(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

I have only just started studying outside of WaniKani, so I don’t know too much more kanji than you do, and I’m finding them technically doable but difficult. But they say you don’t learn if you don’t challenge yourself! And everyone has been very kind to help me correct my mistakes.

I will second using something like Yomichan (other options are Rikaikun or Rikaichamp, depending on your browser). I just starting using Anki to supplement and learn more words, and Yomichan will let you automatically add flashcards. It takes some setup, but it is worth it. Even knowing very little grammar, just being able to look up all the vocabulary gives me a general idea of the meaning of the sentence, and if I find a word I think is worth knowing immediately, I can add it to my deck right away.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. まな板のリズムで朝が動き出し
    まないたのりずむであさがおごきだし
    chopping board / rhythm sets morning / in motion

Nice job everyone. For once, “heartfelt” seemed like the right translation for the しみじみ volume!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Husbands

  1. 冷戦の妻が六法読み始め

This one may take a little research. I find it interesting that both languages use the same words for “cold war”.


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.

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  1. 冷戦の妻が六法読み始め

れいせんのつまがろっぽうよみほじめ

(My?) wife from the cold war begins reading the compendium of laws

It also seems very possible that “wife” is actually “mistress” - そばめ. Maybe the speaker was serving in the military abroad and had a partner while he was away from home, and now she’s having to adjust to the new rules of Japan? I did pick up that the compendium of laws / six codes is modern Japanese law. I have the feeling this one is relying on some cultural stuff I may not know - I don’t know much about history in the US, and I know much less about countries that were on opposing sides of wars/conflicts we were involved in.

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I wonder if they are using 冷戦 metaphorically here, in the way we sometimes do in English?

My interpretation (again not following any of the official rules, sorry that’s probably annoying)

During a standoff with my wife she started to read the criminal code.

(although 六法 includes more than just the criminal code…)

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I was hesitant because i don’t know that much kanji and did not think about using something like Yomichan or looking up the words, i will definitely keep trying to attempt this even if i stumble upon unknown kanjis and yeah anki is pretty good, thanks !

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Since this 川柳 is under the “husband” category, I’d look at it from the perspective of a husband rather than what the words mean literally.

“Wife of the cold war,” rather than “wife from the cold war.” The distinction is that, in the first translation, the wife is waging a cold war, and in the second, she is merely a wife from the cold war days.

Also, the various meanings of 読む are worth considering.

The “six codes” is a compendium of all the laws of the nation.

My guess it that this is similar to the expression “to be read the riot act.”

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I’ve confirmed with my wife that this is pretty close. Basically hubby is fighting with wife and surprised to find her reading up on the law (whether civil or criminal, divorce or how to get away with murder is left unstated!).

The first half means “my wife that I’m in the middle of a Cold War with.” The latter half refers to the six laws governing the land (六法全書).

I have never heard “cold war” used metaphorically in English. So no wonder I was very confused! Oh well, tomorrow’s another poem to try.

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Lol this is probably because of my age, in the 90s I feel like I heard things referred to as “cold wars” a lot…

Got stuck in DFW last night due to weather (had to land in Abilene and wait on tarmac an hour or three). Everybody and their brother’s cat is trying to reroute so it’s been an adventure.

Will be in the air again most of the day today, but @LaVieQ has volunteered to help out.

Sitting in for @Rrwrex while he’s away, braving flight delays and trekking the vast expanse that is the DFW airport… Godspeed to him in getting to his destination.

Thursday, August 11, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 冷戦の妻が六法読み始め
    れいせんの・つまがろっぽう・よみほじめ
    Midst our “cold war,” / wife starts reading the / laws of the land

Notes:

  • 4-5-4 English version based on @KJules translation
  • TIL that 六法 (or Six Codes) are the six main areas of law in Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan.
  • Given the above, the literal translation of 読む seems a bit far fetched to me. That a wife would start reading (referring to) so many law books in the midst of a couple’s quarrel is hard to imagine (unless she’s a lawyer - but, even then…). Perhaps, it seems as if she’s “reciting” (another meaning of 読む) from the law books to the husband? In other words, the husband states sarcastically that whatever his wife is saying to him during their “cold war” sounds “legalese,” as if she’s quoting laws from the 六法 to establish his faults.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Heartfelt

  1. 「無事着いた」ただそれだけの電話待つ

Hints:

I checked the difference between 電話待つ and 電話待つ on DeepL. Interesting…

The kanji/words in this senryu are pretty much straightforward. Good luck!


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 語源由来辞典 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.


3 Likes

Never been through DFW, but if it’s anything like O’Hare, then I feel for @Rrwrex big time. I don’t mind flying so much, but airports are the worst.

And interestingly, for the last one, I was taking the code of laws as a literal translation even after seeing what other people wrote. My thought process was that the fight had escalated so far that she was (jokingly?) looking for a legal loophole to get away with murder!

  1. 「無事着いた」ただそれだけの電話待つ

ふじついたただそれだけのてんわまつ

“Peace has arrived,” just that phone call I’m waiting for.

Not particularly confident in this one at all. の seems to be my nemesis right now.

2 Likes

Ah, didn’t foresee your translation of 無事, which is literal and correct. However…

… the 川柳 took「無事に着いた」, a very common phrase used to say “arrived safely,” and cut it down to「無事着いた」(to get the syllable count right, I suspect). The entry for 無事に on jisho and the example sentences explains it very well. As you can see, the phrase 無事に is placed in front of any verb/activity, indicating that the action/activity went off smoothly/without incident/safely etc.

Good attempt! As a result, I looked in to the different ways in which 無事 is used, as prefix and suffix, which was educational. :wink:

2 Likes

Considering there was a piece missing, I’ll take it!

