(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

I’m not sure about this one. If it started 「酔っ払いが。。。」then I’d be certain it was talking about a third party as the drunk, but I’m wondering if it’s the author that’s drunk here. Maybe they are talking about themselves in the third person?

There is a commonly expressed belief that one reveals truths (本音(ほんね)) when drunk. I’m wondering if this senryu is saying that sometimes these confessions/admissions are a good thing. Kind of a “There, I said it — what a relief.”

Perhaps an expression of love, or finally saying something aloud they’ve been afraid to tell their superior.

Following that idea, here’s my attempt:

  1. いい事も時には言ってる酔っ払い
    いいことも・ときにはいってる・よっぱらい
    confessions of
    a drunk aren’t always
    a bad thing

    confessions by
    a drunk are sometimes
    good things, too

This captures my interpretation of the meaning, but fails miserably by my judging standards. It inverts the logic: いい事も becomes “aren’t always bad” rather than “good things, too”. It’s also a 4-5-3.

I’m going to let this one run for another day to encourage more discussion. Please let me know if you think I’m off base. By all means, please submit an improvement if you think I’m getting warm.

Monday, August 8, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. いい事も時には言ってる酔っ払い
    いいことも・ときにはいってる・よっぱらい
    confessions by / a drunk are sometimes / good things, too

Notes:

  • This version fails miserably at being a direct translation: “confessions” for 酔っ払いが言ってること is a slight stretch, and it’s passive voice, but I think it gets captures the intended meaning. I struggled to decide between the three submissions, but ultimately decided that going with “confessions” was the best way to capture the (hopefully) intended meaning.

  • At least I’m going to assume agreement since there was no further discussion: I think this senryu explores the common belief that drunks tend to utter 本音(ほんね) (true thoughts, real feelings). Often enough, such confessions are just demeaning or at least embarrassing. Sometimes, though, it can be a good thing when they are said aloud. Examples might be confessions of love, or things they’ve been afraid to tell superiors or their family.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Salaryman

  1. このオレに あたたかいのは 便座だけ

Lol! I don’t think any hints are required: a dictionary lookup of the only word in Kanji will give it away if you don’t know the word (I didn’t, but knew the components and readings — thanks WK!).


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.

  1. このオレに あたたかいのは 便座だけ

このおれにあたたかいのはべんざだけ

At this spa, warmth is only for toilet seats.
I also am considering - At this spa, the toilet seats are always warm.
That one is probably better “artistically”. But it ignores that あたたかい has a の on the end, and leaves it an adjective.

The だけ threw me for a bit of a loop - I’m guessing that it does not literally mean “only” for this example, and is closer to the definition “to the extent of” that I also saw. Though I think I found a bit of a pun: 抱け as a form of 抱く, which is “to sit on eggs / to brood” and I don’t know about the rest of you, but sometimes sitting on the toilet can really be like that…

2 Likes

Actually, I’m pretty sure that it does mean “only” here surprisingly enough.

I think what you might be missing is that このオレ (この(おれ)) pretty much means “this guy” (like with double thumbs pointing at yourself).

I think the meaning for this one is basically: "As for this guy, the only warm thing in my life is my toilet seat".

It didn’t occur to me, but it’s also possible that some here might not have yet experienced the joys of a Toto Washlet!

2 Likes

OK, I think the katakana messed me up a bit. I assumed that meant they were using a different definition - I forgot that katakana can be used “just because”.

I’ve been pretty off in most of these so far, but I can definitely feel my brain starting to wrap itself around more grammar every day. So I count this as an overall win.

Oddly enough for a US resident, my parents actually have a bidet in the house I grew up in, so the toto washlet is not an entirely foreign concept to me! Though admittedly, their bidet seems like it’s from the stone ages compared to some of the features I’ve seen on toilets used in Japan. I’m sure if I got used to it, it would be quite nice, but the thing always scared me a little. :sweat_smile:

1 Like

I remember laughing for a solid ten minutes when I first discovered my friend’s new toilet came with a remote control…

(Intended to be mounted on the wall next to the toilet of course, and just to eliminate the need for wiring, but it still cracked me up.)

このオレに あたたかいのは 便座だけ

このオレに・あたたかいのは・べんざだけ

The sole warmth poor
me gets is that from
the toilet seat

4-5-4
Translating このおれ proved to be tricky. Given the hyperbole of the original 川柳, poor me seems quite reasonable.

I remember my very impression of the control panel on my very first visit to Japan in the 90’s (pre-internet days). The controls looked like a console on the space shuttle, or buttons in James Bond’s gizmo laden car that would do weird things. And that led me imagine the button as an “eject button.” I couldn’t stop laughing for quite a while. :smiley:

Joking aside, bless that Japanese and their トイレ obsession that led to the Toto washlet. It has left the human race more civilized.

