Kanojo

彼女 (Kanajo) · 女朋友 · Girlfriend

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 5

 

彼女 (Kanajo) can mean “she”, “her” or “girlfriend”, depending on the context. The Chinese translator decided to go with “girlfriend”. It does appear as the most logical choice, though I am aware of “She” as the title of an Elvis Costello song. On a side note, I wasn’t expecting this post to be delayed for so long. The delay was girlfriend related, or so I would like to say because of the coincidence it would have with the song, but that was not the case.

 

English

You are the cause of all my worries and suffering
The important things can only be found within our hearts

It has become painful to meet; I can’t say “I want to see you”
I cannot be as you like me to be anymore

Please don’t forget that we lived through days of loving each other
Please smile all the time; your smiling face, your figure
Everything about you was endearing

I like your unhurried speech and long fingers
I can clearly remember the day we met, though I can’t say why

The quietly passing time changed me alone
I cannot be as you like me to be anymore

Vanish like ice that melts in the heat
As if nothing had been said, your words
Still cannot reach my heart

It has become painful to meet; I can’t say “I want to see you”
I cannot be as you like me to be anymore

Please don’t forget that we lived through days of loving each other
Please smile all the time; your smiling face, your figure
Everything about you was endearing
I hope I can be myself
And be able to say “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry”

 

Simplified Chinese

让我困惑  让我难过  总是因你而起
重要的事情  只是在两人心中才能找到吧

见面时变得难受  想见你却无法说出口
已经无法成为你所喜欢的我了

不论何时也请别忘记  相爱的日子曾经就在这里
不论何时也请保持笑容  你的笑脸  你的背影
全部都好令人疼惜

说话慢条斯理  修长的手指  我都好喜欢
不知为何  初次见面那天的回忆  我仍记忆犹新

静静流逝的时光  只改变了我
已经无法成为你所喜欢的我了

就这样消失吧  如同随热度融化的冰一般
就这样不发一言  你说的话
依旧无法触及我的内心

见面时变得难受  想见你却无法说出口
已经无法成为你所喜欢的我了

不论何时也请别忘记  相爱的日子曾经就在这里
不论何时也请保持笑容  你的笑脸  你的背影
全部都好令人疼惜
不要说抱歉  而是说谢谢
希望能成为真正的我

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Mail

Mail

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 11

 

You may have come across メール (meeru) translated as “email” or “text”, and that translation could reasonably be used here too. The song’s original title uses the Roman alphabet to spell “Mail”, so it was a straightforward decision to keep the title as is. I chose to use “mail” in the lyrics so that the title would be echoed in the lyrics.

 

English

The mail you send me
They are so short they could go unnoticed
But they are more than enough
Just the thought that you would lift your finger to mail me
That is more than enough

I wait a while to open your mail so my joy won’t be noticed
I write short replies so I don’t appear talkative
Right now, these moments are delightful to me

Why are you the one?
There are many others to fall in love with besides you
Why is this so painful?
I haven’t done anything wrong
All I did was fall in love with you

The mail you send me
Even if sent at midnight while I’m asleep, or sent on a whim
They are more than enough
Your occasional emoji are always penguins
This and everything else are endearing to me

Even if I think it is okay to not be first
I still cannot be second
I knew all along that it would not be enough

Why are you the one?
I know better than anyone that my feelings will never be returned
Why is this so painful?
I haven’t done anything wrong
All I did was fall in love with you

Why are you the one?
There are many others to fall in love with besides you
Why is this so painful?
I haven’t done anything wrong
All I did was fall in love with you

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 2, line 2

I write short replies so I don’t appear talkative

The adjective しつこく (shitsukoku), which means “obstinate, persistent, tenacious”, is used to describe the appearance that the singer does not want to give to the listener. The Chinese translation uses 啰嗦, which means “talkative”. I can see that someone who speaks persistently (as in continually instead of tenaciously) could be described as talkative, but I am not exactly sure that is the intended meaning. In the absence of a better interpretation, I decided to go with “talkative”.

