(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

俺だって 診断結果は チョイ悪だ

おれだって・しんだんけっかは ・ちょいわるだ

Health check up - / my results, too, are / somewhat bad

  • 3-5-3 translation. Had to look up @pm215 's to feel comfortable that I am headed in the right direction with this one.
  • ちょいわる was challenging, Goo.jp got me close to the meaning that it had something to do with behavior rather than just style. Perhaps the writer’s health situation is the result of “middle aged behavior”?
  • I also looked up だって, which proved to be educational (meaning and examples under 2). Initially, I had thought it meant something like “in my case,” but…
  • Still don’t understand why half of ちょいわる is in katakana. As one of my Japanese teachers used to respond, “なぜなら、日本語は日本語ですから” to some of our questions.
3 Likes

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 俺だって 診断結果は チョイ悪だ
    おれだって・しんだんけっかは ・ちょいわるだ
    My health check: / as always, just a / tad bit bad

Notes:

  • チョイ means “just a tad”, “a bit”. Why katakana? I think I’d like @LaVieQ’s teacher: “なぜなら、日本語は日本語ですから”

  • だって is a bit trickier.

    @pm215 is right, it’s this definition: 特別のように見えても他と同様であって例外でない、という意を表す. Something that looks special but isn’t actually anything exceptional. The sense of "even … " comes close.

    Grammatically, it’s a 助詞(じょし) (particle) that introduces a topic like も or は. (Note to self for my diagramming rules!)

    Examples:

    -「子供に だって できる」'[It looks difficult, but] even a kid can do it"

    -「一日 だって 休まない」'[One day sounds great, but] it’s hardly a break" (talking about getting receiving a one-day holiday)

    • 「君も困るだろうが、ぼく だって 困るよ」“[I know] it bothers you, [but] it bothers me, too.”
  • Here, I believe the sense is that the author’s health exam results might look bad, but it’s nothing to worry about — the results are always bad.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: School

  1. 答案に「お願い」とだけ書いてあり

This is what I love about learning kanji. If I heard「とうあん」 spoken or saw it in hiragana, I’d struggle to imagine what it meant. It’s not a vocabulary word taught on WK, nor one I’ve ever come across before. But seeing the kanji and knowing the context was school, I could at least guess at the meaning (it means an “answer sheet”, a submission for an assignment — I can’t think of a better English word).


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.

I’m always nervous being the first person to attempt these because I can’t check if I’m on the right track before sharing, but this one seemed pretty straightforward? :sweat_smile:

とうあんにおねがいとだけかいてあり

written on the
test answer sheet is
just the word “please”

5 Likes

Gonna try my hand at this, but don’t expect good grammar

On the answers sheet
“Please”
Is all there is.

This one is a bit of a direct translation, save for the last part. とだけ confused me but I hope I got the gist right

3 Likes

WRONG!!

Are you an idiot! What were you thinking?

(Sorry, kidding obviously. I just couldn’t resist! :stuck_out_tongue: I know the feeling well!)

I think this means something like „He doesn’t even take one day off“ / „He doesn’t even miss one day“.
Nobody is receiving a day off here. (You’d be looking for something with 休みじゃない for that meaning)

It‘s a different dictionary entry (because of the negative ending) than the one you quoted above. From 大辞林:
不定称の指示語,数量・程度を表す語などに付いて,否定の語と呼応して,全面的な否定を表す。「だれだって死にたくない」「いっぺんだって来たことがない」

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Right. だって is more or less replaceable with も here without much change in meaning.

2 Likes

I can understand why you think this.

[Edit: Because, as usual, @Myria and @pm215 were right!

I didn’t at first see how this fit the “not as significant/special as it first appears” definition, but it’s because one day doesn’t seem like much to miss, but even one day is significant.

I missed this on first reading, but replacing “he” with “I” somehow made it easier for me to see.]

And this is yet another example of what @fallynleaf and I were joking about: this thread is great for highlighting any mistakes one might make! :grin:

I’m not completely sure I’m mistaken, though.

What led me to my interpretation is that this example is explicitly listed under definition ① in my dictionary and not under one of the other definitions.

Definition ① is the “not as surprising special/significant as it first appears” definition (特別のように見えても他と同様であって例外でない、という意を表す).

It uses a verb form (休まない) rather than a noun form, but I think semantically it might be closer to「休みにならない」than to「休みじゃない」.

If my interpretation is correct, I think it might be closer to で than も: 「一日(いちにち)(やす)まない」.

Thoughts?

I think this is where you’re going wrong. 休まない means “[he] does not rest/take a break”. It doesn’t mean “doesn’t amount to a rest” or “is not a rest”. It’s a verb, not a noun.

2 Likes

I’d suggest caution with absolutes, especially when attempting to capture nuance between two languages.

I’m increasingly of the opinion that this example sentence literally means “one day isn’t a break” or “[one] can’t rest in [just] one day”. I think the sentence has a semantic interpretation of it being insufficient for a break (it seems like a break, but it really isn’t).

You seem to be arguing that my monolingual dictionary put the example in the wrong category, not just that my English translation is incorrect. The former is significantly less likely than the latter.

