君が光に変えて行く (Kimi ga hikari ni kaeteyuku) (in English it would probably be ‘you’re transforming it to light’) is one of my favorite Kalafina songs. It’s also the second Kara no Kyoukai anime movie (Murder Speculation Part 1) theme song. Although my friends have introduced me to additional and more recent Kalafina songs, I still tend to gravitate toward the ones that are for Kara no Kyoukai anime movie theme songs (oblivious, this song, kizuato, ARIA, sprinter, fairytale). Probably because they are the ones I listen to first, lol. The only exception is seventh heaven, the seventh and last Kara no Kyoukai anime movie theme song. I have been listening to it but I never seem to grow to like it over time.
(The video contains oblivious, this song, kizuato and ARIA. I make it start from this song).
Although I only know Kalafina pretty recently (and even more recently do I actively listen to them), I have actually known Yuki Kajiura, the composer behind the group, even before her other group FictionJunction was formed. Her first song I listened to was canta per me from Noir anime:
I usually don’t bother to listen to lyrics while listening to songs. As long as it sounds nice it’s good (in fact, Yuki Kajiura is known to make up and include her own ‘language’ in her songs; vocalization that doesn’t mean anything and just sounds nice), but I thought I should dwell into this song’s lyrics since I really like it and I want to understand more about what this song is about. Along the way, I might be able to improve my Japanese.
So I’m going to write the Japanese lyrics line by line, each with the romaji (I thought of furigana at first but romaji might be better for some readers), my translation attempt and my thoughts while trying to translate it.
Here we go, first time I’m doing something like this ^^:
Atatakana kaze no naka de dare ka ga yonderu
‘From within the warm winds, someone is calling’
Warm winds? -.-;
kurayami wo oshimu you ni yoake ga hajimaru
‘As if uneasy about the darkness, dawn begins’
Oshimu is a new verb for me. I looked up the dictionary and it seems to mean something like concerned, worried, irritated, etc. Like something is in your mind and you can’t relax because of it.
Ashita wa kitto kireina sora ni gin iro no niji ga kakaru deshou
‘Tomorrow, surely, silver rainbow would appear in the beautiful sky’
I personally forgot how to read niji which means rainbow, lol. Not sure about kakaru so I looked it up. One of its many definitions seems to be for something to be set on a high place. Why do they put deshou (which gives some guessing, desire for others’ assertions, probably, etc vibes) with kitto (surely)? -_-” (my solution as you may have noticed was to use ‘would’… I don’t think it’s an ideal solution but it’s still better than the cheesy ‘…rIGHT?’, I guess) And why silver? -.-; What exactly does silver rainbow look like lol…
Konna ni kanashii keshiki wo kimi ga hikari ni kaeteyuku
‘You’re transforming this such sad scene to light’
Keshiki means scene, and is something I learned after reading light novels (writers usually use it when trying to describe the surroundings, lol). There are variations like 光景(koukei) etc. Sometimes I wonder how they decide to use yuku instead of iku for 行く. Just when it sounds better? Lol.
Chiisana namida no tsubu sae houseki no you ni ochiteku
‘Small teardrops, like jewels, are falling’
Tsubu and sae are new to me. Tsubu is something small like a grain of rice, so I guess namida no tsubu is teardrops. Sae… probably means ‘only’ or ‘and nothing else’. How the hell do I give that nuance in English? I can’t just say ‘just teardrops’ or ‘full of teardrops’, can I? -_-; So here’s a part where I just decide to ‘lose it in translation’ lol. I also kinda don’t think it’s ‘falling like jewels’ although I can be flexible and see it that way as well. Ochiteku should be a short-form of ochiteiku, or rather, to rhyme with other parts of the song, ochiteyuku. They might be able to slip in the ‘yu’ in the singing but I do think the final form sounds better. The difference between ochiteiku and ochiteiru (falling, simply) is that ochiteiku is fall and gone, ‘falling away’, I guess. I also just decide to ‘lose the nuance’ for this one.
Mirai no naka he
‘Into the future’
Kokoro ni wa himitsu ga aru sore demo furetakute fureaeba kowareteyuku
‘Inside hearts, there are secrets. Still, they want to be touched, but when they do touch each other, they break’
Furu = to touch, fureru = to be touched, furetai = want to be touched, -kute = to connect to next part of sentence. There might be more appropriate English word for this ‘touch’ thing but I can’t find it -.-; Onto the last part, (as you may already know), when you add -ba it means something like ‘if’. After -ba is removed, the first verb becomes fureau. I didn’t look at the dictionary, but I kinda know that when you add -au, it means something like both parties are doing the same thing to each other. As for kowareteyuku… ‘breaking apart’, I guess? -.-; English words that come to mind are dissolve, scatter, but none really fits the bill imo… Again, I just remove the yuku (go and away) nuance even though I can try to force it into the translation.