 

2. Verse 4, line 2

Even if sent at midnight while I’m asleep, or sent on a whim

The subject is omitted in this line in the original Japanese and the Chinese translation. The subject in the first half of the line is asleep during midnight (or possibly the middle of the night). I decided the subject had to be the singer because I did not like the idea of the listener having a sleep-typing quirk.

The subject in the second half of the line is being impulsive or fickle. At first, I thought it was the singer so that the subject would be the same as the first half. After some thought, I decided it made more sense that the listener sent the email on a whim instead of the singer not caring that she receives email while feeling whimsical.

 

3. Verse 4, line 4

Your occasional emoji are always penguins

The mention of penguin emoji prompted me to look up its meaning. According to Hyemoji, a penguin emoji may be used to convey cuteness or cold weather. However, Western and Japanese interpretations of emoji are not always shared, according to an article from Cosmopolitan. I cannot think of a meaning other than “cute” or “cold”, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is one. Actually, I wonder if there has been a surge in the use of penguin emoji due to the Winter 2018 anime Sora yori mo Tooi Basho, where one of the main characters loves penguins.

 

I feel like this song is classic Oku Hanako composing a song about unrequited love from the perspective of youthful innocence. To me, a past song that evokes the same feeling would be Hatsukoi. Unless my memory fails me, I think I have not felt this way about any song I have translated so far in the last four albums of new songs – Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou (2017), Prism (2016), Kimi to Boku no Michi (2014), and good-bye (2012). For reference, Hatsukoi first came out as a single in 2010.

 

Simplified Chinese

你传来的讯息
虽然简短到仿佛会看漏
这样就足够了
光是想到  你为了我动手输入讯息
这样就足够了

为了不被发现我的雀跃  过了段时间才打开讯息
为了不让你觉得啰嗦  内容写得短短的
对我来说  这个瞬间也让人好开心

为什么是你呢
恋爱对象除你以外  明明还有很多选择
为什么如此折腾呢
明明什么坏事都没做
就只有单纯喜欢上你而已

你传来的讯息
即使在睡着的半夜  即使心情浮躁
这样就足够了
偶尔会用的表情符号  总是企鹅居多呢
就连这点  我全都好喜欢

就算不是第一顺位也没关系
就算这么想  也无法成为第二顺位
明明早就知道  只有这样是无法满足我的

为什么是你呢
明明比谁都清楚  这是难以圆满的恋情
为什么如此折腾呢
明明什么坏事都没做
就只有单纯喜欢上你而已

为什么是你呢
恋爱对象除你以外  明明还有很多选择
为什么如此折腾呢
明明什么坏事都没做
就只有单纯喜欢上你而已

Haruka Tooku ni

遥か遠くに (Haruka Tooku ni) · 遥远那头 · In the Distance

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 14

 

English

Once again I ride the swaying train away from the familiar city today
When did I start gazing wistfully at the light from faraway house windows?
Every day I am busy with work before things I value and anticipate
What am I working so hard for? My weary face is reflected in the window

I look up at the city sky that is the same as it ever was

The crowd of people continues to pass by
Why is no one waiting for me?
I see a future in the distance within the reality of today
Even if my struggle consumes me, I will believe in tomorrow

I was scared of nothing before I grew up
As if misleading my true self, did I become used to getting hurt?

My heart still holds a dream that cannot be fulfilled

The crowd of people continues to pass by
When I think about who I want to see, why are you always the only one?
I see a future in the distance within the reality of today
As I continue to search for happiness, I will believe in tomorrow again and again

Posturing, lying, boasting, crying
Even so, I will continue, I’m living the days I love

The crowd of people continues to pass by
Why is no one waiting for me?
I see a future in the distance within the reality of today
Even if my struggle consumes me, I will believe in tomorrow
Even so, I will believe in tomorrow

 

Translation notes

I like the mix of optimism and sensibility shown by the singer. Although dejected by her daily grind and loneliness, the singer continues to dream. She keeps her dream in perspective by viewing it from the “reality of today”. The reality tells her that her dream cannot be fulfilled in the near future hence the singer considers her dream to be “in the distance”.

