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Practice translating from Japanese to English

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Song translation - proof reading/suggestions? [Jan. 12th, 2007|12:34 am]
Practice translating from Japanese to English




貴方は期待をして 負担をかける


貴方は期待をして 誤解をする


私も期待をして それを待つ


私も期待をしては また駄目になる


その必要の無い街で 2人は何をうろたえたのだろう?












貴方は目を伏せて 言葉を探る


私も目を伏せては 距離を踊らす


その必要の無い街で 2人は何を擦り抜けたのだろう?














Hyouryuu no Hane (Drifting Feather)

Lyrics/Music: Onitsuka Chihiro


You have expectations, and you tremble so terribly with the burden placed upon you….

You have expectations, but you misunderstand….


I also have expectations, and trembling foolishly, I will wait for them….

I also have expectations, but again they will become meaningless…


In this city that needs of nothing, for what are we [two people] so dismayed over?

In such a city ….


*For instance, the way that the rails drift along can come to an end without being destroyed

*For instance, the way that our figertips followed let them be touched, just like this…

We are tempted

And we resist

And if we should arrive, then we’ll do it all over again


This time, what will you hope for?


You cast down your eyes, and search for the words

With your small spear…

I cast down my eyes as well, and let the distance dance away…


In this city that needs of nothing, what are we sliding through so quickly?

In such a city…


*For instance, the way that the rope drifts along can come to an end without being released

*For instance, the way that our legs followed let them just entwine…

We are tempted

And we resist

And if we should arrive, then we'll do it all again


This time, what will you hope for?





[User Picture]From: double_dear
2007-01-13 01:00 am (UTC)


Our first comment is just a word choice thing, but for "kitai wo shite," we would go with, "get your(my) hopes up." Because of the "ni" at the end of the second line, it seems to go more with the third line than the first. So the first line is probably all by itself--something like "You get your hopes up, and it burdens you."

In the second line, "yure" is a noun (tremor, vibration, jolting, flickering), and the "ni" would make it something like "at[in, to] an enormous swaying." "In" is actually probably what works best. So something like "In your great swaying (we're thinking it's a metaphor for uncertainty)," which would lead into the next line. There's no "but" in the third line, so it would be "you get your hopes up, and misunderstand (or get the wrong idea)."

For the next stanza, our advice is pretty much the same. Also, for the "mata dame ni naru," the singer is probably talking about himself(herself?), saying, "I get my hopes up, and become 'dame' again." "Dame" is tricky. Useless, hopeless, no good, NG, whatever fits the best in the context and sounds most poetic.

In the next stanza, the "sono" in "sono hitsuyou" is referring to a specific "hitsuyou," in this case, most likely the need for getting hopes up and misunderstanding and all that stuff in the first two stanzas. To put it simply, "there's no need for that." "In this city, where there's no need for that, what are we so dismayed about?" (Make sure to check that you're not using too many prepositions.)

For the next part, a lot of the time, "tatoeba" means "for the sake of argument, let's say...," which can be simplified to "even if..."

Also, "hou" can refer to the act of doing the verb in front of it. Using "hou" instead of "koto" indicates that it's that act, as opposed to another. So "tadayou hou" would be "the act of drifting (as opposed to something else)." So that line would be something like "Even if we could drift and the rails would not be broken..." (The "wa" after rails indicates that the rails may not be broken after the drifting, but who knows what else might be.)

The next line is the along the same lines. In both lines, it's, "Even if doing A, B would still be the case." "Even if I could follow the rules and still be touching you." We're not sure if we can explain it in a way that makes sense. There are a lot of implied things.

For "yuuwaku shite," "yuuwaku suru" is "to tempt," not "to be tempted," so it would be, "We tempt, we reject, and if we reach the end, we do it all again."

For the next line, since it's speaking in hypotheticals (if...), maybe "what would you wish for?"

The rest of the song follows the same patterns, so hopefully this will help with the rest of it, too. I hope we weren't too nitpicky. Songs are hard; you did a good job! We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

And, we were really confused about the spear thing, so we looked it up at Infoseek, and according to the kokugo jiten, "yari" can also mean "yajiru koto," which is the act of jeering, catcalling, heckling, etc. I don't know if that will help to make sense of the line, but maybe something like, "with a small jeer."

Hope that helped!
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From: niwatorishoujo
2007-01-13 08:28 am (UTC)
どうもありがとうござさいました!!=D That really does help me a lot - online dictionaries and my own 'educated' stabs in the dark are only good for so much, and even if it is just a matter of playing with the wording, I truly appreciate this kind of critique. If you're interested, here's an upload of the song, which is one of my favorites and really quite gorgeous: http://www.sendspace.com/file/6rtmuj

Thanks so much again for your thoroughness and constructive criticisms ^^!

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: niwatorishoujo
2007-01-13 10:09 am (UTC)
....Actually, I do have a couple grammar-type questions, too ^^:

* In this line 「...愚かな揺れに 私も期待をしては また駄目になる」it translates something like "And in my foolish swaying, I get my hopes up, too" and it looks as though the 「は」is used to emphasize the contrast, "...but again I become useless," against the previous line it 'echoes' which is 「...巨大な揺れに 貴方は期待をして 誤解をする」~
" And in your deep [great] swaying, you get your hopes up and you misunderstand." Is this correct?

*If "Rails" is followed by 「は」, doesn't that make the translation more like 「例えば漂う方がレールは破壊せずに済むと」"Even if the rails drift along, they will come to an end without being destroyed", rather than "we could drift"? That is, if the phrase is looked at as a basic 'AはBがVerb' pattern...? And then the following line, similarly, 「例えば従う方が指先は触れたままだと」"Even if our fingertips obey, they can still touch like this"?

*Yeah, the spear part didn't make a whole lot of sense to me either...but if its something like a "jeer", maybe that works better(?)


(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: double_dear
2007-01-15 12:22 am (UTC)
Sorry for another late response!

>愚かな揺れに 私も期待をしては また駄目になる

In this case, we're thinking that the "wa" isn't contrastive. The best way to think of "wa," and it really covers just about every possible meaning of "wa," is "as for..." In this case, "As for me getting my hopes up, too..." (Which really does not make for a natural-sounding English sentence, so it's not always the best way to translate "wa.") And, as for her getting her hopes up, [when it happens] she becomes hopeless.

Then in the previous line, it would be "As for you, you get your hopes up and misunderstand."


The thing about "wa" is that it's not the subject marker, but the topic marker. So, for example, if we were to talk about, say, vegetables, chances are, we wouldn't talk about what vegetables do, but what we do to them (in various recipes and what not). That means "wa" can not only take the place of "ga," but also "o." Also, it means that anyone or anything can be the subject of the sentence, not just the vegetables or the rails.

So, ignoring "tatoeba" for now, if we change the sentence to レールは漂う方が破壊せずに済む, then it becomes, "As for the rails (or rail singular), by drifting (as opposed to whatever else), things will be settled without our breaking them."

The same goes for the next line. And then of course you want to reword everything so it sounds like normal English, and put the "tatoeba" back in.

Jeering or smirking or teasing or something along those lines seems to work. Maybe like a jab.

We hope that all made sense and cleared up your questions! Thanks for asking!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: double_dear
2007-01-15 12:06 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! We're listening to it right now; it is very pretty.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: niwatorishoujo
2007-01-17 05:30 am (UTC)
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