What's new
Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Translating a japanese song thread.

Welcome to our Japan community!

A discussion forum for all Things Japanese. Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,791
Reaction score
3,996
It seems to me that you used "frozen" without fully understanding the function of it, just by "feeling". (Actually, the same goes to "not being able to say anything".) Can you tell us the full version of the clause, not just "frozen" but "I was frozen, and...", for instance?

I'm not saying "because of the burden". I said "because of that", i.e., because of 言葉にできず凍えたままで人前ではやさしく生きていた (= 言葉にできず凍えたままで人前ではやさしく生きていたから、そのしわよせで、こんなふうに雑に雨の夜にきみを抱きしめてた).
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
It seems to me that you used "frozen" without fully understanding the function of it, just by "feeling". (Actually, the same goes to "not being able to say anything".) Can you tell us the full version of the clause, not just "frozen" but "I was frozen, and...", for instance?

You were right. The first thing you wrote was "just from the form of 凍えた." That's exactly how I understand it. Since 凍えた is past tence and is often used as past participle in English, it is automatically "frozen" for me or in this case "I have been frozen" probably. Is there more to it?

言葉にできず - clauses with ずに - AずにB - B happened even though A didn't. Without A happening, B happened. Kotoba ni dekizu[ni]. -> Without saying anything/not being able to say anything, I used to live...
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,791
Reaction score
3,996
You were right. The first thing you wrote was "just from the form of 凍えた." That's exactly how I understand it. Since 凍えた is past tence and is often used as past participle in English, it is automatically "frozen" for me or in this case "I have been frozen" probably. Is there more to it?
So, your interpretation of 凍えた is "I have been frozen" there? It represent the current state? Then, how about 私は今寒くて凍えている? The past form 凍えた just corresponds to the past participle "frozen" and doesn't show any tense? My point is that 凍えた is his past state when he used to live, and it should be clearly shown in the translation.

言葉にできず - clauses with ずに - AずにB - B happened even though A didn't. Without A happening, B happened. Kotoba ni dekizu[ni]. -> Without saying anything/not being able to say anything, I used to live...
Yes, your interpretation, 言葉にできず凍えたままで人前ではやさしく生きていた is possible. Another interpretation is that できず is the continuous usage as same as its modern form できなくて/できないで, i.e, 言葉にできず凍えた is a single clause that modifies まま(= 言葉にできず凍えたままで人前ではやさしく生きていた).I think this is more suitable.
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
My point is that 凍えた is his past state when he used to live, and it should be clearly shown in the translation.

true, it is the past for of the verb. My mistake. But I just wanted to add present perfect "have been frozen" and present simple "freeze" are not the same kind of present right? I chose present perfect since it has a connection to the past - I was frozen in the past and still am now. (that now part is obviously wrong, since the action is 100% in the past). I could transtale it as "I was freezing", but then you would say "it is not a continuous action". "I froze" is also wrong, it just doesn't sound right in English. The English equivalent would be just "frozen", but you don't like that either. So I really don't know how I can make you happy. For me it stays frozen. Moreover "すいた駅" - does it show any kind of past? Isn't it just "station which became empty, empty station"?

言葉にできず凍えた is a single clause that modifies まま(= 言葉にできず凍えたままで人前ではやさしく生きていた).I think this is more suitable.
Ah, ok I get it.

But seriously, can we move on? :) There are a few things in the song I would really like to hear your opinion about.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
122
I don't think the English equivalent would be simply frozen. It's the past participle of freeze but can be modified by a verb phrase. For example, "I will be frozen", "She had been frozen", "If the weather stays as it is the pond will become frozen over.". I agree that there's a better way to show this equivalent in English.
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
I agree that there's a better way to show this equivalent in English.