The title of the album, 遥か遠くに見えていた今日 (Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou), is translated to Chinese as 遥远的今天, which means “the faraway today” or, to use the same words as the song’s title, “the today in the distance”. Taking the titles of the song and the album together, I get the impression that Oku Hanako is saying that she was going through hard times while chasing her dream and now she is living her dream (i.e. her current “today” is the “today” that she used to dream of having in the future). The Chinese translation of the album’s title does not exactly match the translation used by tPenguinLTG: “Today When I Could See Far in the Distance”, so the impression may be off the mark.

 

Simplified Chinese

离开早已习惯的城市  今天也在电车上摇摇晃晃
伤感遥望  远方家家户户的灯光  是从何时开始的呢
在价值与憧憬之前  是被眼前工作追赶的日常
到底是为了什么而努力呢  窗户映照出无力的面容

抬头仰望  都市的天空  和当时一样都没改变

熙来攘往的人群  不断上演着擦身而过的相遇
等待着我的人  为何一个也没有呢
称之为今日的现实里  有着遥远那头眼见的未来
逐渐被卷入纷争之中  即使如此也要相信明天

在成为大人之前的我  对凡事都无所谓惧
真正的自己  像被误导一般  对受伤这件事已司空见惯了吧

再怎么前进  也无法抵达的梦想  仍存在心里

熙来攘往的人群  不断上演着擦身而过的相遇
想着好想见到的那个人  为何都只有你呢
称之为今日的现实里  有着遥远那头眼见的未来
持续找寻着幸福  不论多少次都要相信明天

逞强  说谎  爱慕虚荣  怅然落泪
即使如此也要前进  爱恋的每一天  我在这里喔

熙来攘往的人群  不断上演着擦身而过的相遇
等待着我的人  为何一个也没有呢
称之为今日的现实里  有着遥远那头眼见的未来
逐渐被卷入纷争之中  即使如此也要相信明天
即使如此也要相信明天

 

Omoide ni Nare

思い出になれ (Omoide ni Nare) · 成为回忆 · Turn into Memories

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 9

 

English

“Where shall we go next weekend?”
I thought out of habit, even though you’re already gone
I said “We shouldn’t grow closer”
You replied “I don’t understand” and started crying; and now… Ah

Was I being arrogant?
Or was I being impulsive?
I believed it was for our benefit
I was once in love with you

Turn into memories, turn into memories
The town where you live, the shop, and the sound of your laughter
Turn into memories, turn into memories
The days when I’d say “I love you” over and over, and your tear-stained face

The wind suddenly became cold
You would often say “I love the scent of osmanthuses”
Where are you now? And what are you doing?
It’s like a joke – all I can think of is you… Ah

I’m overcome with loneliness
Why can’t I forgive you?
The small lies, the cheeky look on your face as you slept
They were once all my sources of happiness

Turn into memories, turn into memories
Meeting you under falling cherry blossoms, and the sunset we watched
Turn into memories, turn into memories
The moment when I first realised that I loved you, while going home on a winter day

You were close to me yet I couldn’t trust you; that must have hurt you

Turn into memories, turn into memories
The town where you live, the shop, and the sound of your laughter
Turn into memories, turn into memories
The days when I said I loved you over and over, and your tear-stained face

And the two of us who thought we would always be together

 

Translation notes

Did you notice the two flowers mentioned in the song? The first flower, the osmanthus, symbolises love and romance, at least in Chinese culture. The osmanthus is associated with autumn because that is when its flowers bloom. Another point to mention is that its fragrance is very pleasing. The second flower, the cherry blossom, symbolises love as well as other things. The cherry blossom is associated with spring, which is when its flower bloom and fall. By the way, does “meeting you under falling cherry blossoms” remind anyone of the opening scene of Clannad?

