Taimu Kaado

タイムカード (Taimu Kaado) · 时间表 · Time Card

In:
[Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- – disc 2 track 10
[Album] Time Note – track 11

The title of this song is the loanword for “time card”. If the katakana words are looked at separately, “タイム (taimu)” could be the loanword for “thyme” and “カード (kaado)” could be the loanword for “curd”. I know that fruit curds exist, and it appears that thyme may be added for extra flavour, but thyme curd might not be a popular choice if it exists at all. OK, the song is not about food, but considering that Oku Hanako has written a song about takoyaki, it is possible that she will write another song about food. I started this paragraph to talk about a little humorous trivia, and now that it’s finished I’ve got myself hoping that Oku Hanako will write a song about a dessert.

 

English

I clocked off work at midnight and started taking the usual road back home
After returning the video that I rented yesterday, I carry a convenience store bag with me

Actually, I have other dreams, but I don’t have a simple way to say them
Back then, the only place I belonged was the time card with my name written on it

It seems that I slowly became disconnected from my friends around me
There were several times when I almost decided to give up

I heard your voice telling me “It’s OK”
“You can’t do anything by yourself, but you finally made your way to here”1

There is nothing to lose while seeking pieces of happiness
Although there will be things that won’t go to plan, don’t blame them on other people

I hear myself saying “It’s OK”
What can I do for you for always smiling at me?

I can say “It’s OK” because of everyone here
They helped me find a place to belong, so I no longer need my time card

I heard your voice telling me “It’s OK”
“You can’t do anything by yourself, but you finally made your way to here”

I live here because I am always hoping that I will be able to reach out to someone2

 

Translation notes

1. The Japanese lyrics and Chinese translation for this line do not have pronouns and quotation marks, so the line could be something said by the listener or a thought by the singer. The content of this line and the next two lines (in the next verse) appear to me as advice given to the singer, so I decided to make this line something said by the listener.

2. I find that the final line can be interpreted in two ways. On one hand, it could a continuation of the listener speaking in previous verse, in which case it is the listener explaining why he met the singer. On the other hand, it could be the singer’s resolve to pay forward the help she received by helping other people who may be lost in their lives like she was.

 

Simplified Chinese

深夜0时打了下班卡  大完工走在平常路上
还了昨天借的录影带  提着便利商店的袋子

其实  还有其他梦想  无法简单说出口
那时的我  唯一的归所  就是写着名字的时间表

跟周围的朋友  好像也渐渐脱节了
好几次也差点想放弃了

说着“没关系”听到你这样的声音
一个人什么都做不到  终于走到这儿了

埋头寻找幸福的点滴  没什么可以失去的
也有不顺心的事  别再怪罪其他人了

说着“没关系”听着我的声音
总是  总是  对我微笑着  能为这样的你做些什么呢

说着“没关系”因为有这样的大家
我才能找到归所  已经不需要时间表了

说着“没关系”听到你这样的声音
一个人什么都做不到  终于走到这儿了

我活在这儿  一直希望能传达给某个谁

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9 comments

  1. Denny Sinnoh

    Yes, I have felt many of these things that the protagonist. I may have to read the lines, read between the lines and listen with my heart (as I often do with any HO song).
    RE” “There were several times when I almost decided to give up”
    I don’t think that it is the protagonist giving up on a career, although it sounds like it at first. Is it a song about mentoring? I think it is a lot sadder than that.

    The giving up — I think it is the feeling of giving up on the hope of ever being loved, and how empty that can feel if love has been lacking for too long.
    Yes, the disconnect with friends is mentioned, as she trudged through the everyday minutia. Her friends would sympathize, but they are not a substitute for what is missing. The store clearly does not carry what she wants. If you are unloved by a lover, everything will seem incomplete. You still function. You still go to work, and punch that time clock.

    The time card acknowledges another day without love. The stillness of the song resonates with my emotions of emptiness,.
    “I live here because I am always hoping that I will be able to reach out to someone”
    She’s keeping the door open to a slim hope that it love will still happen or return.

    Like

    • Edward

      Thank you for sharing. I imagined that the song was about a platonic relationship, but you’ve given a good explanation for why it could be interpreted as being about a romantic one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tPenguinLTG

    I’ve got myself hoping that Oku Hanako will write a song about a dessert.

    She has a song called Chocolate / チョコレート on her 2009 album BIRTHDAY (translation by Rosanne included). However, unlike the takoyaki in TAKOYAKI, the chocolate is used figuratively.

    At first, I would be inclined to say that the lines tagged with your first note should be thoughts by the singer because there are no quotation marks, but I can’t make much sense out of it if they’re interpreted that way. It’s Japanese, and a song at that, so you’re probably right.

    On another note, It’s quite appropriate to have “Time Card” on an album called “TIME NOTE” that also includes songs like “Garnet” and “Kawaranai Mono”, her two songs from “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”.

    Like

    • Edward

      Thank you for letting me know that Oku Hanako already has a song with a dessert as the title. I’ll accept it even though the chocolate is used as a metaphor for a romantic relationship.

      Yeah, the lack of quotation marks (and punctuation marks in other songs) makes it difficult for me to be confident that I have translated the meaning correctly. I point out these situations in the hope that readers will be more willing to share other interpretations that I might have overlooked while translating, instead of just accepting what I write and thinking that I know better.

      Like

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