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"The act of dying daily"

squid

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Hey all!

I wanted to translate the quote "die daily!" into Japanese. A friend who speaks fluent Japanese thought that it would be rude to translate it directly, as it would imply that the person I would be talking to would see it as me telling him/her to actually die. Instead, he suggested, I should translate it to "the act of dying daily" - simply the process, not actually telling anyone to die.

He translated that to "mainichi shinu koto". Would that be correct? Using the wonders of the Internet, I got the Kanji of that to 毎日死事? Also, would that be correct?

I'm very grateful for any help or suggestions you could give me. I know it's a bit odd, perhaps, but it would mean a lot to me personally to get a good translation. Thanks!
 

undrentide

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Mainichi shinu koto (毎日死ぬこと means "to die daily" or "to die every day".
You cannot write evrything in kanji only, you need to use kana as well. Unless you are quoting an already existing four-kanji word or idiom, you cannot just string kanji together to express something, most of the time it won't make sense. ;-)

Your friend's translation is basically correct, but I cannot tell how appropriate/accurate it is without knowing the context,
 

Mike Cash

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Beware "fluent" friends.

If he were as proficient as he would have you believe, then he should know that while in English the plain form "die" and the imperative (command) form "die" are identical they are different in Japanese and the problem he tried to avoid just simply wouldn't exist to begin with.

Perversely, he created the very problem he was trying to avoid because his workaround of "mainichi shinu koto" can mean either the act of dying everyday or....it could be interpreted as a command for the other person to drop dead every day.

Tattoo?
 

squid

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Unless you are quoting an already existing four-kanji word or idiom, you cannot just string kanji together to express something, most of the time it won't make sense. ;-)

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Thanks. It's been about eight years since I studied Japanese, that I've forgotten about 95% of what I learned. I can still say "bad student" though. :p

Your friend's translation is basically correct, but I cannot tell how appropriate/accurate it is without knowing the context,

The context is more or less a simple motto.
 

squid

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If he were as proficient as he would have you believe, then he should know that while in English the plain form "die" and the imperative (command) form "die" are identical they are different in Japanese and the problem he tried to avoid just simply wouldn't exist to begin with.

That is interesting - he's lived in Japan for about 14 years and has worked as a translator. He and his Japanese girlfriend really struggled with this, it should be said. Interesting to hear that they didn't really pull it off. Do you know if there's any way to fix it or I will simply have to live with it?

Edit: That sounded a lot more flippant than I meant it. Sorry if it came off rude. I really meant that I found it interesting that it's that hard.


God, no. :)
 

Mike Cash

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How long a person has lived in Japan is a reliable indicator of only one thing: how long a person has lived in Japan.

The number means jacksquat.

I recently met a guy who has been here thirteen years. His Japanese is nonexistent and he tried playing the number down to ten years (his wife outed him, though) and said he was embarrassed to give the true number because his Japanese was so close to zero it wasn't worth calculating the difference.

You're starting with a logically nonsensical phrase to begin with, so tell us what it really means and we'll be better able to help you arrive at a Japanese version which won't be misunderstood.
 

Majestic

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Yes, this is the heart of the problem. As an isolated phrase it doesn't really make sense in English, and so any attempt to render it into Japanese will produce results that don't make sense. If your intention is to purposely come up with an inscrutable phrase in the hope that people will ask you about its deeper spiritual meaning, you don't need to search any further. 毎日死ぬこと is as good as you will get. (I thought this was for a tattoo also, by the way.)

Whether or not it adequately embodies the enigmatic philosophical idea you wish it to embody is something we can judge only when we have an idea of what that idea is.

Sometimes these opaque English phrases are so confounding, the Japanese prefer to keep them in the original English (either that, or they feel the phrase sounds better when kept as English). The title of the James Bond film "Die Another Day" is rendered into Japanese as ダイ アナザー デイ. So, in that spirit, for your consideration, I submit ダイ・デイリー as a potential candidate.
 

squid

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I'm so sorry about the late reply to this, I've been really busy. I'm really grateful for all the replies, and I hope I wasn't too rude by disappearing.

And yes, context is important and I understand that it's probably really hard to translate it into Japanese. I'm not sure that the context will make it easier to translate, but anyway - it's taken from Aleister Crowley's Book of Lies. If you do a search for "die daily" in that document, you'll find it.

The full verse is

Death implies change and individuality if thou be THAT which hath no person, which is beyond the changing, even beyond changelessness, what hast thou to do with death?
The bird of individuality is ecstasy; so also is its death.
In love the individuality is slain; who loves not love?
Love death therefore, and long eagerly for it.
Die Daily.
I understand that this probably won't help, or will make it even more complicated. I appreciate all the help, guys, and sorry for this probably pretty confusing question.
 

Mike Cash

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May I suggest something which is not a direct translation but which captures the essence of what is being said? The term for the Buddhist concept of impermanence: 無常 (mujou).
 
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