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Japanese is Possible!
Week 19

Lyrics - Epitaph

This week we'll take a field trip to see Japanese in action. I will walk you through an actual Japanese song, giving you a rough translation of what each sentence means. I won't translate it into perfect English, since that wouldn't help you understand the Japanese.

What song will we be using? We'll start with a song from the popular Anime series "Weiss Kreuz". The song is called 'Epitaph', and there are 3 different versions of the song. They aren't simple remixes like you might think! They all have the exact same music. For each song, a different character from Weiss Kreuz sings the lyrics.

To download full episodes of Weiss Kreuz, visit Maktos.com. They are found in the Media section.

Click on each picture to download that character's version of Epitaph:
(Full Song, MP3, CD-Quality)

Aya version Youji version Omi version

aozameta yoake no naka de
furisosogu kanashii yuushi
hito wa minna
akumu ni yotte
gensou mo yogen mo nai
shizuka ni nemutta
anata no kizuato
inori no kotoba de iyasou
sekihi ni kizanda
kotoba wo nando mo
kurikaesu uta ga
hoshi ni nari
asa hi ni kiete yuku

unmei no tobira wo mamori
kanashimi no tane o katte mo
konran ni jidai wa michite
dare hitori hokorenai yo
futatabi deatte
waraiaeru hi wo
torimodoseru sa to tsubuyaku
keredomo naze darou
namida ga afurete
tomerarenai mama
hoshi ni nari
sorezore wakare yuku

Epitaph Words

Most of these words are used in Anime, so you should learn most of them. I'll admit that not ALL of them are popular, but it should be easy to learn them if you learn the song.

aozameru - to become pale
yoake - dawn
furisosogu - to downpour
kanashii - sad
yuushi - grieving
akumu - nightmare
you - to get drunk
gensou - illusion
yogen - prediction
shizuka - quiet
nemuru - to sleep
kizuato - scar
inori - prayer
iyasu - to heal
hoshi - star
kotoba - word
kizamu - to carve into
sekihi - epitaph
nando mo - many times, often
kurikaesu - to repeat
uta - song
naru - to become
asa - morning
hi - day, light
kieru - to disappear
yuku - to go
unmei - destiny
tobira - door
mamoru - to protect
kanashimi - sadness
tane - seed
karu - to mow
konran - confusion
jidai - era
michiru - to be filled
hokoru - to be proud of
deau - to meet
futatabi - again
warau - to smile, laugh
aeru - to meet
torimodosu - to take back
tsubuyaku - to mutter, murmur
keredomo - however
naze - why
namida - tears
afureru - to flow
tomeru - to stop
mama - as (as it is)
sorezore - each one
wakaru - to part

Lyrics Walkthrough

aozameta yoake no naka de
paled dawn 's inside (restricting ourselves to)

furisosogu kanashii yuushi
downpours sad grief

hito wa minna
people (subject) all

akumu ni yotte
intoxicated by nightmares

gensou mo yogen mo nai
illusions (also) predictions (also) not there

shizuka ni nemutta
quietly slept

anata no kizuato
you 's scar

inori no kotoba de iyasou
prayer (of) word (by means of) let's heal

sekihi ni kizanda
epitaph (into) inscribed

kotoba wo nando mo
words (who or what) often

kurikaesu uta ga
repeats song (subject)

hoshi ni nari
star (into) becoming

asa hi ni kiete yuku
morning light (in, into) disappear-goes

unmei no tobira wo mamori
destiny 's door (who, what) protecting

kanashimi no tane o katte mo
sadness's seed (what) even if you mow

konran ni jidai wa michite
confusion (with) this era (subject) is filled

dare hitori hokorenai yo
a single person is not proud of (it)!

futatabi deatte
again meets

waraiaeru hi wo
smile-meet day (answers who, what)

torimodoseru sa to tsubuyaku
force to take back (emphasis) (and) murmurs

keredomo naze darou
however why I wonder

namida ga afurete
tears (subject) flow

tomerarenai mama
won't be stopped as it is

hoshi ni nari
star (into) becoming

sorezore wakare yuku
each one part-goes

What you see above is the "first stage" of translation. If you only see the final translation, you won't learn as much about what the song really means. You have to learn to understand Japanese at this level. They don't use our grammar, so why translate every sentence into proper English? If you get the meaning of what they're saying, that's all that matters.

You won't understand how I arrived at some of the lines in the translation. That is ok, because there are some endings that you don't know yet. Don't worry, they will all be covered in the coming weeks.

Feel free to clean up the English lyrics however you wish. You'll see what it's like to be a translator. They have to decide what words to use. They have to maintain a balance between making it sound good in English, and staying faithful to the original meaning.

Here are some examples of how the following line could be translated:

aozameta yoake no naka de
paled dawn 's inside (restricting ourselves to)

Inside the pale dawn,
Only in the pale dawn,
Within the pale dawn,
Within the faded dawn,
Inside, dawn has faded,

You can get as creative (and/or inaccurate) as you want. Some translations really take liberties (and end up with a different meaning than the original). An example of this would be translations by Viz Video. (Especially the Ranma songs)

Understanding Japanese and being able to translate Japanese into English are two completely different skills. If you doubt it, remember that most native Japanese speakers understand Japanese perfectly, but couldn't translate Japanese into another language.


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