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Thread: 僕が天文学者だった頃

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    Default 僕が天文学者だった頃

    I'm translating 僕が天文学者だった頃: video (Niconico) Lyrics

    I'm puzzled by the second last verse
    天文台で君が去り際に
    見せた涙の意味も
    分からないまま星空は巡り
    いつしか大人になっていた
    I'm wondering what 君が could be the subject of. If it's the subject of 見せた then it would mean that the speaker "僕" didn't understand the meaning behind the tears shed by the recipient "君".

    However, the song is about 僕's unconfessed love for 君 and it seems more natural that 君 didn't understand the real meaning befhind 僕's tears when they said goodbye.

    Is it reasonable to to parse 君が as the one who doesn't 分かる even though it's two lines away, i.e., something like [僕より] 君[の方]が [僕が]見せた涙の意味も 分からない, or would that be too forced?

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    Default Re: 僕が天文学者だった頃

    Don't the Japanese really dislike to speak as if they know what other people are feeling? I mean that is what I was taught when I was learning about がる/んばかる/めく. So wouldn't saying that the 君 doesn't understand be somewhat unusual? I think maybe it would be more likely it is 君's tears.

    Maybe what the singer is saying is that 僕 saw tears coming from 君 as 君 was leaving and that 僕 didn't understand what those tears meant at that time? So maybe the meaning is "when you left the observatory I didn't understand you or the meaning of your tears?"

    That said, and I am probably wrong, but I think the 君が is only referring to the time period, and I think the 分からないまま might be referring to the starry sky. Could this be a possible translation?

    天文台で君が去り際に
    見せた涙の意味も
    分からないまま星空は巡り
    いつしか大人になっていた

    When you left the observatory
    surrounded by the meaning of my tears
    and the always incomprehensible starry sky
    Only then did I become an adult
    But I still have a long way to go with my understanding of Japanese and I am probably wrong. Especially since there is no particle like a の or a で connecting the noun まま and 星空.
    Last edited by Lost247365; 10-19-2018 at 05:57 AM.
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    Default Re: 僕が天文学者だった頃

    I feel like the lyrics hint that the person who left also secretly liked the speaker, but the speaker was too wrapped up in his own fear/feelings to notice or react at the time. As evidence, verse 7:


    望遠鏡覗く僕の横で
    君がポツリと言った
    「いつか遠く輝くあの星に
    想いは届くのかな?」って


    In that context, the speaker not understanding the other person's tears makes sense, I think.
    Last edited by bambooXZX; 10-19-2018 at 04:40 PM.

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    Default Re: 僕が天文学者だった頃

    Don't the Japanese really dislike to speak as if they know what other people are feeling? [...] So wouldn't saying that the 君 doesn't understand be somewhat unusual? [...] Maybe what the singer is saying is that 僕 saw tears coming from 君 [...] and that 僕 didn't understand what those tears meant at that time? So maybe the meaning is "when you left the observatory I didn't understand you or the meaning of your tears?"
    I feel like the lyrics hint that the person who left also secretly liked the speaker, but the speaker was too wrapped up in his own fear/feelings to notice or react at the time.
    Thanks both of you, I think that helps explain it.

    [...] I think the 君が is only referring to the time period, and I think the 分からないまま might be referring to the starry sky. [...] I am probably wrong. Especially since there is no particle like a の or a で connecting the noun まま and 星空.
    Given the interpretation above, I would say 君が is the subject of 見せた. 分からないまま refers to the state of the speaker while the sky turns (= time passes) and she grows up, i.e., she grew up ignorant of the meaning of the tears. Grammatically, as you point out yourself, it can't refer to the sky being incompehensible.

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    Default Re: 僕が天文学者だった頃

    Hmm, I agree with it being 見せた going with 君. I don't see how 見せた could have gone with 僕. If it was 君 seeing (and not understanding) 僕’s tears, wouldn't it make more sense as 見せられた (so keeping the same subject throughout), as 君 would be the subject being shown the tears? I don't see 僕 being the omitted subject of 見せた, it seems kinda a roundabout, clunky way of phrasing it.
    I agree that maybe 分からない makes more sense in the short term with 君 not understanding 僕's tears, but this brings up the conflict of 見せた not working with the 君が (and so the clunkiness argument); unless it's 君 left unaware of the meaning of the tears that 君 showed 僕, but wouldn't the latter be more clear if it was は rather than が?
    Last edited by Fuukanou; 10-19-2018 at 10:19 PM.
    [Notice: the preceding post was written by someone with a poor grasp of the Japanese language. If you could correct me when I make mistakes, it'd be much appreciated.]

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