1 Like

Friday, August 12


Previous senryu

  1. 「無事着いた」ただそれだけの電話待つ
    「ぶじついた」・ただそれだけの・でんわまつ
    “Arrived safely!” / That’s all I wait for / in the phone call.

Notes:

  • A 4-5-4 translation, based on @macha1313 's entry.
  • 無事着いた seems to be the senryu version of, 無事に到着しました, a well-used phrase in Japanese, meaning “arrived safe”. The related 道中無事 - “safe travels” in English - seems like another useful phrase, but I haven’t seen it used, at least in my limited experience.
  • This senryu is truly heartfelt. As is @macha1313 ‘s attempt, which, even if off the mark, is a senryu for all those in the world displaced by strife and conflict.

EDIT: I realized that there was a subtle mistake in the previous “final version” that I wrote:
“Arrived safe:" / The only phone call / I await
Actually the writer is not waiting for only one call with that message, but rather is waiting for someone to call to say only “arrived safe,” and nothing more. In other words, the ただそれだけ is pointing to「無事着いた」as it comes right after it.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Global Truths

  1. モテ方に二十歳からと迄があり

Today’s senryu is easy enough, once you figure out the unusual words/kanji. (Then again, don’t pay heed to me, given how off I was on the last one.)

Hints:


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 語源由来辞典 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

NOTE: There’s a 48 hour deadline for submissions on this senryu as I have friends visiting and will be busy all of tomorrow.

1 Like
  1. モテ方に二十歳からと迄があり

もてかたにはたちからとまでがあり

So rather than jump straight to a translation, here’s my thoughts:

もてる is “to be popular”, and 方 is way, so that segment would be “the way to be popular”, or maybe “the popular way”. It’s followed by に, which is indicating a purpose (it could be a direction, but in this case probably not literally).

Then we have a … から … まで phrase, so from … until … The first blank is 二十歳, twenty years old. So from twenty years old until… と, which is a connecting particle, usually “and” or “with”. But now that doesn’t seem to make sense in the phrase.

Then があり, which seems to be a short form of があります/ がある, to be/stating a fact (used with non-living things).

The closest I can get to a real meaning is “the way to be popular is to be twenty”, but then what is the から・まで doing here? I feel like I missed a big chunk of this, certainly in understanding the grammar.

2 Likes

AFTERWORD: Guess what! I was completely wrong and you, @macha1313, were headed in the right direction with your interpretation. I had a chance to discuss it with my Japanese friend and she explained it to me. I’ll summarize what she told me on Sunday. Ignore what I wrote below. I’ll leave it be as an illustration of how wrong one can get (and with such confidence!) while translating senryu (and Japanese in general).

Apologies for the confusion.


Okay, caught this before I took off until Sunday. Very good analysis and I think you got most of it, except for that tricky part (which I realized is tricky only after I tried to explain it - see below)

Hints (spoiler, really):

  • The 方 (かた、がた) is used to refer to a person respectfully (2nd meaning in the jisho linked page). So, モテ方 is “popular person”

  • I see now that the からとまで can be confusing. The と is used to quote/indicate the phrase before it, which is all that is between the に and と particle. So, 二十歳からと, means “twenty years in age.” And までがあり is literally “is upto” or “is limited to.” Putting the two together, 二十歳からと迄があり = “Twenty years in age” + “is limited to” = “there is a limit of having to be 20 years old.”

  • Connect this with the first phrase モテ方に = “To popular persons…” and you get “To be a popular person, there’s an age limit of 20 years.”

Which I take to mean that one has to have experience and maturity before one can truly be “popular.” It’s probably also a sarcastic way of saying that popular kids in high school (and earlier) often turn out otherwise before they get to 20 years in age.

That’s my interpretation.
Caveat emptor: I may well be wrong, as I have been before and plenty, too. I hope there are other submissions.

Whew! Trying to explain it made me understand that the grammar here is not that easy, after all. Apologies for stating that it is easy to translate.

I understand that particles play a much more important role in 日本語. So, it is useful to segment the sentence into phrases - that is, words between particles - and try to understand each segment and how the particles connect them, each to the other. Which is exactly what you were trying to do in your analysis and so all you have to do is 頑張って行く and you will automatically improve with practice.

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Ah, I saw that meaning of と, but thought it had to be a literal quote, like between " ".

At the moment, set phrases are my Achilles heel. And if I don’t know it’s there to find, it’s quite difficult to pick them out! I know as I read more I’ll find more and more of them and it will get easier. Thank you again for taking the time to explain.

Though I will say, with the meaning you put of to be a popular person, there is an age limit of 20 years, perhaps people over 20 can no longer be popular… that in order to have fame in the public eye, you can’t be “old”. I don’t know the average age of most Japanese idols, but they seem quite young. I’m in my 30s, so I guess I’ve got one foot in the grave already. :joy:

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I‘ll take a stab at the interpretation (before Sunday‘s reveal):

The と is „and“.
方 is „way“.
I read it like
モテ方に二十歳から(のモテ方)と(二十歳)まで(のモテ方)がある
„There‘s a big difference in モテ方 for people over twenty and people under twenty/teenagers“

Translation attempt:

モテ方に二十歳からとまでがあり

もてかたに・はたちからと・までがあり

How to be popular
Changes drastically
At age 20

Interpretation:

This is probably simply related to lifestyle changes when you’re out of high school and less bound by 校則 (that even regulate hair color etc), and obviously the drinking age in Japan is also twenty, which influences your lifestyle / what’s considered „cool“ as well. When you’re allowed to drink and to express yourself more freely, how to attract the opposite sex/make friends also changes.

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