Okay, please tell me a better word (phrase) in English for lyrics:
"not able to say anything, frozen, I used to live in front of people".
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
I see what you are getting at, but seriously "Not able to say anything, I was frozen, I used to live in front of people". It's like a sentence is torn in half. I want to put a full stop after "frozen". But it is one sentence in the song. But if you say it sounds natural to you as a native speaker I guess I won't argue :).
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
122
Certainly it wouldn't sound good musically. I think it depends on your purpose for interpreting it. If it's simply for your understanding of what it means then I would say by all means to try and get as close to the meaning as possible. If it's for fitting in with the music you're either going to lose some fit in the music or lose meaning from the original text. Something that might sound more natural in English might be "In front of people, I was frozen, unable to say anything." I know where you're getting the "I used to live in front of people" part from but it doesn't seem like a natural phrase in English. "The way I lived my life in front of people" might be an acceptable replacement.
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
I know where you're getting the "I used to live in front of people" part from but it doesn't seem like a natural phrase in English.
I know, you are totally right. My discussion with toritoribe was about the appropriate form of "frozen". What I wanted to say is that I totally understand the form of "kogoeta" but for the purpose of a more natural sound I would like to stick to just "frozen". I think I am trying to find a balance between "lyrics sounding like lyrics" and "understanding the grammar" and failing miserably :)
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
122
Unfortunately you have to chose between one or the other in my opinion. Otherwise you're going to frustrate yourself trying to make it fit.
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
Yes, I will do that, thank you. I think grammar is more important.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,791
Reaction score
3,996
I could transtale it as "I was freezing", but then you would say "it is not a continuous action".
This is a typical mistake beginner learners often do, or more likely learners who learn Japanese not via decent textbooks but randomly from internet resources or something. The tense in Japanese is different from the one in English. ~ている form could be the present state resulting from the past action, not the present progressive depending on the type of verbs (in punctual verbs, and not in durative verbs, for instance). Similarly, the past form of a verb can be a state, and it could be expressed by the past or present progress form in English.

I'm talking about the tense of 凍えた in that sentence, which is provided by the main verb of the sentence. For instance, 凍えた represents the present tense in 凍えたままで生きている, the future tense in 凍えたままで明日から生きていく, and the continuation of the present perfect tense in 凍えたままで生きてきた.

The problem of just "frozen" is that it's unclear the relation of "frozen" and other clauses, which is clear in the original Japanese. I, too, thought why you didn't choose "I was frozen". I believe there is some way to say 凍えたままで, e.g., "while I was frozen" or "with being frozen" instead of just "frozen".

But seriously, can we move on? :) There are a few things in the song I would really like to hear your opinion about.
You yourself said that this song was special for you, but it doesn't seem to me that you really understand the meaning of this paragraph completely... You don't need to know the accurate meaning of the lyrics? If so, and if you are satisfied with just "frozen", there is no problem to move on to the next.

Firstly, try again about 道路わきのビラと壊れた常夜燈, since it's ビ, not ビ.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
122
Think I may have learned something reading through this, would just like to see if I'm right or not. I have my translation of the line that includes ままで.

言葉にできず凍えたままで人前ではやさしく生きていた

while I was frozen I was unable to say anything
I used to live gently in front of people
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
more likely learners who learn Japanese not via decent textbooks but randomly from internet resources or something.
I do own a book. But I cannot judge if it's decent. My problem is I have no practice at all so I have to get out there and read stuff on my own. And of course I come across things I haven't learned yet. So learning only by the book is bad since I need practice, practice is bad since there are still a lot of things I don't know. That's why I'm here, to learn. Not just to translate the song. Also, though it might seem unstructured to you, but learning a bit here and there is not so bad at all - I am still LEARNING. Maybe not in the right order but it's still better than nothing :)

the future tense in 凍えたままで明日から生きていく, and the continuation of the present perfect tense in 凍えたままで生きてきた
now I'm kind of wondering why you used いく in the first example but くる in the second.

You yourself said that this song was special for you...
It's because it is special to me I want to translate it as soon as possible. I'm just a bit impatient :) Is "I was frozen" ok?
Firstly, try again about 道路わきのビラと壊れた常夜燈, since it's ビ, not ビ.

Hmm villas by the roadside and broken nightlights?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,791
Reaction score
3,996
As I pointed out previously, song lyrics are inappropriate as a learning material, and you need to learn Japanese properly through decent textbooks. If you haven't learned even the modifying clause or ~ていく/~てくる(きた) form from your book, I don't think it's decent. I strongly recommend getting another textbook such like Genki. And if, nevertheless, you want to learn something from translating this lyrics, you shouldn't miss a good chance to grasp one of the keys you need to learn in order to interpret Japanese such like the tense issue just by leaving 凍えたまま as "frozen" without getting the correct function of it in the sentence.

My attempt is "While I was frozen without being able to say anything", (sounds rather awkward but) "With being frozen without being able to say anything", or maybe "With not being able to say anything and being frozen".

now I'm kind of wondering why you used いく in the first example but くる in the second.
~ていく/くる(きた) express continuous action/movement in the time line. いく is for the future, and くる(きた) is for the past.

