To the seven seas! (七つの海へ)


#1

Hi all!

There’s this song I really like, composed by Yoko Kanno:

I always wanted to know what the song was about, so now that I’m reaching level 21 in a few days I tried to translate it… but I’m having a hard time. I understand some of the words (many are here in WaniKani, some I didn’t reach yet, and some are missing), but it’s hard to put them together to form a meaning.

The lyrics follow. I’ll try to translate as much as I can, word by word and sometimes trying to form a sentence. If anyone wants to give this a try, please go ahead :slight_smile:

まぶしい空と
きらめく白い波の彼方
七つの海へ漕ぎ出す
風に身をまかせて

まぶしい -> bright (not in WK)
空 -> sky
きらめく -> glittering (not in WK)
白い -> white
波 -> wave
彼方 -> beyond (not in WK) (interestingly, it seems this can be read as “あなた” and “かなた”)
七 -> seven
海 -> sea
漕ぎ -> to row (not in WK)
出す -> to take out
漕ぎ出す -> to row out (not sure what’s the meaning of this, specially the “out” thing (I’m not a native English speaker)
風 -> wind
身 -> body
まかせて -> let oneself go (or so it seems, not sure what’s the verb stem is)

So, rough translation is…

Beyond the bright skies and glittering white waves
Rowing out to the Seven Seas
Letting oneself go by the wind

Next:

ひとり抱いた夢
やすらぎ求めてはしる
遅すぎることはないと
勇気いだくこの海に mmmm…

ひとり -> alone
抱 -> hug
夢 -> dream
やすらぎ -> peace (not in WK)
求める -> to want
はしる -> to run
遅 -> slow
勇気 -> courage
いだく -> to go ??
海 -> sea

So, rough translation, less sure about this:

The dream I hug alone (or “The only dream I hug”?)
Running to find peace

Then:

遅すぎることはないと -> I can’t translate this… すぎ seems to be a suffix meaning “too much”, not sure. Google Translate says “If it’s not too late”, not sure why. I also don’t know what’s the function of that last と is (my grammar is very basic; I do understand that ことはない though (I think :-P)).

勇気いだくこの海に -> to have the courage to go to this sea ??

Next:

*どんな嵐がこようとも
心のオール離さずに
やがていつか辿りつくさ
ただひとり
おまえの岸辺へ

嵐 -> storm
こようとも -> no idea what this means
心 -> heart
オール -> oar (I thought this was “all”, but it seems “oar” is a word in English which matches the song’s theme :-P)
離 -> deatch
やがて -> in due time (not in WK)
いつか -> some day (thought it could also mean “fifth day” :-P)
辿り -> Google Translate says “tracing” (not in WK)
つくさ -> no idea what this means
岸辺 -> shore (both kanjis are in WK, but this combination isn’t, but it’s easy to guess the meaning)

I couldn’t translate the meaning of this paragraph, my grammar is lacking.

水平線の向こうに
映る悲しみさえ
どんなことがあっても
向かう人生だと

水平線 -> horizon (“water flat line”, lol, what an awesome language) (not in WK, but the individual kanjis are)
向こう -> over there, far away
映る -> to be reflected
悲しみ -> sadness
さえ -> even (though it’s beyond my current grammar)
向かう -> to head for (not in WK, but the kanji is)
人生 -> life
だと -> not sure what this means here

So rough translation is:

Over the horizon
The sadness is reflected
No matter what happens (not sure why that も is there, though)
I’ll head for the life ??

ひとり抱いた夢
どこまでも果てしなくて
迷い迷う日もあるさ mmmm…

どこまでも果てしなくて -> not sure what this means… 果てる is in WK, it means “to be finished”, “to be exhausted”

迷 -> astray

迷い迷う日もあるさ -> to go astray being astray … not sure what’s the meaning of 日もあるさ

**夢をもってる幸せを
感じて胸を焦がしたら
やがていつか辿りつくさ
ただひとり
おまえの岸辺へ

夢 -> dream
もってる - > to hold
幸せ -> happiness

It’s a bit strange that there are two を here, but I think it’s “the happiness that holds a dream” (all of that as a direct object of something else… but I can’t understand what’s the verb for all of that)

感じ -> feeling
胸 -> chest (I never understood if this is like the body’s chest, or a treasure chest)
焦がす -> tu burn
焦がしたら -> I don’t know what this means, I didn’t learn たら yet… :frowning:


Well, that’s all I’ve got. I need to keep learning more grammar points (I’m currently reading “Japanese The Manga Way” which is very good, but I’m halfway through it) and probably think a bit more “in japanese” (many times I can understand each word but can’t form a good overall meaning).


#2

出す when used as an auxiliary verb sometimes confers more or less idiomatic nuance relating to starting to do something or suddenness, rather than its base definition. Your english here is called a phrasal verb which are often tough for nonnative speakers.

Have you heard of おまかせ, like at restaurants? Same thing.

I’d strongly recommend jisho if you’re not using it btw. It can deconjugate verbs like this, and also parse phrases like…

すぎ(る) - to be too much
と - if

Again try to rely less on google translate and more on jisho. Google will often get large phrases wrong, or not have enough context to choose the right definition, or when it does get stuff right (such as here) it will gloss over grammar points that you seem to be missing. (Jisho will even link to tae kim or imabi sometimes :wink: )

こよう is the volitional of 来る. I think this と is again the conditional and も is emphatic.

Don’t miss the inflection, 離さず

Try 辿り着く.
さ indicates assertion.

Whatever storm may come,
without losing hold of the oar of my heart,
Some day I’ll finally arrive
(Travelling) all alone
upon your shore.

Copula and quotation particle. Also 向かう is describing 人生 here, rather than 人生 being the indirect object. So more like “It’s a life of travel”.

Repetition of 迷う adds emphasis (also seen like 巡り巡る). も emphatic version of は. さ for tone.

That’s right, and the verb is on the next line, 感じて.

たら is another conditional, see above.


#3

Wow, thank you so much for the corrections and explanations!

I’ll definitely start using jisho from now on, I didn’t know it could de-conjugate verbs, that’s very useful. I’ll also try reading Tae Kim’s Guide. I tried to in the past, before starting to use WaniKani, but now I think it will be a lot easier, and it’ll help me digest and understand a lot more Japanese.

I always see in Tae Kim’s website that there’s the “Complete” guide and the “Grammar” guide, but I don’t understand what’s the difference between them, which one should I do, or in which order. Do you have suggestions for this?


#4

The complete guide is a total lie. The one named grammar guide is the complete one. XD