3 Likes

このオレに あたたかいのは べんざだけ

for this guy,
the only warmth’s the
toilet seat

Squished “warmth is” into a contraction to get that 3-5-3 :sweat_smile:.

3 Likes

Tuesday, August 9, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. このオレに あたたかいのは 便座だけ
    このオレに あたたかいのは べんざだけ
    For this guy, / the only warmth’s the / toilet seat

Notes:

  • I wasn’t sure whether to add or deduct points for an explanation that used the words “squished” and “warmth” in a sentence indirectly talking about toilet seats!

  • “Poor me” vs. “This guy” was a tough call. On the one hand, “this guy” (referring to oneself) is a more direct translation without introducing the pitiful feeling implied by the rest of the sentence, but on the other hand it’s not completely obvious it’s talking about oneself without the double thumbs!

  • I couldn’t agree more about @macha1313 's comment about learning more grammar from these every day. My grammar knowledge has improved noticeably since starting this thread. The nature of these short poems is that they introduce a LOT of different grammatical constructions, and they run the gamut from formal written-only constructs to much more colloquial spoken-only constructs. They also cover a lot of vocabulary ground. The cultural aspects are also fun to learn about and discuss. I’m indebted to @Gorbit99 for talking me into starting this thread!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Heartfelt (しみじみ編)

  1. まな板のリズムで朝が動き出し

Speaking of new vocabulary! Today I learned what a まな板 is.

A まな板 I made as a Christmas gift for my mother last year

My mother had two cats. Then she got involved with a great charity that feeds, captures, and pays to sterilize wild cats (mostly ex-pets that stupid, evil people release into the wild when they no longer want to take care of them). They occasionally have to foster kittens that are born before they can capture the adult cats. My mom volunteered to foster for a while: she now has FIVE (5!) cats because she formed an attachment to three and couldn’t give them up. We don’t let her foster any more!

The photo makes it look like stickers, but that’s 1/2" ebony inlays!

I call it a cutting board, but she says it’s too nice to cut on so she only uses it as a charcuterie/serving board.

Speaking of my mother, I’m flying most of the day tomorrow to Virginia for a visit with her until Saturday, 8/20. I’ll try to post tomorrow’s poem before I leave the house (or at least during our layover in DFW).

@LaVieQ: please send an email to rw@pobox.com and I’ll send you the numbers of the next several poems if you’re still willing to guest host for a while. TIA!


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.

1 Like

You didn’t require much convincing, it was mainly a joke :joy:

1 Like

That’ll teach ya!

1 Like

まないたの りずむであさが うごきだし

chopping board / rhythm sets morning / in motion

4 Likes

I might actually have a decent translation for once! Edited to add a slightly more poetic version.

まないたのりずむであさがおごきだし

The rhythm of the cutting board gets me going in the morning.

In an attempt to make this sound like a poem at all:
The rhythm of / the cutting board starts me / in the morning

Wish I could figure out how to get one less syllable out of it, but there it is.

3 Likes

This is great. It captures the essence of the poem for sure. Can you turn it into three stanzas? (Mostly we’ve been aiming for 3-5-3 or 4-5-4 syllables, but it really isn’t all that strict.)

At first, we all tried to match the three-stanza, 5-7-5 structure of the originals in our English translations.

Then @fallynleaf in #471 found a great article that pointed out that English syllables aren’t a perfect match for (おん) in Japanese (morae). 17 syllables tend to sound a bit wordy.

So we’ve been following the guidance of “modern haiku experts” (on the internet :roll_eyes: ) and trying to aim for three stanzas of 11 to 14 syllables in our translations.

2 Likes

Is there one with Furigana or similar website but includes furigana? i do not know a lot of Kanji but this seems rather fun!

2 Likes

Part of the challenge is to figure out the reading (it isn’t always completely obvious).

Any submissions before yours should have the readings included if you really get stuck.

Participating will definitely help you practice looking up words in a JE dictionary, though. It’s a skill well worth acquiring! One strong recommendation that makes lookups trivial is to install Yomichan if you use Chrome or Firefox as your browser.

Have fun and don’t worry about mistakes! (Trust me, I make enough for all of us.)


Oh: Previous translations (including readings) are in the spreadsheet as well as linked from the top post. It might be worth using the links in the top post to review some of the starred translations (seeing how people responded and how our translations evolved).

Ah i see! will do that, thanks

1 Like

まな板のリズムで朝が動き出し

まないたの・リズムであさが・うごきだし

Mornings start
with chop-chop sound of
cutting board

3-5-3

3 Likes

You must have バタバタ (flapping noises, like running/slapping feet) on your mind. Not sure how else you came up with まなばた instead of まないた! I first read it (incorrectly) as まなばん. :laughing:

1 Like

I think I mixed the onyomi (ばん) and kunyomi (いた) to come up with my own reading. Such things happen at this age… :wink:

Fixed it. Thanks.

1 Like