(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

I think the latest one is fine. I don’t think you could do better without adding what’s explicitly said and get into more localization like:

Bonus day - I get to meet the woman my wife was when we married, again

Haha, aye. Wish I saw it sooner.


I’m having a lot of trouble trying to figure out my own interpretations, but they’re short so it’s not incredibly frustrating, and I feel like I’m learning something by breaking down the grammar into such small pieces without much other context. Thanks so much for this thread! I probably won’t post my interpretations for a long while, but I will definitely be following along and trying to puzzle it out on the sidelines.


Bonus day
Chance encounter
With the woman I married

Edit: oops, not intended as a reply


Got my bonus
And had a chance encounter
With the woman I married


These are much more poetic than anything I came up with.

I’m probably trying too hard to not introduce words that aren’t in the original (e.g. married) and keep words that are (wife).

Because I like puzzles and word games, I also wish I could figure out a way to keep the same “first encountered” / “meet” (出逢(であ)った(ころ)()った) word play that @Myria’s version captured:

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

That sense of meeting a different, earlier version of his wife that he first had a chance encounter with (if I’m not reading too much into it).

Yours are nice and short/poetic. I’m torn, so let’s vote (my entry is the last one):

What’s your preference?
  • On bonus day / my wife turns back into / the woman she was when we first met
  • Bonus day / chance encounter / with the woman I married
  • Got my bonus / and had a chance encounter / with the woman I married
  • Bonus day / I meet my wife / the one of our first encounter
  • Other (please provide)

0 voters

I can’t change the poll after 5 minutes, but please read the 4th entry as:

Bonus day / I meet my wife / as she was on our first encounter

Nobody had voted yet, so I feel morally clean changing my entry. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Edit: the head fake worked! Another vote :laughing: (My vote is also withdrawn in the event of a tie)

1 Like

It’s fun to watch the birth of a thread. It was a neat idea & it’s neat to see you debate over Japanese nuance even though I can’t take part in it yet - maybe one day…

Edit: Just realized that @Daisoujou three levels above me (36 vs. 39) posted earlier with the same thoughts.


Tbh, I don’t mind if the translation isn’t poetic, I don’t think it has to be. Especially because wi be poems that will refuse to translate nicely however hard you try.
On the other hand I think it’s important that the translation somewhat captures the actual essence of the joke, here the fact that the wife “turns back” into the woman she was when they first met, which I think the shorter translations don’t quite do.


I’m an engineer: we aren’t exactly known for being poetic! :slight_smile:

My bias is really about keeping the translation as direct as is reasonable.

It’s like a puzzle: word-for-word translations wherever possible, avoiding new words not in the original, and minimizing ordering changes, all while still capturing the essence (and subtle nuances) of the poem.

Ordering is the hardest since Japanese and English grammar tends to be almost exactly backward!

In the end, though, I agree that capturing the meaning (stated or implied) trumps all the other concerns.

The “community consensus” idea appeals to me. I expect we will have more polls in our future! It makes it easier for me to discern the consensus.

I have a column for notes in the spreadsheet where I’m trying to capture things like the background context that’s hard to capture in the translation itself. I suspect this will be important for some of the poems.

1 Like

Wednesday, April 20

Previous senryu

  1. ボーナス()出逢(であ)った(ころ)(つま)に逢う
    On bonus day, my wife turns back into the woman she was when we first met


  • Congrats to @Myria :confetti_ball:
  • The key is realizing that 出会った頃の妻 refers to “his wife when they first encountered/chanced-to-meet”

Current senryu challenge

It occurs to me there is no reason we have to do these in order. Let’s take a nice easy one from the Coronavirus category:

  1. お父さん マスクも会話も よくずれる

All simple kanji and no tricky grammar today. Please use the spoiler tag with your translations.

Remember: anyone (I’m looking at you, @UInt2048 and @Daisoujou) can participate, and online tools like Jisho and Weblio are fair game if you struggle.

Previous translations are here: Senryu - Google Sheets


Translation Attempt

It will be difficult to get this one into a nice translation, but I’ll try

Both dad’s masks and conversations are often slightly off.


