“Moonlight Densetsu” (Sailor Moon Theme) (Part 3)

The following is an unedited post created on our Tumblr page. You may find the original here.

Aaaand, we’re back! Part 3! So, without further ado!

ゴメンね 素直じゃなくて
Gomen ne sunao janakute
(Sorry, not being honest)

夢の中なら云える
Yume no naka nara ieru
(I can only tell you in a dream.)

思考回路はショート寸前
Shikou kairo wa shooto sunzen
(My train of thought is about to explode)
More literal: (My mental circuit is about to short)

今すぐ 会いたいよ
Ima sugu aitai yo
(I want to meet with you right away.)
Nicer English: (I want to see you right away.)

泣きたくなるようなmoonlight
Nakitaku naru you na moonlight
(At midnight I wanted to cry.)

電話も出来ないmidnight
Denwa mo dekinai midnight
(I couldn’t call you at midnight.)

だって純情 どうしよう
Datte junjou doushiyou
(However, I am pure hearted. What will I do?)

ハートは万華鏡
Haato wa mangekyou
(My heart is a kaleidoscope)

月の光に 導かれ
Tsuki no hikari ni michibikare

何度も 巡り会う
Nando mo meguriau

星座の瞬き数え 占う恋の行方
Seiza no matataki kazoe uranau koi no yukue

同じ地球に生まれたの ミラクル・ロマンス
Onaji kuni ni umareta no mirakuru romansu

信じているの ミラクル・ロマンス
Shinjite iru no mirakuru romansu

Let’s finish this!

月の光に 導かれ
Tsuki no hikari ni michibikare

We start off with a good old “X no Y” construction, meaning “Y of X”. Here X is “tsuki” and Y is “hikari”. “Tsuki” is “moon” and “hikari” is “light” (If any of you are Kingdom Hearts fans, you’ll remember the opening song Hikari, same word.) So, “The light of the moon”.
In order to understand what “ni” is doing here, we need to look at the verb: “michibikare”. The base form is “michibiku”. The “-are” suffix is from the passive conjugation. What does this mean? A passive form (or more technically the passive voice) is when the verb designates something happening to the subject rather than the subject doing. It’s the difference between “I ate the sandwich” and “The sandwich was eaten by me.” Here we have the later going on. “Ni”, then, becomes the indicator of the agent of the action. The agent is the one who does the action. In our example sentence, it’s that “by me” phrase.
“Michibiku” means “to guide”, “michibikare” means “to be guided”. BUT, there’s a catch here because “michibikare” is not conjugated as a normal finite verb because it lacks a “-ru” suffix. So what is it doing, exactly? When verbs show up without their “-ru” suffix, they act similar to the Te form of verb. What I recommend for translations is to translate it as a finite verb and add “and”.
The only last thing to discuss here is what the subject of the sentence is. It’s ambiguous. It can be “I” and it can be “my heart” if you want to go off the heart motif set up by the previous verse. I’ll leave that to you. I’ll choose the former.

“I am guided by the light of the moon and”

何度も 巡り会う
Nandomo meguriau

“Nandomo” is an adverb meaning “over and over”. It comes from “Nando” which is an interrogative pronoun meaning “how many?” and “mo” which is a particle meaning “also”. Lots of adverbs indicating multiplicity will have either “mo” or “demo” (If you’re a fan of Doraemon, you’ll recognize “demo” from the Dokodemo Door.)
“Meguriau” is a normal, finite, verb meaning “to meet fortuitously”, a lucky meeting.
“We meet fortuitously over and over.” You may want to chance “fortuitously” for “luckily” or “happily” in your own translation.

星座の瞬き数え 占う恋の行方
Seiza no matataki kazoe uranau koi no yukue

(There’s a space between “kazoe” and “uranau”, but that’s because, when sung, a pause goes there.)

This is the hard one of this set. Let’s just parse through it and then talk about it.
We’re back to our “X no Y” construction. Here our variables are “seiza” and “matataki”. “Seiza” here means “constellation”. (If you’re martial artists, you may remember that sitting/kneeling position you often assume is called “seiza”, but that’s just a homophone.) “Matataki” is “twinkling”. So, “The twinkling of the stars”
“Kazoe” is a non-finite verb, but it is in the active voice. Remember, if there’s no suffixes to indicate the contrary, you assume that the voice of the verb is active. (Active is the opposite of passive. “I ate the sandwich” has the verb in the active voice. It’s what we’re used to.) “Kazoe” means “to count”.
“Uranau” means “to predict”. It’s finite and active, totally normal.
“Koi” is a verb that means “love”.
“No” is doing its regular thing.
“Yukue” is a noun meaning “whearabouts” or “course”

Okay, so here’s why this is rather tough to translate: we’re missing particles and it’s jumbled up syntactically because it’s poetic. Here’s what we’ve got.
“The twinkling of the stars || counts and predicts || the whereabouts of love”
If this were a regular Japanese sentence, then we’d expect the verb to be at the end, and for there to be a “wo” after one of these noun phrases and a “ga” or “wa” after the other.Essentially, we need to decide what’s our direct object and what’s our subject. So the twinkling of the constellations predict the whereabouts of love or the whereabouts of love predict the twinkling of the constellations. The former makes more sense.

