(The increasingly less) Daily senryu thread

  1. お見合いの写真修正もう限界
    (おみあいのしゃしんしゅうせいもうげんかい)

Never touch up
The photograph you send to
Your intended

4/7/4

  1. お見合いの写真修正もう限界
    (おみあいのしゃしんしゅうせいもうげんかい)

My future spouse
Looks nothing like the picture
I draw the line

4/7/4

3 Likes
  1. お見合いの写真修正もう限界
    (おみあいのしゃしんしゅうせいもうげんかい)

Deep faked selfies
On the dating app
It’s the last straw

4/5/4

1 Like

In the end I got a native speaker to walk me through it, so here is their explanation (maybe it was obvious for all of you, but just in case!)

grammatical musing solved

Basically paraphrasing this
So the idea is that with sentence like 象は鼻が長い, we can pull out the は-marked argument and leave the が-marked argument to construct a relativized phrase like so:

  • 背が高い人 tall people
  • ワインが有名なフランス France, which is famous for wine
  • 表紙が緑色の本 a book with a green cover

Strangely, the i-adjective and na-adjective examples feel fairly obvious to me, but not the noun one somehow… By the way, another example I found is あなたがピンチの時 (when you are in trouble)

So サンプルが腐った色のレストラン can be rewritten as レストランはサンプルが腐った色だ.

But what tricked me in the first place is that indeed サンプル is not the subject of 腐った. 腐った is a mini relative clause that modifies 色 so 腐った色 is a set and it should be read [サンプル]が[腐った色] (だ)

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Thanks for passing that on – I was definitely a bit unsure how to parse it. I’ll have to look out for the construction in my reading.

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I’m usually the one who’s mystified by grammar, but this one seemed quite straightforward to me for some reason.

My understanding:

<descriptive-noun-phrase> の <noun> is a really common construct in spoken Japanese:

(きたな)いレストラン

レストランは汚い

(ゆか)が汚いレストラン

汚い床のレストラン

I believe all are grammatically correct and mean roughly the same thing, but the latter two zero in on the floor being what’s specifically dirty.

I’d diagram the senryu like this:

That is, the descriptive noun phrase here is 「サンプルが腐った色だ」 but because this is used as a modifier for レストラン rather than a standalone sentence, the だ gets replaced with の.

Any corrections to my understanding? This is what I assumed from my first reading.


Edit: I forgot to link to a thread related to this: Confusion regarding の in Word Use Examples

3 Likes

Probably best to avoid the word ‘obvious’ in a conversation about Japanese syntax. :slight_smile:

I still have a lingering question about this one.

Did the the native speaker clarify whether 色 is being used here to mean literally ‘color’ or in its more figurative sense?

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No, I think your diagram is spot on!

Seems to be closer to a literal meaning. Quoting them:

“The restaurant has rotten(-colored) (food) samples”. Food models of an old restaurant often have very unappetizing appearances…
[…]
腐った色 […] refers to a dirty color of a rotten food.

4 Likes

I was a bit confused because I think of noun phrases with の like this:

<descriptive sentence A> <noun B> の <noun C>

I usually assume that A describes B, and that B describes C. Like in your 汚い床のレストラン example - which restaurant is it? The one with the floor. What kind of floor? A dirty one.

But in the senryu, 色 describes the サンプル, not レストラン - and the noun phrase as a whole describes the restaurant. Intuitively it made sense, but grammatically it’s a bit different.

Contrast it with these re-writings:
腐った色のサンプルのレストラン
or
色が腐ったサンプルのレストラン

Where サンプル is the “head noun” of the phrase instead of 色.

3 Likes

Wrong thread.

sorry.

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Yup. That’s the precise reason the が is mandatory! This is exactly the “spotlight” function of が that Tofugu discusses:

腐った色のレストラン

“Rotten-colored restaurant” (spotlight focus is on レストラン, the subject of the main clause in my diagram).

If I diagrammed this one, the modifying phrase is 「腐った色だ」. The subject of that sentence is 色.

サンプルが腐った色のレストラン

The が spotlight shifts the focus to the sample, so it becomes a “rotten-colored-sample restaurant”.