I think 休まない is the non-past negative form. So perhaps “one day wasn’t a break” is actually closest? (Past tense)

More argument about だって

The thing that’s 例外でない is that there are no exceptional days when he’s taking a break. The dictionary you’re using has combined all the different uses of だって-as-particle into two subheadings, so its definitions for each of those headings are going to be a bit less exactly applicable than if the dictionary editiors had chosen to break down the definition into more granular subheadings. If you look at eg Daijirin, which expands out a subheading treating the ‘counter/extent word’ case and glosses it …でも。…も。with a similar example of 一度だって姿を見せない.

Anyway, I could be wrong, I’m still learning this language, but this for me isn’t one of those “I think it’s this but perhaps I’m misinterpreting it” cases, it’s a “I have seen this construct a lot of times before and I will be very surprised if your interpretation is correct” level. If you have access to a native speaker or similar means of checking I’d encourage you to cross-check :slight_smile:

1 Like

Understood and appreciated. I will check with my wife.

Hmm. If my dictionary can be this misleading then I have concerns… Giving a misleading example under a description seems pretty grievous.

I’m not nearly as confident I understand how だって is used so I will check with my wife. But, trust me, it’s better not to over-use that resource, and I tend to have better/deeper/more-nuanced discussions leading to better understanding here, regardless.


Maybe it’s those danged Japanese dropping the subject that’s confusing us (or me at least).

Maybe the sense is “It may not seem like much, but even one day away from work is significant — ‘I never miss even a day’”?

That is, not "He doesn’t even take one day off“ but “I don’t even take one day off”?

I was going through contortions to capture that sense of “not as significant as it seems” but interpreting the subject as “I” rather than “he” seems to capture it perfectly.

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Heh, I understand what you mean. If you prefer, because だって is generally treated as “grammar” in teaching of Japanese, there are also plenty of explanatory articles on the net that deal with its various uses in a less compressed form than the dictionary entries. (It’s also in the Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar.)

I’ll research further.

I’ve heard it and even used it often over the years, but my brain has always interpreted it as literally a mash between だ and って — sort of like, “that is … you/we/I/one says [but]”. A copula plus a quote if you will.

I was never taught that, it was just pattern matching. I always translated it in my head as “[you say] but …”. I mostly heard it when expressing skepticism or doubt/disagreement: 「だって。。。本当にできる?」

一日だって “One day [you say,] but …”

休まない “doesn’t rest”

This is why my original mistaken interpretation of 休みにならない seemed to sorta fit.

But now I completely agree that “I don’t take even one day off” is the best translation. And replacing だって with でも has almost exactly the same meaning but is somehow easier for my brain to parse: 「一日でも休まない」

So hard to express, but it’s not that “One doesn’t rest in just one day” it’s that “One day may not seem like much, but I don’t take even one day off”.

This was a useful discussion. Thanks for sticking with me.

Best of all, I get to keep my dictionary! :laughing:

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Yeah, the start of sentence だって (and the end-of-sentence “he says/apparently” だって) are different animals to the particle one.

1 Like

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. 答案に「お願い」とだけ書いてあり
    とうあんにおねがいとだけかいてあり
    written on the / test answer sheet is / just the word “please”

It was nice to have a fairly straightforward one for a change! Nothing particularly Japanese about this one (neither linguistically nor culturally!).

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Salaryman

  1. 「いつ買った」? 前からあったと シラを切る

Oh man. What is it the kids say? “I feel seen”?

Something similar takes place every few months when my wife steps into my shop for some reason.

(I had to look up シラを切る — that’s the key to this senryu.)


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

Reading: いつかった まえからあったと しらをきる

Translation: “When’d you buy that?” / “I’ve had it for ages” / she cuts me dead

Another one which jumps back and forth on whether っ counts as a syllable for the 575…

1 Like

I didn’t know this until I looked it up, but

しらを切る

apparently means “to feign ignorance”:

  • しら‐を‐きる【しらを切る】
    知っていながら知らないと言いはる。しらばくれる。「あくまでも―」

Isn’t it the author doing the しらを切る?

Also, does “cuts me dead” have that connotation? (Genuine question)

I’m guessing the シラ comes from ()らん. [Edit: NOPE!] But I wonder where ()る came from?

Explanation of the origin is here: しらを切る/白を切る/しらをきる - 語源由来辞典

シラ is (しら) which became 当て字 for 知らぬ (what I was expecting).

切る comes from the expressions 「啖呵を切る」(to speak sharply), 「見得を切る」(to assume a pose) and the like. It implies a conspicuous way of speaking or assuming an attitude.

TIL

Definitely very low confidence on this one, but I took it as the other person, treating the と as connecting her line to this phrase. Looking more carefully at the definition of しらを切る I think I’ve probably got it wrong, though…

1 Like

Yeah. The lack of an explicit subject strikes again!

After looking it up, though, it seems to make more sense if it’s the author feigning ignorance.

“When did you get that?!”

Feigning ignorance, I said “I’ve had it for ages”

But without explicit subjects, there is no way to know if this was the intended meaning:

“When did you get that?!” [I asked]

“I’ve had it for ages” [she replied] feigning ignorance

Interesting etymology, regardless.

1 Like