This song feels like it would go with the singer creating a scrapbook of the time with her ex-lover. The lyrics would correspond with the pictures and memorabilia she is putting in the book. The action of closing the book and putting it away, possibly somewhere like a storage area instead of a daily access bookshelf, would fit well with the assertion “turn into memories”.

 

Simplified Chinese

下个周末要去哪呢
明明你已不在  却仍习惯性地思考着
暂时保持距离吧  在这样说着的我面前
你说不明白  就这样哭了起来  如今。。。Ah

是独善其身吗
或是意气用事呢
我始终相信是为了两人好
好喜欢你已成为过去

成为回忆  成为回忆
有你的这城镇  这家店  还有你的笑声
全都成为回忆  成为回忆
总是说着喜欢你的日子  还有你哭泣的脸

风儿突然间变得好冷
你总是说  好喜欢这桂花香呢
如今你  在何处做些什么呢
让人发笑般地  满脑子想的都是你。。。Ah

被寂寞打败
为何无法原谅你呢
小小的谎言也好  你淘气的睡脸也好
全都曾经是我的幸福

成为回忆  成为回忆
樱花飘散时节相遇的你  还有眺望过的夕阳
全都成为回忆  成为回忆
第一次发觉喜欢你的  冬日的归途

没能相信在我身旁的你  一定伤害到你了吧

成为回忆  成为回忆
有你的这城镇  这家店  还有你的笑声
全都成为回忆  成为回忆
总是说着喜欢你的日子  还有你哭泣的脸

以及曾以为会永远在一起  当时的两个人

Honobono Yukou

ほのぼの行こう (Honobono Yukou) · 温暖的前进 · Let’s Proceed Warmly

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 8

 

I think this a good song for welcoming the New Year. The farming references don’t fit my urban living, but the wish to get along with friends and to have a good life is agreeable to me. This song was used as the image song for the game Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. I haven’t played any games in the Story of Seasons series, and I don’t plan to either. I did read the gameplay description of the Story of Seasons series, however, and I think this song is a perfect fit.

There is an alternative translation for this song, and a brief comparison is in my translation notes below.

 

English

The morning light, the chirping of birds, and white clouds are frolicking in the sky
Lush meadows are swaying in the wind – it’s the birthday of today

Let’s water the tiny flowers with the watering can
We can always hear the mooing of the cattle

Let’s proceed warmly and always cherish our precious friends
In the swinging and swaying greenery, a one and only life is born

The scent of spring, the feeling of joy, and whistling at the blue summer sky
The tasty fruit, the bountiful autumn harvest, and the pure white winter landscape

Let’s sow tiny seeds under the sun
Smiles bloom upon everyone’s faces

Walking with you, a precious friend at all times
Let’s describe a glittering dream: our merry daily life will continue

Let’s proceed warmly and always cherish our precious friends
In the swinging and swaying greenery, a one and only life is born

The morning light and the chirping of birds – it’s the birthday of today

 

Translation notes

1. While translating this song, I thought that first-person plural pronouns would be appropriate for matching the social atmosphere that would be present in a Story of Seasons game. As such, I added the “let’s”, “we” and “our”. The Chinese translation omitted pronouns for the most part, except when it used first-person singular pronouns to refer to “precious friends”, i.e.

我亲爱的朋友们
My precious friends

 

2. Verse 4, line 1

春の匂い 心はずんで 夏の青さに 口笛吹く
Haru no nioi kokoro hazun de natsu no aosa ni kuchibue fuku

春天的气息  愉悦的心情  对着夏天的青绿  吹起口哨

The scent of spring, the feeling of joy, and whistling at the blue summer sky

In this line, the Japanese lyrics do not explicitly mention “sky”. Instead, the relevant part (夏の青さ natsu no aosa) literally means “the blueness of summer”. I imagine the “blueness” would be referring to the sky. The relevant part in the Chinese translation (夏天的青绿) means “the greenery of summer”. From the Chinese translator’s perspective, they saw it fit to add 绿 (lit. “green”, simplified form of 緑) to make 青绿 (lit. “green”) instead of leaving it as 青 (lit. “green/blue”).

