(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

Update after speaking with my wife:

As usual, Rex is almost completely wrong about everything (laugh).


運動会抜くなその子は課長の子

Kumi’s translation is spot on: it’s a parent speaking to their own kid, saying not to overtake the boss’s kid. It’s NOT two adults speaking to each other prior to the event.

This “overtake” connotation for 抜く is not one I’d ever encountered before.

That is, 抜く here is not like the common expression

昼飯を抜く • skip lunch

but expressly like

先頭走者を抜く • overtake the lead runner

(Both examples from the Kyudansha JE dictionary. I sure wish I’d read past the first example in the dictionary to see the latter!).

So riffing on @Kumirei’s translation, the most “poetic” translation I can come up with is

Sports day: Don’t overtake — that’s the section chief’s boss.

In hindsight, the 抜くな wording is uncomfortably direct/rude/speaking-down. It’s something a parent would say to a child, but not how you’d normally speak to a peer.


ゴミの日と丸つけられた誕生日

Apparently I was completely wrong about any ambiguity. I thought the writer was wondering about which reason the day was circled (garbage or birthday). She said that to her the poem is unambiguously a sorta sad/chagrined but laughing realization that the day is circled because its garbage day, not because it’s the writer’s birthday.

So despite my arguments about the grammatical point, highlighting that the writer’s birthday is circled it would confuse the meaning if you wrote it that way in English.

So the simplest translation without introducing anything extra that still captures the sense might be:

Garbage day circled, my birthday


Takeaways:

  1. My brain interprets things weirdly.
  2. Never argue with @Kumirei
  3. Or @NicoleRauch

:bowing_man:

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:thinking: :joy_cat:

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Hello! I had a professor who loved senryu and haiku so just a quick style note,

Somtimes haiku will have one line be one mora more than the original 5/7/5 set up if it conveys what they want to say better. Since senryu are for comedy, they often will allow an extra mora more so I’m betting it on not being a typo and being on purpose.

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I’ve also seen it used as overtaking someone in height, which is literal, though idk if that translates into it also being able to be used as in overtaking someone in a race (Edit: I’d typed this before reading the rest, and it can also be used that way)

I didn’t think “overtake” means “extract,” though? Like, I get how 抜く has both senses in Japanese, but they’re not the same in English

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I want to say that I don’t really care about finding the best translation, I am just having fun trying out my own translations

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Previous senryu:

  1. 運動会(うんどうかい)()くなその()課長(かちょう)の子
    Sports day: don’t overtake — that’s the section chief’s child.

Notes:

  1. 抜くmost often means extract/pull-out/etc. but can also mean “overtake”
  2. 5-7-5 is only rough guidance, not every senryu adheres to the rule strictly
  3. @NicoleRauch gets the :confetti_ball: for the day. I think she got the closest to the eventual consensus first (admittedly, I was the main holdout for silly grammar reasons!).

Current senryu challenge:

  1. ボーナス日出逢った頃の妻に逢う

@Kumirei has it exactly right: It’s not about finding the best translation, it’s about having fun trying to work out how to best capture the meaning (with style points for “poetic” translations). I really enjoyed teasing out a community consensus yesterday, though.

I’m not yet sure how best to use the spoiler tag. It’s annoying and difficult to hide every Q&A behind a spoiler blur, but it is nice to let people make their own attempts. Maybe make use a spoiler tag for the first few replies each day, but give it up for longer threads?

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  1. ボーナス日出逢った頃の妻に逢う
    This will be a long shot but

I met my wife when we met on bonus day.
I think met and met are “get together” and “meet for the first time” here respectively.

My best effort:


ボーナス()出会(であ)った(ころ)(つま)()
Bonus day: chance encounter with my wife
or
Bonus day: Met my wife in a chance encounter


Notes/questions:

  • I’m unsure why it uses that specific kanji: ()う vs. ()う or even ()う. I suspect there is some subtle nuance I’m missing.

  • 出逢う has a nuance of meeting by chance, to come upon someone unexpectedly (I think)

  • (edit) I also wonder why it has both 出逢(であ)う and ()う. I think it’s quite likely I’m missing something important.

https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/bng7ss/difference_between_会う_and_逢う/ have you seen this already? tl;dr it says that 逢う implies wanting to meet the person, or meeting someone you are already close to

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Jisho says in 逢う - Jisho.org :

逢う is often used for close friends, etc. and may be associated with drama or pathos

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No, I hadn’t seen that. Very helpful!

I think「運命の人にめぐり合う」applies. It was “fate” or “destiny” that he happened to run into his wife right after getting his bonus (yeah, right!).

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Do you think it has golddigger vibes to it?

I’ll go in a completely different direction:

ボーナス日出逢った頃の妻に逢う

On bonus day, my wife turns back into the woman she was when we first met

My analysis (?):
Like with the 運動会, the ボーナス日 just gives a setting, some context for what follows after, but in my opinion it’s not a part of a complete sentence in that sense.
出逢った頃の妻: my wife when we first met / the woman my wife was when we first met
出逢った頃の妻に逢う: meeting the woman my wife was when we first met (edit: maybe „encountering“ would be more fitting?)

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It’s his wife so that seems a little harsh.

These things tend to be rueful and light hearted and less pointed.

I’m still a little confused by this specific wording, however. I’m unsure if it’s just due to the 5-7-5 constraints, or if I’m just not catching some specific nuance due to that phrasing choice.

I still think it’s just about a salaryman making a rueful observation: his wife is well aware of his bonus timing.

One cultural thing I do know: a “bonus” in Japan isn’t the same thing as with most western companies. They are kinda de riguer and expected, baked into a compensation package. A worker knows when they will be getting their “bonus” and usually knows exactly how much it will be.

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Ooh! You might well be right. I’m not confident in my interpretation at all.

The more I look at it, I think you’ve nailed it. For some reason my eyes just glossed over the 頃 - that confirms your interpretation to my understanding.

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That’s perfect! I hadn’t posted yet because I was having trouble understanding how it all fit together, but you got it

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Yup. I think @Myria is today’s winner.

How’s this for an attempt at matching the brevity:

Bonus day: I meet my wife … the one from our first meeting

(Several edits – unhappy with any. A “poetic” version in English may be too much of a stretch for me.)

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I think I most recently saw it in 群を抜く and 抜群

I think that’s as good as it gets. :+1:

One thing I wonder, though, does ボーナス日 play a double role here in that the speaker also pleased that he gets to 逢った his 出逢った頃の妻 in addition to getting paid more? I mean, as a less cynical take.

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Uh oh. I kept making changes. Not sure which version you liked. <laugh>

I didn’t know about the ばつ reading, much less 抜群(ばつぐん).

As for your final nuance, I think that’s captured in the final edit I left here.

I’ll line-out that version if I make any further changes rather than just overwriting it!

This is fun. About the same effort as a sentence a day with a novel, but more self-contained and puzzle-like. I’m learning more than I expected, too. I’m digging this!

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I’m probably just going to peek in from the sidelines, but I wanted to pop in and say, yeah, this thread is really cool. Thanks for sharing. I had never even heard of these but they’ve been really interesting to learn about.

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