literally lost in translation

On Victuuri’s airport scene and the words they exchanged

I’ve always thought of the Japanese language as the language of the heart. Every word spoken carries the speaker’s thoughts, representing their soul. One of the things that made Victuuri’s airport scene so special, apart from their longing gaze for each other and their heart-warming hug despite everyone watching, was the few words they said at the end, when Yuuri asked Victor to be his coach until he retires.

I don’t think that’s all there is to it though.

Here, what Yuuri said was 「引退まで、僕のことお願いします!」. He used the phrase ‘onegaishimasu’, and how much should I emphasize this - it’s a phrase that more often than not gets lost in translation. ‘Onegaishimasu’ literally means ‘[I beg of you,] please do this for me’, and is very commonly used in daily conversations. You say this when you’ve just met someone and hope to get along well with them. You say this when you need someone to help you out with work. Lovers also use this phrase; simply put, it’s like ‘Please continue to love me.’

‘Please continue to love me until I retire.’

Which, I think, explains Victor’s reply.

(!!!!! Yuuri looks at Victor tenderly, then pulling him into a hug once again)

Before Victor’s reply, Yuuri’s look might have meant that he was content with having Victor by his side, even if things will end with his retirement. But with Victor wishing Yuuri would never retire, it was like…

It was like he wished they could stay in love forever.

And I believe that was what put Yuuri in tears. That Victor would stay close to him no matter what.

I’m not good at writing these kinda thing so I’ll just sum up what I’ve been trying to convey through this post:

  1. Yuuri hopes that Victor would love him until he retires.
  2. Victor wants to love him forever.
  3. Yuuri cries because he secretly wants to be with VIctor too.

gsnk 76 (according to my sleep-deprived non-Japanese brain)

  • So. Mikorin gets invited to a group date of some sorts, right. And Mikorin can’t escape (he wants to escape, lol). But they need one more guy, so Mikorin goes “LET ME INVITE A PERSON” because this is his chance. He can get Nozaki and he won’t be so awkward around girls.
  • Except Chiyo explains why it’s a Bad Idea.

“THAT’S WHY!!! You can’t bring Nozaki-kun so bring Mayu-kun instead!”

“EH?! He was here this whole time?!”

  • Mikorin thinks Mayu is a good choice too.
  • “Do you want to have a meal with your Mikoshiba’nii-san?”
  • I literally lost my energy to understand everything else wow MIKOSHIBA NII-SAN WOW

someone translate this for me pls

So Gackt has changed his Instagram bio again, and it now contains the Japanese sentence, “人生花の如く、だな。” (jinsei hana no gotoku, da na.)

Which is a nice little example of how even a short sentence can get lost in translation. Literally, it’s something like “Life is like a flower, y'know?” Which, if you said to someone with not much experience with Japanese culture, they’d probably interpret as “Life is pretty and colorful and to be celebrated”. Or something.

Looking at it a little closer, the first half of the sentence is in Classical Japanese, as we can tell by the use of ~no gotoku instead of ~no you ni. For comparison, a proverb that uses almost the same grammatical structure is 光陰矢の如し (kouin ya no gotoshi)- literally “Light and shadow (i.e. day and night) are like an arrow”, but figuratively “Time flies like an arrow”.

Which means we should also be interpreting 花 (flower) in the same way that it was in Classical Japanese literature. Rule #1 of Japanese poetry, unless otherwise specified, “flowers” are cherry blossoms. And cherry blossoms signify transience and things that cannot last.

So a literal translation is “Life is like a flower,” but a translation that actually conveys his intended meaning would be more like “Life’s short (so go do stuff)”.

(Except more poetic.)


Official Pikkuri Sticker Information 

 Kouen Ren: 

 "While he is the first imperial prince of the Kou Empire, he also serves as the western invasion commander-in-chief. He is the master of three djinns, and he turns into a red lion that pushes through the battlefield, following the path of a king, governing with authority and might (覇道). Whenever he’s not fighting wars, he spends his time idling away. He thinks his goatee suits him.“ 

Note: I was lost how to translate the sentence in italic. The literal translation that I came up with is: ‘he transforms into a red lion, running through the path of one uniting the country and governing it with authority and might’. After doing some research on (覇道=military rule), I found that it’s a traditional concept in Chinese regions and in Japan that’s often mentioned along with ‘王道=royal road’. According to a dictionary on a Japanese site: 

 覇道 (Hadou)=the path of one uniting the country and trying to govern it by authority and might (path of might) 

 王道 (Oudou)=the path of one governing the country by morals (path of right)

It seems many countries in the world of Magi represent the concept of ‘覇道=rule of might’. Along with Kou, there’s Sasan, Reim, Parthevia and Heliohapt. On a cover of Sunday-S, young Sinbad was described that he was following the path of might (should’ve guessed from his moniker ‘七海の覇王=as the high king of the seven seas’) The only countries that could be examples of ‘王道=rule of right’ are Imuchakk and Qishan after Jamil. Probably Reim will follow this path as well with the help of Titus. 

From what I understood, though the rule of right is widely preferred among the Japanese, the rule of might isn’t necessarily considered evil, some could argue it has its merits and is necessary sometimes. I’m not really a history expert, so a better explanation or translation is welcome. 

As for Kouen himself, I did some research and found posts from the time before the battle with the Medium when his sticker came out. There were speculations that one of his djinn equips resembles a lion. He also earned the nickname ‘赤獅子=red lion’. There are also some funny fanart based on that sentence from his sticker profile.

It’s literally “I feel melancholy,” but in France it means “My soul is in the waves.” I’ve been learning French a bit through my work with Longchamp and I’ve been in France quite a lot. And I really love how they express themselves. I especially love when something is untranslatable. That’s what someone said about “J’ai du vague à l’âme.” I asked, “How do you say it in English?” And they said, “You don’t really have it, it’s unexplainable.” It’s often emotional things, so I was just really drawn to that idea that there’s this chasm that exists between countries where there are some things that are literally lost in translation. Like, does that mean we don’t feel the same way? Because we’ve never had a need to make a phrase around that in the same way that they did? I really like that. Also, if you’re looking at it the wrong way, it just looks like you’re wearing a sweatshirt that says “vague” and “lame.
—  Alexa Chung speaking about a sweatshirt and somehow all of my interests