 

3. Alternative translation

There is another translation of this song by mariethecrocheter, and the text was reformatted to be tidier by tPenguinLTG.

 

3.1. Title

ほのぼの行こう (honobono yukou)

行こう (yukou) is the volitional form of the verb meaning “to go”. The volitional form means that the speaker is suggesting doing something, which in this case is “to go”. ほのぼの (honobono) is an adverb meaning “heart-warming”.

As the title is a verb and an adverb, mariethecrocheter’s translation “Let’s Go Warm the Heart” does not fit the literal meaning. However, it does a good job at conveying the overall meaning in a structure that makes more sense in English.

 

3.2. Verse 1, line 2

Lush meadows are swaying in the wind – it’s the birthday of today (Edward)

At the Fruitful Farm / in the swaying breeze / The day known as today is born (mariethecrocheter)

I presume mariethecrocheter has played the game (their site is dedicated to the game, after all), so they would be familiar with the name of the farm. The Japanese lyrics use 牧場 (makiba, may also be read as bokujou) and the Chinese translation uses “牧场”. In both cases, the meaning can be either “grazing land” or “livestock farm”. It made more sense to me to describe land instead of a farm as “lush” hence I missed the reference to the farm. I like the translation “The day known as today is born” because it is more direct in saying “today has started”.

 

3.3. Verse 3, line 2

In the swinging and swaying greenery, a one and only life is born (Edward)

Within the swaying greenery / A lone life is growing up (mariethecrocheter)

The use of “lone” can mean “unique” or “solo”. The Japanese lyrics use たった一つ (tatta hitotsu), which can mean “solo” or “only one”. The Chinese translation (独一无二) clearly went with the meaning “unique”, and I followed suit. The intended meaning is almost certainly “unique” and not “solo” because the Story of Seasons series allows the player to find love in-game.

 

3.4. Verse 4, line 1

With respect to translation note 2, both English translations agree that verse 4, line 1 is referring to the blue sky.

 

3.5. Verse 5

Let’s sow tiny seeds under the sun
Smiles bloom upon everyone’s faces (Edward)

Under the sun, let’s sow the small seeds
Each will bloom with its own smile (mariethecrocheter)

I thought that the meaning in the second line was that the farmers are happy to be sowing seeds for the next harvest. I think the meaning that the seeds will bloom to have smiles is a better translation. The Japanese lyrics do use the meaning “bloom” (咲かせて sakasete) and it probably doesn’t intend to use it as figuratively as I have.

 

3.6. Verse 6, line 1

Walking with you, a precious friend at all times (Edward)

I’ll walk with you, regardless of the time / Because you are [my] precious friends (mariethecrocheter)

I am inclined to believe that mariethecrocheter is correct that the “time” refers to the walking instead of being a friend.

 

Simplified Chinese

清晨阳光  小鸟呢喃  白云悠游
丰饶牧场  微风摇曳  名为今天的  诞生日

用洒水器  为娇小花朵浇水
牛群的叫声  常在耳畔

温暖的前进  一直以来谢谢你  我亲爱的朋友们
水风摇曳  在绿蔭中  孕育出  独一无二的生命

春天的气息  愉悦的心情  对着夏天的青绿  吹起口哨
美味果实  丰收的秋天  冬天白雪皑皑的景色

阳光下  散播小小的种子
大家各自绽放出  迷人的笑容

与你前进  不论在何时  我亲爱的朋友们
描绘闪耀梦想吧  快乐的每一天仍会继续

温暖的前进  一直以来谢谢你  我亲爱的朋友们
水风摇曳  在绿蔭中  孕育出  独一无二的生命

清晨阳光  小鸟呢喃  名为今天的  诞生日