Translation for Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話

Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話: “On the phone with you”

anata / あなた
“you”
to / と
“with”
denwa / (でん)()
“phone”

It’s about time I’ve posted another translation. You like listening to this song on your morning commute, so here’s Daniel’s translation of Anata to Denwa.

I think this is honestly one of the most adorable songs I’ve ever heard. I also think Oku Hanako’s voice is just perfect for this song. When I’m feeling down, this is a song I sometimes play to feel better (after a whole bunch of sad songs though, haha).

If you’re interested, Edward also has his own translation from the Chinese.

Lyrics →

Ruby annotations coming soon

As a result of a request of mine, WordPress.com now supports ruby annotations. Ruby annotations are usually used in the form of furigana, where the reading in hiragana is written on top of the kanji like this: (かん)().

You’re not restricted in the content that you can put in the annotations, so I could just as easily use the rōmaji reading instead: (kan)(ji). Similarly, you’re not restricted in the base text, so I could even do this: ka()n()ji().

All modern browsers should support ruby annotations natively, but for any browsers that don’t, (かん)() will show up as 漢(かん)字(じ).

Continue reading

Translation for Ichibanboshi / 一番星

Ichibanboshi / 一番星: “First star” (of the evening).

Today I’ve decided to feature a translation of “Ichibanboshi” by new translator, Daniel. He expressed his desire to contribute translations to the site about two months ago and will be doing so by posting them to his Tumblr blog. There are seven more that I will post sometime.

Before I read the translation, back when I first heard the song and didn’t know any Japanese, I had assumed it was a wish on the first star of the night. Of course, this being Oku Hanako, it isn’t as simple as that.

The singer is reminded of someone when she sees the first star of the night and she wants to use the star as a way to communicate to that person. It reminds me a lot of the song “Somewhere Out There” by James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt from the movie, An American Tail.

There’s a lot of interesting language used in this song, some that you don’t typically find in her other songs. What interesting lines do you see in this song? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks again, Daniel, for your hard work! I look forward to reading more of your translations.

Lyrics →

Translation for TAKOYAKI

TAKOYAKI: “Fried Octopus Balls”

Time to start posting all those translations I’ve neglected to post in the past few months.

Today we have a translation for TAKOYAKI by Edward from the official Chinese translation. Edward also includes a translation for the self-liner notes included in the album for the song.

I had noted in my post that it was a cute song, and in many ways it still is. What I didn’t sense was the longing. Until I read Edward’s translation I had thought it might have been about celebrating something by making or eating takoyaki. It seems I was mistaken. It’s about a couple who haven’t spent much quality time together and the singer expressing her wish for her partner to make takoyaki so that they would spend more quality time.


Lyrics

Translation

I want to eat takoyaki; you will make it for me
I want to eat takoyaki; make it with pride

“Today I will be working late again”, you said on the telephone
Lately, we don’t even have time to have proper conversations
It was for our sake that I started working
But it meaningless, we seem to just go past each other all the time

Cleaning, laundry, cooking, everything … you don’t do any of it
Occasionally you bring out the takoyaki pan and meticulously make takoyaki for me
That makes me really happy

I want to eat takoyaki; you will make it for me
I want to eat takoyaki; make it with pride

For our next holiday, I want us to go out together
To buy a new tablecloth

Immediately after saying “I’m home”, you opened a can of beer
You left your clothes in a mess after stripping them off; I followed you to pick them up
Living every day like this might be okay

I want to eat takoyaki; you will make it for me
As I say things like “Another one! Delicious!”
I want to eat takoyaki; you will make it for me
I want to eat takoyaki; make it with pride

Translation by Edward

Lyrics for Tsumiki / 積木

Tsumiki / 積木: “building blocks”

Being one of her more obscure indies songs, and one of the most unusual at that with only drums instead of piano, Tsumiki was a hard find.

I follow a bot on Twitter, @09876lyrics_bot, that tweets an excerpt from Oku Hanako’s songs every hour. I noticed a few of times that it posted lyrics for Tsumiki and it has apparently posted the whole song over five tweets:

These tweets are recent, but the bot has been posting lyrics for this song since 2012.

Line breaks were determined from this image:

Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく booklet showing Tsumiki / 積木 lyrics

Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく booklet showing Tsumiki / 積木 lyrics

And while I was formatting the lyrics, I noticed an error: @09875lyrics_bot had 許したもの instead of 許したこと (note もの and こと).

Such a novelty item this mini album is. I found the picture above from an auction site and that copy sold for ¥36800, which is over US$300. There’s another one that sold for ¥27000 (over US$200).

All that’s left for this song is a translation. If you have one, please submit it

Lyrics →

Translation for Tomoshibi / 灯ーともしびー

Tomoshibi / 灯: “light”, “lamp”, or “lamp light”; possibly also referring to the light source. The pronunciation is given in hiragana (ともしび) because 灯 can be read in multiple ways.

Here we have another translation from Edward, this time of Tomoshibi / 灯. He actually posted this about a month ago, but as evident in my lack of recent posts, I hadn’t gotten the chance until now to share it. As always, I highly recommend you read his translation notes in his post.

Even with such a clear translation, I still have no idea what this song is about. Anyone with any insights, please do leave a comment and share.

Lyrics →

Translation for Ashiato / 足跡

Ashiato / 足跡 : “Footprints”

It’s about time I’ve gotten around to reposting this. Edward posted his translation and notes for Ashiato. I’ve reproduced his translation here, but be sure to read his notes as they do give some extra insight.

Reading this translation, I can see why Oku Hanako chose to close the album with this song. It’s nice to end with a reflective tone, and it’s very fitting for an album titled “good-bye”. I don’t know if she knew it at the time, but “good-bye” was a transition into a new Oku era, from the “Birthday”/”Utakata”/”good-bye” era to the “Kimi to Boku no Michi”/”Prism”/(probably also whatever the next one is) era.


Lyrics

Translation

If you try retracing your footsteps
What kind of people will you meet?
What kind of things will make you happy?
Where will you shed tears?

The seasons pass before your eyes
The warm light stirs your existence
Now, be strong in your chest to continue living

Gentleness is not something that can be given
It is something that, when realised, remains in someone’s heart
Happiness is not something that can be changed into
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart

If you try retracing your footsteps
What kind of dreams did you have?
What kind of things will be fun for you?
Who will you shed tears in front of?

Looking back to yesterday, searching for words
Being surrounded by many people
Now, you are still alive in your chest

Sadness is not something that will disappear
It is something that should silently sleep in the heart
Happiness cannot be seen by the eye
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart

Gentleness is not something that can be given
It is something that, when realised, remains in someone’s heart
Happiness is not something that can be changed into
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart
Translation by Edward