儚く揺られ

Sammo

Senior Member
English
This one line:

儚く揺られながら 灯す未来

is from this song.

I am having a very difficult time coming up with a way to translate 儚く揺られ. I have seen amateur translators make attempts at similar expressions with phrases such as "fleetingly swaying" or "shakes transiently". But these and other similarly worded attempts sound unnatural and nonsensical in English.

I was thinking of it being simply "I light up the future as it wavers" but this could be a dumbed down translation so I'm hesitating on it.

Anyone got ideas of how to best translate this?


Thanks. 🙂
 
  • gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    A rather liberal translation: the bright future shimmers. That verb implies gently swaying of the light.

    I don't think "I light up the future as it wavers" would be correct, since there is nothing to imply a subject of "I." It is very common in Japanese to compose a sentence that has no main verb, only a noun modified by a verb or adjective phrase, as is the case here. In English it is more common to use a main verb, as in my translation above.

    Here's a made-up example of this construction.
    今シーズン、投手としても打者としても凄まじい活躍を見せた大谷。
    We would probably change that in English to use a main verb:
    Ohtani has been amazing as both a pitcher and a hitter this season.
     

    Sammo

    Senior Member
    English
    A rather liberal translation: the bright future shimmers. That verb implies gently swaying of the light.

    Thanks @gengo. Using your attempt as a basis while keeping in mind that 灯す is transitive, here it my new attempt:

    The future illuminates as it shimmers

    What do you think?
     

    KLAUSED

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    It's 揺られながら and not 揺れながら so there's someone or something that's being swayed/shaken and I think it is "I" who is being swayed/shaken here. I light up the future as I'm gently nudged (and I sway as a consequence)?

    Also, 儚い and 揺られる (passive) don't collocate well. 儚く揺れながら is a much better collocation than 儚く揺られながら.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    @gengo, what are your thoughts about what I and KLAUSED wrote?

    I didn't reply because I don't really have anything new to add. I could only speculate as to what the songwriter was trying to convey.

    It's 揺られながら and not 揺れながら so there's someone or something that's being swayed/shaken and I think it is "I" who is being swayed/shaken here. I light up the future as I'm gently nudged (and I sway as a consequence)?

    That underlined part doesn't make much sense to me.
     
    Last edited:

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    With the way I understand the lyric, 儚く揺られながら 灯す is the action of a light. Yeah, it sounds redundant but we must take notice that the narrative subject (I) is meticulously wiped out from the whole text. The narrative subject shines a light on their future, but the light is dim (儚い) and flickering (揺られながら, less succinct than 揺れながら, pace KLAUSED).
     

    KLAUSED

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    With the way I understand the lyric, 儚く揺られながら 灯す is the action of a light. Yeah, it sounds redundant but we must take notice that the narrative subject (I) is meticulously wiped out from the whole text. The narrative subject shines a light on their future, but the light is dim (儚い) and flickering (揺られながら, less succinct than 揺れながら, pace KLAUSED).
    I don't know why my name was mentioned but flickering is a really neat translation for 儚く揺れる considering the songwriter probably had a candle flame in mind.

    I do take issue with the fact that a passive clause 儚く揺られながら is followed by a transitive verb (灯す) and not its intransitive form (灯る) though.
    儚く揺られながら 灯す未来 is a :cross: for me
    儚く揺られながら 灯る未来 :tick:
    儚く揺れながら 灯る未来 :tick:
     
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    Sammo

    Senior Member
    English
    @Flaminius
    @KLAUSED
    So in your opinion, for this 儚く揺られながら 灯す未来 which is the better translation?

    This:

    The future illuminates as it shimmers/flickers

    Or this:

    I light up the future as it shimmers/flickers

    Or do you think that neither of those are good?
     

    Sammo

    Senior Member
    English
    @gengo
    @Flaminius
    @KLAUSED

    After considering KLAUSED's issue with what I presented again:

    It's 揺られながら and not 揺れながら so there's someone or something that's being swayed/shaken and I think it is "I" who is being swayed/shaken here.

    I think he may actually be right and I was mistaken with my initial interpretation. Here are the lines that come right before:

    光と影の境界線 探したAnswer No turning back

    Then comes the phrase in question:

    儚く揺られながら 灯す未来

    So I'm thinking now that 儚く揺られながら is coming from those phrases before and it is not describing the light but instead the protagonist of the song. Taking into consideration those lines that come right before, do you agree?

    With this possible context, what could the translation of 儚く揺られながら 灯す未来 be instead?
     
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