Translation exercise

My class at Kyoritsu University went very smoothly today! The students were all really motivated after discussing the Japanese translation of the archipelago’s most beloved song of all times: 『ありのままで』, better-known elsewhere (Elsa-where) as Let it go. After calling their attention with that, however, we continued the class by debating haiku translations of Bashō, Buson, and Issa, at which time we experimented on altering words and structure. Lot’s of fun. Finally, as homework, I instructed them to translate the following tanka by Tawara Machi into English. I leave now two English translations of it and I promise to add some of my student’s after next week’s class. Btw, how would you translate it?



So late! Your phone rings
Signaling your absence.
Where are you drinking?
And who might it be
You are getting loaded with?

Translation by Jack Stamm

Unanswered ring tells me you‘re still out
Where have you gone drinking?
Who’s getting drunk with you?

Translation by Juliet Winter Carpenter







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