Hmm villas by the roadside and broken nightlights?
No. Try again.
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
If you haven't learned even the modifying clause or ~ていく/~てくる(きた) form from your book, I don't think it's decent.
I haven't learned it YET. I honestly don't think ~ていく/~てくる is a beginners level. And I don't think you can really understand which level is which as a native speaker, since each grammar piece is natural for you. That's why you have a little bit of this and oh-my-god-she-is-so-stupid-how-can-she-not-know-it attitude.

~ていく/くる(きた) express continuous action/movement in the time line. いく is for the future, and くる(きた) is for the past.
that's exactly what I was asking. I learned that both can be used for present and past (How to use 〜ていく+〜てくる ( = ~teiku + ~tekuru) – Maggie Sensei):

Verb + ていく ( = teiku) From the time when speaker is thinking to the future. / habitual actions

Verb + ていった ( = teitta) From the past until the time when speaker is thinking.

Verb + てくる ( = tekuru) From the time when speaker is thinking to the future. / habitual actions

Verb + てきた  ( = tekita) From the past until the time when speaker is thinking.

道路わきのビラと壊れた常夜燈:
道路わきのビラ - villa(s) of the sideroads
と - and
壊れた常夜燈 - broken nightlights.
What am I doing wrong? This is one of those sentences which look really easy... it there more to it?
 

AmerikaJin5

Sempai
Joined
12 Nov 2014
Messages
174
Reaction score
99
I haven't learned it YET. I honestly don't think ~ていく/~てくる is a beginners level. And I don't think you can really understand which level is which as a native speaker, since each grammar piece is natural for you. That's why you have a little bit of this and oh-my-god-she-is-so-stupid-how-can-she-not-know-it attitude.
I think it's more of a hey-I've-told-you-several-times-that-beginners-struggle-with-translating-song-lyrics-because-you-don't-YET-know-enough-grammar attitude. I've seen nothing in @Toritoribe さん's posts that indicate any attitude toward you other than helpfulness.
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
I think it's more of a hey-I've-told-you-several-times-that-beginners-struggle-with-translating-song-lyrics-because-you-don't-YET-know-enough-grammar attitude.
Yes you are right, but ~te iku/kuru was NOT in the lyrics. It was an example he gave me and I just asked back. He really is helpful, that is true. I think I was just hoping for him to be a little bit more understanding since not everyone is perfect in japanese and knows every single grammar rule. :)
 

AmerikaJin5

Sempai
Joined
12 Nov 2014
Messages
174
Reaction score
99
Yes you are right, but ~te iku/kuru was NOT in the lyrics. It was an example he gave me and I just asked back. He really is helpful, that is true. I think I was just hoping for him to be a little bit more understanding since not everyone is perfect in japanese and knows every single grammar rule. :)
You're right, ていく/てくる was not in the lyrics, but remember that he was trying to correct your understanding of verb tenses to express a current state, in that case 凍えた. Specifically, he gave an example of how it can be used to express present and future states using the past tense of the verb. That's where you didn't understand the function of ていく/てくる and thus felt like he was belittling you for your lack of understanding. It was simply a case of you not knowing enough grammar to understand his clarification about the grammar you didn't quite understand, which is necessary in order to translate this song you want to translate so badly.
I'll leave you with this -- think about it from his perspective: someone who doesn't know most of the grammar required to properly translate these lyrics continually asks for clarification and then gets frustrated when they don't understand the clarification. Just keep studying (i.e., with your textbook) and try to learn what you can from Toritoribe-san's feedback. :)
Good luck!
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
That's true, I will try to learn as much as I can. That's why I'm here :) Didn't want to offend anyone. Sorry @Toritoribe and thanks for your help so far :)
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,791
Reaction score
3,996
Well actually, I've seen some textbooks for non-native learners so far since I've been giving responses for over 9 years even only in this forum. ~ていく/くる has another meaning, as explained in the site you linked, and it's taught in beginner level (Genki Ⅱ, if my memory is correct). I don't think it's wrong to judge that a textbook that doesn't explain the modifying clause or ~ていく/くる at all is not decent even for beginner's level.

Honestly, we've been seeing many learners who tried to translate lyrics without knowing basic grammar. I remember a member of this forum. She said she didn't learn Japanese properly, but had been translating Japanese song lyrics for over 10 years. She contracted for a job to translate a company's home page into Japanese, and asked us to proofread it. Her translation was... totally gibberish. It didn't make sense at all, literally at all. A member pointed out that to get paid for those kind of work was a fraud. Few years later, she asked about a lyrics she was translating at that time. She interpreted a modifying verb as the predicative even in that time, just like you did for けむる. This is exactly the reason why Mike-san wrote "Naturally, the thread will end up being us doing the translating for you." in this thread.

