Use of どこか in lyrics


#1

Hello!

I’m an absolute beginner and I started to delve into the Japanese language some time ago, so sentence structures and understanding why sentences were built in a specific way is tricky to me. I’d like to ask for help in the first line of Akira Kushida’s song 星空のメッセジョ。

The first line is 星空のどこかにふるさとがある。
As independent words and expressions, I know there’s “starry sky”, “home(town)”, “there is” . どこかhere means somewhere? Does it always have this meaning? Does の have a possessive function here?what would be an appropriate translation for this line? Thanks for your help in advance.


#2

Yes どこか generally means somewhere. 星空のどこか is literally somewhere in the starry sky where the genitive particle indicates the somewhere being in the starry sky.

A complete translation depends on context, but my guess for a context friendly version would be

[my] home is out there somewhere


#3

Gah, beat me to it :slight_smile:

Only thing to add is a literal translation as opposed to an artistically interpreted one (sounds sucky, maybe useful for learning):

星空のどこかにふるさとがある
Somewhere in the starry sky there is a hometown.


#4

A little more generally to answer the rest of your question: Yes, Question word + か means some-

どこか - Somewhere

誰か - Someone

いつか - Sometime

Etc


#5

どこか means “somewhere” and using (place)のどこかに is “Somewhere in (place).” This seems to be a set phrase.
You can think of the の as not possessive here, but position in this case.

Ex.
机の上 - on the table
私の後 - behind me
かごの鳥 -birds in a cage.

So I’d translate it as “Somewhere in the starry sky there is a hometown.” But this sounds stiff, so maybe, “There’s a home among the stars.” Or if you wanted to be poetic “(My) home(town) is somewhere in the starlit sky.”

Hope I helped :slight_smile:


#6

Nice song choice :+1:

“My home[town] is somewhere in the starry sky” would work in context.


#7

The particle の meaning position is something new to me, but it sounds like a great tool for helping me understand sentences better. Initially I had thought of に as indicating location, but now I see の’s function too. Thanks!


#8

Really useful for learning I’d say because it shows words “as they are” without the refinement one day I hope to have :slight_smile:

Thanks for you help!


#9

Great to know that! This kind of pattern is surely going to be of great help in my everyday studies. Thanks for your help!


#10

It doesn’t really indicate position, what it does is indicate belonging. In this case the somewhere belongs to the starry sky, which is a place. 星空のどこか is, a bit more literally, the starry sky’s somewhere, but that is just a different way to say somewhere in the starry sky.


#11

The translation you call stiff might help understand things more clearly at the point I’m in now. Playing with words and expanding the meanings is something that makes me lost as a beginner, so I appreciate your help with it.

Thinking of の as a position indicator really opens a wide set of possibilities and I’m pretty sure it’ll help me understand some situations I got lost in. Thanks so much!


#12

I just love Akira Kushida and his work with tokusatsu. Thanks for your translation. I don’t know exactly the meaning contained in the rest of the lyrics, but I’ll be through it :slight_smile:


#13

“Starry sky’s somewhere” is a nice point of view in this case. So, I’ll understand it as a “part of” the starry sky, the place “belongs to” the sky. This way it’s easier for me to relate the possessive. After all, it sounds like a possessive in this case.


#14

Yeah, all of the main particles have like half a dozen nuanced uses that aren’t all taught immediately.


#15

Of course, and I understand literal translations are the easiest to digest. I just wanted to widen the spectrum a bit.
I wish that particles always followed a rule that is rigid but as I’ve learned it’s just not the case. It can be confusing. I wish you luck in your studying!
Edit: Also, I didn’t mean to mislead. “の” is most definitely possessive in most cases. If in doubt always think (noun) of (noun). But it also makes things nouns, locates and modifies!