名を聞いてケンカの仲なおり for the first couple paragraphs, elaborating on the posts I made earlier, and then the last paragraph was about today’s senryu, ナイターの拍手隣家と敵味方.

Sadly, the Annie Hall solution is likely unavailable:


Re: 花の名を聞いてケンカの仲なおり

I’m unsure what you mean by this:

I think there are two possibilities: either the author is asking the name of the flower, or the recipient is asking. I think we both agree that the author is giving the flowers, so to me it’s more straightforward that the recipient is asking the name when they receive them. If I understand your interpretation correctly, you believe the author is asking prior to the giving?

The potential 献花 pun is interesting, but seems a bit of a stretch to me.

In the end, poetry is open to interpretation.

To me,

Upon asking (or hearing) the name of the flower / our quarrel ended

(i.e. the recipient was pleased by the meaning of the flowers) is more straightforward and likely than

Asking the name of / the flower for making peace / after a quarrel

Please feel free to disagree. In the eye of the beholder and all that… :slight_smile:


Re: ナイターの拍手隣家と敵味方

I’m unsure which you think is correct?

I’m quite satisfied with the “frenemy” interpretation: the author heard the neighbors rooting for the other team and realized they were now “frenemies”. It’s exactly the sort of bemused observation I’ve seen with other senryu.

Night-game applause from
my neighbor’s house — no longer
friend but frenemy

As far as I can tell, that is also consistent with your translation:

late night game applause
can make neighboring houses
become friends or foes

But, respectfully, I prefer the former.

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Well, my question to my friend was more about the ambiguity of the て form, because my interpretation was that it was denoting temporal connection (the person asks about the flower, then they reconcile (which my translation only implied happened, because I ran out of syllables)), whereas yours was that it was denoting causality (someone asks about the flower, thus causing the fight to be settled). I wanted to get a third opinion, so I thought I’d ask my friend what their thought was, and they agreed with your interpretation that it was denoting causality.

I think their overall impression was slightly different than ours, though, because to them, the implication is that asking (or hearing) the name of the flower brought peace to the arguing couple (with a connotation of grief/sadness because of the pun).

I think both interpretations are plausible, but personally prefer a translation that allows for both. My first thought as to the meaning was in line with my friend’s impression, which places more of a focus on the noise of the applause at night and whether the person finds it disruptive or not. As far as the translations go, I think the “no longer friend but frenemy” interpretation is a little loaded in a way that the original Japanese isn’t, even though it is also a valid interpretation.

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re: 花の名を聞いてケンカの仲なおり

Complete agreement.

Less agreement. :slight_smile:


re: ナイターの拍手隣家と敵味方

What in the original even mentions noise or disruption? It contains the words for “applause” and and “neighbor’s house,” but I’m curious where this focus is implied.

In general, I agree that leaving things ambiguous is best, but “frenemy” works so well that I’m loathe to abandon it for that subtle of a point. I do agree that both “no longer friend but frenemy” and “no longer enemy but frenemy” are possible interpretations, but surely the former is more poetic?
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For me at least, it’s the fact that the game takes place at night (so people are probably at home trying to enjoy their evening/preparing to go to bed), and the applause/cheering implies that they’re reacting audibly to the game, so their neighbors have to listen to them whether they want to or not just due to proximity.

I think “frenemy” is fun, but to me, that word has more of a connotation of a stable identity of someone who consistently sits between friend and enemy or who shares qualities of both, while 敵味方 seems to have more of the connotation of a shifting between friend and enemy or a looseness between the two. And your translation of “no longer friend/foe but frenemy” implies a more permanent, concrete change in state than is suggested by the poem.

To me, the ambiguity of it is the most poetic, and I think taking that away would be losing the entire point of this particular poem. But I’m also like… very bad at Japanese, haha, and don’t have much experience with this type of poetry, so I’m probably wrong about what would be the best choice.

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Final comments before I call it a night:

  1. I’ve assumed all along that both houses were watching the game. But this may be because I’m a baseball fan, not a pro wrestling fan. :wink:

  2. Frenemy” is a funny word precisely because of the ambiguity.

Oh, this might be the difference, haha. I cannot stand sports, so I always find other people cheering for sports to be very disruptive, especially when they’re my neighbors and I have no choice in the matter :sweat_smile:. But I assume that if I were a fan and my team won, I would not be bothered by the sound of my neighbors also celebrating, whereas if it were a team I hated, their cheers would only make me more angry about that team winning, and I would rather just go to bed and forget about it rather than be kept up by my neighbors celebrating something that I hated.

As for “frenemy”, the word itself is ambiguous, but the way you used it was not. Or at least, the line in your translation loses the ambiguity of the original Japanese.

Maybe I should just not be attempting to do these at this point in my level of Japanese ability :sweat_smile:

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Good grief. Far from it. That we are even able to discuss these fine points is proof enough that your Japanese is at least on par with my own.

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In all honesty, that does not necessarily contradict their statement :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :rofl:

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I did mean on par or better, fwiw.

I try hard to recognize my own fallibility, I’m far from an expert, but I do understand some things and feel confident in my interpretations above.

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Oh yeah, I got that. I was just referring to general transitivity, which works in both directions actually.
So the reasoning could go that if A thinks they cannot do something, and B’s level is not more advanced than A but still does that thing, then one interpretation could be yours (A will be able to do this just fine) or it could reflect in the other direction (B should rather stop doing it as they are not yet fit for the task). Says my mathematician’s brain at least :grin: :woman_shrugging:

I hope you know that I was just joking! (It just happens that these logic-things just jump at me, and sometimes I cannot resist putting in a remark if I think the other person can handle it.) I really admire your tenacity in fighting through these things :+1:

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Sunday, May 8, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. ナイターの拍手隣家と敵味方
    ないたーの・はくしゅりんかと・てきみかた
    Night-game applause from / my neighbor’s house — no longer / friend but frenemy

Notes:

  • Congrats to @alo :confetti_ball: (“frenemy” was perfect, imo!)
  • I couldn’t resist turning Alo’s submission into a 5-7-5. Despite my warnings that it isn’t weighted heavily in the translations, I thought this parsed pretty well.
  • As always, it’s all subjective. Don’t let my preferences for translations get in the way of you picking your own winners!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: husbands

  1. 言い負けてよかった妻の上機嫌

No hints today. Another one with fairly easy kanji but perhaps open to interpretation.

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.

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.

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Translation attempt

  1. 言い負けてよかった妻の上機嫌

いいまけて・よかったつまの・じょうきげん
I’m glad I lost the argument / my wife’s in a good mood!

Comments:

  • I think it’s the husband that lost the argument, but again subjectless Japanese sentence structure makes it open to interpretation.
  • Maybe another interpretation might be that the wife lost the argument but is in a good mood because she knows she will receive (or already received) a gift in consolation?
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Monday, May 9, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 言い負けてよかった妻の上機嫌
    いいまけて・よかったつまの・じょうきげん
    I’m glad I lost the argument / my wife’s in a good mood!

Comments:

  • I hope everyone was able to do something nice for mom yesterday!
  • No winner yesterday. I’m sticking with the most straightforward translation.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Corona

  1. 下書きの 送信キーを 猫が押し

Comments:

  • I think this is another easy one with only a single obvious interpretation — prove me wrong! :slight_smile:
  • I’ll refrain from posting my translation today (at least until others have had a chance)
  • I think there may be opportunity for another English 5-7-5 for those so inclined.
  • Please vote (with a like) for your favorite.

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.

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