Ashiato

足跡 (Ashiato) · 足迹 · Footsteps

In:
[Album] good-bye – track 14

In the opening verse, the first line can be literally translated from Chinese as “Try following your footsteps”. What the line and the rest of the verse do not explicitly mention is who is doing the “following”. My first thought was the perspective of the singer, i.e. translate as “If I try following your footsteps”. However, I got the impression that the rest of the song, especially the chorus, was telling the listener to reflect on his or her life.

The Japanese lyrics use “たどっ(tado)” in place of “follow”, which appears to be from “たどる(tadoru)” or “辿” in kanji. The meaning of “tadoru” is given by RomajiDesu as “to follow (road); to pursue (course); to follow up; to follow (hyperlink)”. RomajiDesu also gives examples of related “words” or phrases. One of them is “記憶をたどる(kiouku wo tadoru)” which has the meaning “reaching back into one’s memory; to search one’s mind; to recall”. This was enough to convince me to take a reflective perspective while translating, i.e. translate the first line as “If you try retracing your footsteps”.

I think this song complements Michi. I imagine it as Person A meets Person B and sings Michi. Then, in reply, Person B sings Ashiato. That is why this post is immediately after Michi. It did occur to me to wait until I finished translating Ashiato and post both translations simultaneously, but as it came to pass, I did not. Instead, I told myself to put more of my free time into getting Ashiato out the week after Michi.

This song has self liner notes.

English

If you try retracing your footsteps
What kind of people will you meet?
What kind of things will make you happy?
Where will you shed tears?

The seasons pass before your eyes
The warm light stirs your existence
Now, be strong in your chest to continue living

Gentleness is not something that can be given
It is something that, when realised, remains in someone’s heart
Happiness is not something that can be changed into
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart

If you try retracing your footsteps
What kind of dreams did you have?
What kind of things will be fun for you?1
Who will you shed tears in front of?

Looking back to yesterday, searching for words
Being surrounded by many people
Now, you are still alive in your chest

Sadness is not something that will disappear
It is something that should silently sleep in the heart
Happiness cannot be seen by the eye
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart

Gentleness is not something that can be given
It is something that, when realised, remains in someone’s heart
Happiness is not something that can be changed into
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart

 

Self Liner Notes

When the order of songs in this album was being decided, I intended from the start to put this song last. As everyone has their own life, what will each person’s feelings be when they arrive at listening to this song? If you are able to connect with my music in your footsteps, nothing would make me happier than this.2

 

Translation notes

  1. The Chinese translation uses essentially the same lines for the third line of the first verse and the third line of the fourth verse. If you listen to the song, the two lines do sound the same except that the line in the first verse uses “嬉しか (ureshii)”, which means “happy”, while the line in the fourth verse uses “楽しか (tanoshii)”, which means “fun”. As you can see, that is what I went along with. In both lines, the Chinese translation uses “开心”, which means “happy”.
  2. A translation that follows the punctuation marks would be “In your footsteps, able to connect with my music, nothing would make me happier than this”. Although my preference is to follow the punctuation marks, this time the sentence looked too disjointed in that form so I rearranged it.

 

Simplified Chinese

试着追寻你的足迹
会遇见怎样的人呢
怎样的事会令你开心呢
会在哪儿落泪呢

在眼前度过的季节
温暖的光将你的存在
现在 在这胸口坚强地继续活着

温柔 不是给予之物
是一回神 会残留在某人心中的东西
幸福 不是要变成那样
一定是在心里 慢慢发现的东西

试着追寻你的足迹
有过什么样的梦呢
什么样的事会令你开心
会在谁的面前落泪呢

回首昨日 找寻着话语
被许多人围绕着
现在 你在这胸口继续活着

悲伤 不是会消失的东西
应该是在心中静静地沉眠之物
幸福 眼不能见
一定是在心里 慢慢发现的东西

温柔 不是给予之物
是一回神 会残留在某人心中的东西
幸福 不是要变成那样
一定是在心里 慢慢发现的东西
一定是在心里 慢慢发现的东西

 

Self Liner Notes

在决定这张尃辑的曲顺时,一开始就打算把这首歌放在最后。人各自有各自的人生,每个人会用什么样的心情来听这首歌呢。你的足迹中,能够与我的音乐相触,没有比这更令人开心的事了。

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3 comments

  1. Pingback: Ashiato / 足跡 | Thoughts on Oku Hanako
  2. Pingback: Translation for Ashiato / 足跡 | Thoughts on Oku Hanako
  3. Pingback: Shiwakucha | Oku Hanako - Chinese to English

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