Tamerai wa rasen no naka he
‘Hesitation goes into spiral’
Lol… new vocab, new vocab. Tamerai = hesitation, rasen = spiral. Sounds pretty disconnected? -.-;
hashi wo watatta kawa no mukou made
‘Toward a river with a bridge’
Hashi = bridge, wataru = cross (over). River that ‘crossed’ a bridge just means there is a bridge on that river, I guess. If I were to be absolutely literal, it would have been ‘toward a river that crossed a bridge’. So… is this connected to the previous line? The hesitation… goes into spiral… toward a river with a bridge… hmm? My mental tool seems to be failing… -_-;
ashita wa kitto mahiru no naka de haru wa amaku fukaku kaoru no deshou
‘Tomorrow, surely, at noon, spring would give off sweet and intense fragrances’
I looked up kaoru and it means to smell nice, to give off nice fragrances (fragrances are by default nice, right?), etc. Basically, I can’t just say smell because smell might mean something bad. And (as you may already know) fukai usually means deep, but it can also mean intense in other contexts. Deep fragrance is kinda weird, anyway… ^^;
yume kara samete hito wa nani wo sagasu no
‘Waking up from their dreams, people, what are they searching?’
(As you may already know), after ‘no’ in this kind of sentence, there’s an implied ‘desu ka’ to make the sentence a question.
After that, they sing some vocals.. ends with something ‘ありえああ…(arieaa…)’
But yeah, apparently those are not Japanese. It’s one of Yuki Kajiura’s trademarks in action. Who cares, it sounds nice.
Konna ni akarui sekai he kimi ga watashi wo tsureteyuku
‘You’re taking me to this such bright world’
The bring vs take argument rears its head here. The yuku (go and away) supports bring while the konna (this) and tsurete, which has some passivity feel to it, support take. Take wins, I guess.
Mabushisha ni mada tachisukumu
‘Still paralyzed at the radiance’
New vocabs… mabushii = dazzling, mabushisa = …radiance, I guess? tachisukumu = basically when you stand there frozen or paralyzed (but not literally frozen and not literally paralyzed, lol). Can’t find the right English word so I just use paralyzed, lol. The question for me is who is the one paralyzed from the previous sentence? Kimi or watashi? From storytelling perspective I’m leaning toward watashi, but from grammatical perspective this did stump me for a moment… Anyway, for the English translation it seems you can delay mentioning the subject to the next part…
senaka wo sotto dakishimeru
‘I hug your back gently’
I always wonder what sotto means… I finally looked it up and so it’s softly and quietly, gently, I guess. And following my previous point, the one doing the hugging is watashi (I) and so the one being hugged is kimi (you).
shinjiru koto no hakanasa wo kimi ga hikari ni kaeteyuku
‘My evanescences of beliefs, you are transforming them to light’
Another new vocab that I might have problem remembering… hakanai = something… fleeting? transient? If I can’t even pinpoint a suitable adjective then what about the noun hakanasa? So I finally looked up a Japanese-English dictionary (I usually just used ‘Japanese-Japanese’) and I got… evanescence? 0.o What the hell is evanescence? I heard the band name but I always thought it’s a made-up name, so I looked it up and it’s… ‘the event of fading and gradually vanishing from sight’. … that’s actually really quite accurate! Lol… Phew… ok then so what… ‘The evanescences of (my) beliefs, you are changing it to light’? -.- … Damn, it’s tough to make a fitting English sentence >.<
mezameta asa ni wa namida ga houseki no you ni ochiteku
‘In the morning I woke up from, my tears, like jewels, are falling’
mirai no naka he
‘Into the future’
Couple of new vocabs and some confusion later… MISSION COMPLETE!
Phew… gotta say that I’m beginning to understand how hard it actually is to translate stuffs. Respect to those translators who have done good translation jobs (not those common ‘scanlators’ who seem to just take lots of blind shots when in doubt). But yeah, I don’t scanlate even though I can if I try (my friends have been pushing me to do Highscore Girl). I’m satisfied just to get the ‘nuances’ but it’s a big headache to try to bring them to English in such a way that still seems like proper English >_<
And my first Japanese language lesson is today! XD Let’s see what I’ve missed as I’ve been learning the language on my own… Although I said on my own, this site really helped me back then: Learn Japanese | Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese.