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Question Anyone to translate a short quote (EN to JP) please?

Cazery1

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Would anyone be so kind to translate the following:

"Be water, my friend"

(Quoted from the famous Bruce Lee) I need it written vertically either down 1 or 2 columns, both views would be greatly appreciated.

Also if anyone does Japanese calligraphy, I would be absolutely over the moon if I could see a picture of this quote written by hand.

Thank you so much
 

Majestic

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You can say it a number of ways:
水になれ、友よ。
or sometimes the "my friend" is left off, as it sounds somewhat stiff/unnatural in spoken Japanese
水になれ
or
水になるんだ。

(and perhaps the mods would be so kind as to edit the thread title to remove a word that is likely to cause offense)
 

Cazery1

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Thank you so much for your reply. It is greatly appreciated. Should I report my post and say that I would like "xxx" changed to "Japanese" as I can't edit my thread now. Sorry 1st time poster
 
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nice gaijin

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Yes that would have been a good way to notify us; reporting posts just gets it on our radar, no one necessarily gets in trouble for it.

But no need, thread title fixed.
 

Toritoribe

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Should I report my post and say that I would like "xxx" changed to "Japanese" as I can't edit my thread now.
I edited your post. I believe you would be able to write your request without using the inappropriate word directly in order to avoid causing offense again.

Here's the vertical writing examples, not hand-written but using a calligraphy-like font, though. I saw this translation in a TV show or something.
be water.jpg
 

Cazery1

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I edited your post. I believe you would be able to write your request without using the inappropriate word directly in order to avoid causing offense again.

Here's the vertical writing examples, not hand-written but using a calligraphy-like font, though. I saw this translation in a TV show or something.
View attachment 32164
Just wondering, why the the symbols differ slightly between yours and Majestic's translation? Is there just more ways of saying it. As Majestic pointed out, I'm not sure if I should shorten it to just "be water" as I would prefer it make sense in the language it was written.

I did find this, but I think I would only be focusing on the last (left) column, bar Bruce Lee's name.
 

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nice gaijin

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They are slight grammatical variations in the interpretation. Each language has its own nuances, and there are many ways to say the same thing, whether you're trying to be exactly literal or capture the tone or essence of the meaning. You can't actually say "be water" in Japanese as you do in English, so all translations will be approximations of some sort.

水になれ/mizu ni nare - commanding, concise, masculine, "BE(COME) water." This verb conjugation is a clear command.
水になるのだ/mizu ni naru no da - more like "[the thing is] to become water."
水になるんだ/mizu ni narun da - exact same as above, just an alternative way to say/write the same expository "no da" copula.
 

Majestic

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Don't forget, Bruce Lee was Chinese/American, and so putting this in Japanese is already one step away from the original.
And the original is a line from the 1971 TV show "Longstreet".
 

Cazery1

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Thank you very much for the advice, all this and you probably think it is for a tattoo right? Letting you know am designing the bottom side of a surfboard from scratch for a customer who has requested a Japanese theme. I asked what quote they would like and they quoted Bruce Lee. Hence you can kinda see where the water idea has come from. It will be while before completion, but when it is done I hope to upload a picture for you guys, thank you so much for all your help!!! 😊😊
 

Majestic

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Yes, I did think it was for a tattoo, and I had written a paragraph with a bunch of unsolicited opinions on that.
Glad I erased it. As a motif on a surfboard, it feels a lot less problematic.
 

Cazery1

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I know, far less problematic. I mean at least if I got it wrong, I could very easily correct it. The fact that this is going on a product that works hand in hand with water I feel the "水になれ" would work best. It kind of works well in a surfboard sense as well as a figurative speech. I will put the the "Bruce Lee" in there too (smaller, to the left and down of the main quote - is that right?) as in the picture I attached earlier. That way it helps convey where this saying is coming from. As my customer told me when he replied "When you know, you know".
 

mdchachi

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We all assumed it was for a tattoo. We get such requests constantly. Surfboard design is a first I think. I like your solution. Except it would probably make more sense to write it in Chinese than Japanese. But if the customer specified Japanese then that's the way to go.

 

Majestic

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Yes, "Bruce Lee" is the last bit that is on the bottom left and slightly separated from the main body of text.

The original scene from Longstreet, for the Bruce Lee fans out there (script written by Striling Silliphant)
 

Cazery1

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Ok so just an update, I have finished the top half of the board, all the scales had me going mad! Hope you guys like it, onto the bottom half. Will probably upload another picture in about 2 weeks or sooner.
 

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Cazery1

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Ok so sorry for the delay but the day is finally here! I have finished!!! Yayyy! Sorry for my scruffy appearance but it's 1st thing in the morning lol. Thank you so much for you help with the translation , I'm happy with the out come, I had to play around with the composition a bit to make it fit in nice but yeh...what you think?
 

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nice gaijin

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beautiful work! Are you drawing this directly onto the board?
 

Cazery1

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Well I draw a 1:1 scale of what I imagine on paper so I have a plan (mainly the dragon and samurai) then use graphite paper to transfer that drawing onto the board. It's basically so I make all the mistakes and rubbings on paper first so I don't leave excess amounts of graphite on the board. It keeps things neat. The koi fish were drawn straight on the board and I made rough pencil markings for the setting so once all the graphite and pencil lines were done I cracked on with painting with a brush. All the images are hand painted and outlining done with a paint pen. Most importantly though it's all done by hand there isn't any kind of transfering digital printed graphics of any sort. I'm so glad all you guys like it, and are interested enough to reply to my post. My vision for this customers board couldn't have been completed with out you guys!! Thank you soooo much!!
 

Cazery1

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O yeh I forgot to mention. Whilst doing all my background research I came across the the legend/tale of how koi fish are related to the mythical dragons (swim for 100 years, one swims up and through the dragons gate waterfall and turns into a dragon). Of course with deep Chinese roots I still found this tale very interesting!!! I have to say I did learn a couple of things☺️
 
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