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Thread: Writing a song

  1. #1
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    Gil
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    Default Writing a song

    Okay, well I've been learning Japanese on and off for a little while, and since I'm a song writer I thought it'd be neat to try and write a few verses of my songs in Japanese.

    However, I'm not sure how correct I'm getting, since I only know basic sentence structure and I've been using an online dictionary.

    Anyway, can someone correct me on any mistakes in this:


    Crawl beneath my skin そして
    私の心盗め
    私を信愛しろ
    貴方はきみの真理


    which would be pronounced as (in romaji):

    crawl beneath my skin soshite
    atashi no kokoro nusume
    atashi wo shin'aishiro
    anata wa kimi no skin'ri


    and mean:

    crawl beneath my skin
    and steal my heart
    love and believe in me
    you are my truth



    Anyway, I don't know how close I got to that, I might be completely off, so I figured I'd find out how I was doing before I finished a song.

  2. #2
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    Gil
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    1) "Anata" and "Kimi" both mean "you", so unless it's some kind of crazy mistranslation (and Japanese tends to do that so I wouldn't be at all surprised), I think the last line is either written or translated wrong.

    2) "Truth", I believe, is "Shinjitsu" ("Shin'jitsu" if you really like the apostrophes)...I don't know what "shinri" is, it might be another translation (also I presume the "k" was a typo and you meant "h").

    3) Unless you're using a verb form I haven't learned (or a use I haven't learned), the 3rd line should end in "shite", not "shiro", plus, again, unless it's a verb form I haven't learned, it should be "shirou", not "shiro", if you can actually use it that way.
    日本語をならっている。 まちがえれば、おねがい知らせてください~!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paraphrased from LavaBug
    I remember that day 'cause it's Sailor Mercury's birthday...or is it my mom's?

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    Gil
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    信愛しろ sounds a little forced. The only reason I can make anything out of it is because of the kanji, and if you said "shinaishiro" to me in person, I'd first think of "new love white" (新愛白).

    It would be more naturally written as 信じて愛して.

    しろis a command form of する. It probably wouldn't be grammatically wrong (though a little unnatural) to say 愛しろ. Though 信じて愛して is a little long, and maybe less poetic.

    真理 is an uncommon word. It may be more preferrable to use 真実. While 真理 may be acceptable (not sure on the context but basing on the kanji, it means more like "true perception", that kind of truth), 真実 probably has the meaning of the word "truth" you're looking for (真実 means more like "reality" kind of truth).

    And Ertai87 is right. Both 貴方 and きみ mean "you". And it's a little strange to be calling the same person that you level as being a きみ type person as 貴方, especially written in kanji like that. 貴方 has connotations of being somewhat humble, or at the very least without familiarity, while きみ is the opposite.

    きみ is only used for people that you're familiar with (or people of obviously lower status; such as a grandfather to his grandchildren, etc), which would be appropriate in this case since I assume the singer is singing to her lover.

    Otherwise it's not bad. Write more and we'll try to help you as best we can.

    下げ下げ下げ下げ

    In case any of you want to correct, question, comment on, or suggest anything to me regarding my translations or use of Japanese, please do. My sources of learning have all been listening to people and kinda forcing my brain to interpret, rather than actually translate like a dictionary.
    I understand I'll make many mistakes (I'd be surprised if I translate something mistake-free) but you have to understand that I'm doing my best.

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    I'm no expert at translating into Japanese, but I'll give what advice I'm comfortable with.

    First off, 信愛 appears to be an acceptable compound, though the concept of 信愛して seems rare: a search on google only turned up 1030 pages containing that phrase, leaving me uncertain about how easily even native Japanese speakers would pick up on your intended meaning simply from hearing the lyrics. Unfortunately compounding that issue is the existence of a much more common compound sharing that pronunciation, 親愛, meaning "deep affection," and frequently used as the greeting in a letter (much like the English "Dear so-and-so.") From what I've seen, して and しろ can both be used as milder commands (して being so mild as to frequently carry virtually no real authority at all--it's much more frequently used for informal requests); from the context given in the lyrics, I'd personally lean on して; due to the intimate nature of the words, it comes across more as a request to me, and して, especially from a woman (who generally always use milder and more polite language than men, of course), seems to convey that appropriately.

    As has already been noted in detail, きみ and 貴方 are both ways of referring to the second person; I'd agree with Unknown's assessment that きみ would be the more appropriate form here for when you are trying to refer to "you," but it depends entirely on how you're trying to come across; as far as I'm aware, it's more common for a woman to address others as anata (or the shortened form あんた), even in familiar speech; if you want to come across as casting formalities aside, きみ should be appropriate, while if the singer is a bit more of a proper person, 貴方 should work better.

    Damn, that was confusing. I think what I'm trying to say here is that which pronoun you decide to use not only reflects on how intimate the speech is, but also on the character of the speaker. Using きみ reflects more boldness while using あなた reflects a greater degree of properness, or at least holding closer to traditional speech. Unfortunately the meter may well limit your choices; from what I've heard, ぼく (僕) is very rarely used by women, and a woman referring to herself as おれ (俺) would come across as aggressive, rude, and/or mannish; that'll limit your choices for the first person pronoun to probably either "atashi" or "watashi," neither of which could be fit into two syllables without a fight. To preserve the number of syllables you currently have in that line without changing anything but the pronouns, you may be forced to use きみ.

    To add to what Unknown already mentioned about it, shinri (真理) refers to truth more in terms of what is right, or correct; either something is true or it isn't. The way you're using "truth" here evokes more of a sense of what is real; "you are my truth, you are my reality" seems to be what you're aiming for, and 真実 more accurately reflects that concept of truth. Fortunately that doesn't require any meter changes; shinjitsu can easily be coerced into filling two notes.

    Now I'm going to start nitpicking, so take these as more suggestions than actual solutions.

    The first 私 probably wouldn't be used by a native Japanese speaker; the Japanese, of course, love to drop pronouns when it's obvious who they're referring to. In fact, all of the first person pronouns in there are probably unnecessary; you'll have to decide how much emphasis you want to place on the singer referring directly to herself, because, as it is, it's extremely focused on the "I" in the song. I'm not actually sure, but it might seem a little self-centered to use the first person pronoun that much.

    You should probably also keep in mind that Japanese, like English, has many different ways of saying "to steal," each with its own context. I don't know the different contexts of the different ways of saying it in Japanese, but you should try to find out; if you use the wrong word, it could come across very negatively (plunder and pillage, if you get my drift.)

    Also related to 盗め is the command form that you use there; the -e ending is the strongest form of command; you're giving a strong sense of authority by using it, as if you expect the spoken to person to do whatever you tell them to. Typically it should be used with inferiors; a father will tell his child "stop that," or a military leader will command his troops using that sort of authority. If you want it to come across more as a request, I'd go with whatever form you end up deciding to use in the line after it: the -ou or -te endings.

    Ultimately, you're going to have to make a lot of context decisions, which, in the end, is the most important part of translating to and from any language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknownymous View Post
    信愛しろ sounds a little forced. The only reason I can make anything out of it is because of the kanji, and if you said "shinaishiro" to me in person, I'd first think of "new love white" (新愛白).
    I thought that too, that's why I was kind of confused when I saw the verb like that.
    Last edited by Ertai87; 11-18-2007 at 01:19 PM.
    日本語をならっている。 まちがえれば、おねがい知らせてください~!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paraphrased from LavaBug
    I remember that day 'cause it's Sailor Mercury's birthday...or is it my mom's?

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