The diagram is as in my previous post. The modifying phrase is 「サンプルが腐った色だ」. The subject of that sentence is no longer 色, but サンプル (which the copula describes as 腐った色).

Without the が, the restaurant is colored, with it, it becomes the sample that’s colored, but the の turns the whole phrase into an adjective, regardless.

This is weirding me out.

I’m always the one struggling with a particular phrasing, but this one seemed completely natural and intuitively understandable to me! :man_shrugging:

Maybe it’s because I hear a lot more conversational phrasing than others. I struggle more with written grammar/phrasing (I don’t do nearly as much reading as I should). 鼻が高い感じ、自慢に聞こえるかも知らない。Seriously, though, this one didn’t seem odd to me at all — and that’s the only thing I can ascribe it to (I think most here do more reading than conversation, I’m 180° the other way 'round).

This sorta works, and has the same meaning, but the double の sounds way more awkward to my ears than the original version with が.

This one is closer but still sounds off to my ear, because I don’t normally think of colors as rotting:

腐った色 — “rotten colored” (i.e. the color of something that is rotten)

色が腐った — “the color has rotted”

Unusually for a senryu, I think the wording is quite natural. I think they might have used でも instead of が in conversation (where they weren’t constrained by (おん) counts) but it still seems like this is a very natural way of communicating the concept of “a restaurant where the samples are rotten-colored”.


To continue flagellating the deceased equine:

Modifiers are weird in Japanese. The 形容詞(けいよし) 「汚い」 can indeed be a complete sentence, but (and, trust me, this is strange coming from me) I think it’s better thought of as a plain-old adjective in the English-grammar sense here. The “descriptive sentence” is 「汚い床 [だ]」 not just 「汚い」.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Previous senryu

  1. お見合いの写真修正もう限界
    おみあいの / しゃしんしゅうせい / もうげんかい
    Deep faked selfies / for the omiai / — It’s the last straw

I thoroughly enjoyed all the creative submissions. The judges drew the line at referring to お見合い as a dating app, though!

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Children

  1. 恋してるらしい寝言の娘を案じ

Having just spent a few days with may 2-year-old grandson, this one warms my heart. (To be clear: I think he’s still a bit early for dreams of love, but I dearly enjoy watching him sleep, regardless! As the father of two daughters myself, I viscerally understand the meaning behind this one.)

Have fun!


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.

2 Likes

Translation attempt

  1. 恋してるらしい寝言の娘を案じ
    (こいしてるらしいねごとのむすめをあんじ)

Take me I’m yours
My sleeping daughter murmurs
My blood runs cold

4/7/4

4 Likes
  1. 恋してるらしい寝言の娘を案じ
    (こいしてるらしいねごとのむすめをあんじ

It sounds like love
My daughter talks in her sleep
Now I’m worried

4/7/4

2 Likes
  1. 恋してるらしい寝言の娘を案じ
    (こいしてるらしいねごとのむすめをあんじ

Talking in her sleep
She seems to be in love
Now Dad is sleepless

5/6/5

4 Likes

Saturday, December 3, 2022


Previous senryu

恋してるらしい寝言の娘を案じ
こいしてるらしいねごとのむすめをあんじ
Sounds like love / my daughter’s sleep-talk / I worry

Just a small edit to to get it down to 3/5/3 rather than 4/7/4.

Current senryu challenge

Volume: Intense

  1. キャスターの怒りは次のニュースまで

Huh. I think I understand this one, but expect to be proven wrong.


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.

2 Likes

きゃすたーのおこりはつぎのにゅーすまで

Newscaster’s rage
continues until the break

This felt the most amusing and so I will do another separate translation that’s more of a direct one right after but I couldn’t help it lol

2 Likes

きゃすたーのおこりはつぎのにゅーすまで

Newscaster’s
rage goes until the
next news segment

2 Likes

That’s interesting because I interpreted this in sort of the opposite way, that the rage continues only until the next segment. It reminded me of that type of jarring transition where the newscaster is like murder… But in other news, puppies!. Anyway, I’m probably wrong, I usually am :smile:

5 Likes

ope… I think you’re right. I was debating the “until” meaning of まで but couldn’t figure out how to put it into English right and was focused on “continues until” and then dropped the “until!” I will now edit them whoopsies

1 Like