Again and again, my points are; song lyrics are not appropriate as a learning material, you need to get a decent textbook and learn from it, and nevertheless if you seriously want to learn something through translating this lyrics, you shouldn't leave 凍えたまま just as "frozen". There is no problem with asking about ~ていく/くる. We would be able to explain it just like in this thread or this one, but your reading comprehension of Japanese will not improve at least efficiently and/or effectively without using decent textbooks, I believe.

Verb + ていった ( = teitta) From the past until the time when speaker is thinking.

Verb + てきた  ( = tekita) From the past until the time when speaker is thinking.
Sorry for nitpicking, but are those two expressions the same in meaning?

道路わきのビラ - villa(s) of the sideroads
と - and
壊れた常夜燈 - broken nightlights.
What am I doing wrong? This is one of those sentences which look really easy... it there more to it?
I don't know what kind of dictionary you are using, but is "villa" only the meaning of ビラ in your dictionary?
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
Again and again, my points are; song lyrics are not appropriate as a learning material, you need to get a decent textbook and learn from it
I don't know about Japanese of course... I've only had experience with European languages and it helped me A LOT while learning. Like seriously, I've learned almost everything from songs, both vocabulary and grammar. I've always thought "Yeah, the language is maybe a little bit peculiar but it still consists of words of this language which are connected in a way for people to understand." So it is still hard to believe that Japanese in songs is just soooooo different from the spoken/written Japanese that I should just let it be and get back to the books :) I think I will first work through my "indecent" textbook and will then buy Genki and go through the stuff from the very beginning, repeating things I've learned already.

Thanks a lot for the ~ていく/くる thread. I think I understand it a bit better now but I still need more examples and stuff... I lack what I call "experience". I personally think that if I hear this construction in 1000 different situations and sentences, I will sooner or later start to grasp the pecularities and the differences between them. I just really have to watch/read a lot in Japanese. I know you are a big fan of books but I still think that the most important part of learning the language is this "experience".

Sorry for nitpicking, but are those two expressions the same in meaning?
I wasn't the one who wrote this, i've quoted it from that site. I would say ていった is probably do something and go somewhere, and てきた is do something and come back.

I don't know what kind of dictionary you are using, but is "villa" only the meaning of ビラ in your dictionary?

I guess so... ビラ - Jisho.org

I've been giving responses for over 9 years even only in this forum
That's what I've been meaning to ask you but maybe it's too personal... why are you doing this exactly? Is being a mod your passion or payed job? What do you do for life?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,791
Reaction score
3,996
XVI. JREF Team members
Team members are not employed by Japan Reference (JREF) and have no legal affiliation with Japan Reference (JREF).
Forum Rules | Japan Forum

Not only moderators but also other members of JREF are all volunteers. There are countless volunteer workers in forums like this, or of course in the real world. Don't you think it's rude to ask them "Are you doing it for money?"? It sounds rude at least to me enough to decide not to give any response to you anymore. Sigh...
 

dhmkhkk

後輩
Joined
25 Jun 2017
Messages
160
Reaction score
3
Don't you think it's rude to ask them "Are you doing it for money?"?
I don't know if it's cultural differences of some sort but:
1. I avoided phrasing it like that ("Are you doing it for money?") because it definitely wasn't my purpose to offend you (come on, why would i want that? You help me so much)

2. I don't see a problem with getting payed if someone is doing a decent job. I could imagine a website hiring a few people who studied Japanese (or even better: native speakers who studied the Japanese language at a university) and these people help foreigners study Japanese. The site gets bigger, more and more users come, the website creators start to earn money by placing ads. It is a common practice (that's how internet actually works) so there is no shame in saying "I am a full-time employee of this website". Cause let's face it, nothing is free and it is also ok like that. Every service should be payed for.

So please tell me again why my question was rude to you.

I also asked you about what you do for life. The reason for that is you are aware of a lot of (if not all) grammatical notions. When I first moved to Switzerland and was learning German, I asked questions like "what is the subject of this sentence? Is this verb transitive?" People made huge eyes and said "What is a subject? What is tansitive?". That's why I thought you must have really studied Japanese to be able to explain it this well. Yes indeed, I was very being rude. Sigh...
 
Top Bottom