/ Japanese

Ginji Ito: Sifted Rain

Translation

Piece: Sifted Rain
Writer: Ginji Ito

The mist falls on the town today as well
A gray sky, like it could burst into tears
An ocean of dull asphalt
In which headlights twinkle

There's no squall here
Outside drizzles a sifted rain
There's no squall here
Outside drizzles a sifted rain!

The sound of of a cold coffee cup
in which I can hear secrets
My heart, which would run off even now,
comes to a standstill

There's no squall here
Outside drizzles a sifted rain
There's no squall here
Outside drizzles a sifted rain!

There's no squall here
Outside drizzles a sifted rain
(x4)

Notes

  • The term "squall" evokes to Japanese listeners the strong tropical downpours coming during the rainy season. An appropriate interpretation may be "monsoon" or just "downpour," but since Ito specifically used the borrow word "スコール" it seems inappropriate to change it.
  • Ito takes advantage of the way Japanese sentences can be inverted, for strong poetic and lyrical effect. He splits an inverted sentence into two lines, creating two clauses that stand on their own, and coalesce by the end of the second clause to form one new sentence. This is most noticeable in the lyric "内緒話が聞えるさめたコーヒーカップの音"; split into two lines it translates approximately to "I can hear secrets" and "The sound of a cold coffee cup"; combined, it translates to "The cold coffee cup's sound [through which] I can hear secrets."
  • The term こぬか雨 (konuka-ame) translates approximately to "drizzle." However, the literal meaning is "rice bran rain." Rice bran has a small granularity and invokes a kind of "fluffy" feeling to the listener, and it sounds rather artistic compared to the more clinical "drizzle." Further, the word そぼふる (sobo-furu) also translates to "drizzle" (the verb, not the noun). To avoid redundant translation, I chose to translate konuka-ame as "sifted rain," which I also feel has a similar lyricism in English, compared to konuka-ame in Japanese.

Japanese

歌:「こぬか雨」
作詞:伊藤銀次

街に今日も霧がふる
泣き出しそうな 灰色の空
ヘッドライトが またたく
くすんだ アスファルトの海

ここには スコールさえもない
表はそぼふる こぬか雨
ここには スコールさえもない
表はそぼふる こぬか雨さ

内緒話が 聞える
さめた コーヒーカップの音
今にも かけだしそうな
ぼくの心が 足をとめる

ここには スコールさえもない
表はそぼふる こぬか雨
ここには スコールさえもない
表はそぼふる こぬか雨さ

ここには スコールさえもない
表はそぼふる こぬか雨
(x4)

(Video)

Nick Giampietro

Nick Giampietro

Nick graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Japanese Literature and a minor in English, and works as a Software Engineer in Portland. He lives with his wife and dog-of-a-cat.

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