Translation attempt

I came up with something nearly identical:

  1. お父さん マスクも会話も よくずれる
    おとうさん マスクもかいわも よくずれる
    My dad / mask and conversation / both a little off


  • Pretty much word for word. It adds the word “My” but I think it helps with the English
  • OTOH it condenses the two も into a single “both”
  • “A little off” seems to capture the essence of よくずれる, but this is the weakest point of the translation, I think. “Both often askew” might be a more literal translation, but it doesn’t work as well in English.
  • Overall, this one seems pretty straightforward

It occurred to me that I can make my life a little easier if we use “likes” to see which translation the community likes best, rather than building a poll each day.

So from here on out, please add the heading

# Translation attempt

As the first line of any translation attempts (vs. other commentary/discussion).

As before, please wrap the translation and any thoughts/additional-comments that might provide a clue in [spoiler] / [/spoiler] tags.

Bonus points if you also include the original text with furigana in your submission (and/or just kana in parentheses, or on another line). That will also save me some work each morning.

See my most recent reply above this one for an example submission.

This way, I can just count the likes to determine the community favorite (and :confetti_ball: winner) each morning when I post the next senryu.

I’ll update the top post to include these requests.

Let me know if this seems too onerous or if you have a better suggestion. Also please, check the kana in my submissions at least — I’ve been known to make reading errors!


EDIT: One thing worth mentioning: discourse doesn’t allow you to “like” your own replies, so if you like your own submission best, don’t “like” any other submission. Note that discourse lets you remove a like if you change your mind (within a few minutes) and decide to give it to a different submission, too.


Only for a short period of time


Translation Attempt

お父さん マスクも会話も よくずれる

Literally: Speaking of dads, conversations with them shift as much as masks do.


  • お父さん for your own dad doesn’t feel right to me and I feel like the intent was dad’s in general
  • I went with “shift” for ずれる because of the 位置に移動する part of the definition

Oh! Didn’t realize this. Hmm. Let’s try the like system for a few days anyway.

I’ll just try to be careful and not like everything willy-nilly like I normally do!

Creating and participating in polls every day might become annoying (the popularity of poll threads notwithstanding!).

1 Like

Speaking of dads, conversations with them shift as much as masks do.

Interesting take!

I know first hand, though, that it’s common to refer to your own father as お父さん, especially when speaking to them directly or when speaking to other family members. Nicknames and 父ちゃん are also common, in this situation, of course.

I agree, though, that it’s common to avoid honorifics when speaking about your own family to others.

And マスクはよくずれる definitely means a mask often shifts or becomes askew.

But I’m still leaning toward my interpretation:

  • It’s not clear who the speaker is speaking to (inner circle or not) and 私のお父さん doesn’t sound off to me even when speaking to others.
  • 5-7-5 constraints may have prevented the use of (ちち) or whatever
  • それはちょっとずれてるよ would normally be translated: “That sounds a little off”.

Translation attempt

お父さん マスクも会話も よくずれる

Like his mask
Dad’s conversations
Often drift


I don’t think so. Is there grammar there? Then it’s tricky.


Posting to tell you I like your post without liking your post. :joy:



After more thought, there’s no sense in cautioning people not to like others’ submissions. You can’t like any given reply more than once, and even if everyone was able to like their own submissions, it would just add one to all of them (which wouldn’t change the outcome).

Anyone that wants to like multiple submissions: have at it!


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Previous senryu

  1. お父さん マスクも会話も よくずれる
    Like his mask / Dad’s conversations / Often drift


  • Congrats to @Kumirei :confetti_ball:
  • This was a play on words: ずれる can mean askew or shifted, but it can also mean out-of-place or not quite right.

Current senryu challenge

  1. グーを出す孫の癖知りチョキを出す


This one is not too tough, but it requires some context. Here’s a hint if you are completely lost:

Hint (only open if necessary)

The child’s game rock/paper/scissors or Rochambeau is known as じゃんけん or じゃんけんぽい in Japan. You say グー for rock, チョキ for scissors, and パー for paper.

Remember to please use the spoiler tag with your translation attempts!

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’s the link to the spreadsheet with all the upcoming senryu as well as the translations to date.