“The twinkling of the stars counts and predicts the whereabouts of love.”

(Don’t worry too much about the “counts” part. It’s really there just to emphasize that this prediction is arrived at through analysis, calculation, that kind of stuff.)

同じ地球に生まれたの ミラクル・ロマンス
Onaji kuni ni umareta no mirakuru romansu

“Onaji” is an adverb and it means “the same”. (Yes, in Japanese this is an adverb and not an adjective. There is a reason for this.)
“Kuni” means “the earth” or “the word” (Players of Ni no Kuni will remember this “Kuni”)
“Ni” here is our location marker. This is the one used when the action described by the verb is significantly contingent on the location. And in this case, Japanese considers this verb to be contingent on the location.
“Umareta” Is the finite, past conjugation of “umareru”, which means “to be born” (note that in the English translation it becomes passive).
“No” here is doing something poetic, viz. it’s indicating that what comes before it modifies what comes after it. It’s a kind of adjective particle here.
(Going back to Ni no Kuni for a moment to make my point, “Ni no Kuni” is supposed to mean “Second World”, but the normal way of saying “second” is not “Ni no”. “Ni” means “two”; and “no” is just making it an adjective.)
“Mirakuru romansu” is just “miracle romance”.
So how do we interpret this?

“The miracle romance that I was born in the same world” is one route.
The other is to keep it in its original syntax and add a comma, “I was born in the same world, miracle romance.”
Either way, it will sound a bit awkward.

信じているの ミラクル・ロマンス
Shinjite iru no mirakuru romansu

Here we learn of the progressive tense. (The progressive tense is the one in English that goes “is x-ing”.) The progressive tense it made through the combination of a verb in the Te form and the verb “iru”. Whether it’s present progressive or past progressive will depend on the tense of “iru”. The progressive tense is used in Japanese often to emphasize that something is taking place in the timeframe discussed because the future and present tenses in Japanese are one in the same. So, here we have “shinjite iru”, coming from “shinjiru”, meaning “to believe” or “to believe in”. If this just said “shinjiru” then it may sound like one will eventually believe, but not necessarily right now. If it’s right now, as we speak, then “shinjite iru”.
“No” here is doing the same thing as it was in the past verse, adjectivizing (if that’s a word).

“A miracle romance I believe in.”

Let’s put it all together!

ゴメンね 素直じゃなくて
Gomen ne sunao janakute
(Sorry, not being honest)

夢の中なら云える
Yume no naka nara ieru
(I can only tell you in a dream.)

考回路はショート寸前
Shikou kairo wa shooto sunzen
(My train of thought is about to explode)
More literal: (My mental circuit is about to short)

すぐ 会いたいよ
Ima sugu aitai yo
(I want to meet with you right away.)
Nicer English: (I want to see you right away.)

泣きたくなるようなmoonlight
Nakitaku naru you na moonlight
(At midnight I wanted to cry.)

電話も出来ないmidnight
Denwa mo dekinai midnight
(I couldn’t call you at midnight.)

だって純情 どうしよう
Datte junjou doushiyou
(However, I am pure hearted. What will I do?)

ハートは万華鏡
Haato wa mangekyou
(My heart is a kaleidoscope)

月の光に 導かれ
Tsuki no hikari ni michibikare
(I am guided by the light of the moon and)

何度も 巡り会う
Nando mo meguriau
(we fortuitously meet over and over.)

星座の瞬き数え   占う恋の行方
Seiza no matataki kazoe uranau koi no yukue
(The twinkling of the constellations count and predict the whereabouts of love.)

同じ地球に生まれたの ミラクル・ロマンス
Onaji kuni ni umareta no mirakuru romansu
([It is a] miracle romance that I was born in the same world.)

信じているの ミラクル・ロマンス
Shinjite iru no mirakuru romansu
([It is a] miracle romance I believe in.)

“Moonlight Densetsu” (Sailor Moon Theme) (Part 2)

The following is an unedited post created on our Tumblr page. You may find the original here.

Part 2! If you haven’t seen Part 1, check the blog and read that first.

So, let’s recap real quick those first four lines.

ゴメンね 素直じゃなくて
Gomen ne sunao janakute
(Sorry, not being honest)

夢の中なら云える
Yume no naka nara ieru
(I can only tell you in a dream.)

思考回路はショート寸前
Shikou kairo wa shooto sunzen
(My train of thought is about to explode)
More literal: (My mental circuit is about to short)

今すぐ 会いたいよ
Ima sugu aitai yo
(I want to meet with you right away.)
Nicer English: (I want to see you right away.)

泣きたくなるようなmoonlight
Nakitaku naru you na moonlight

電話も出来ないmidnight
Denwa mo dekinai midnight

だって純情 どうしよう
Datte junjou doushiyou

ハートは万華鏡
Haato wa mangekyou

月の光に 導かれ
Tsuki no hikari ni michibikare

何度も 巡り会う
Nando mo meguriau

星座の瞬き数え 占う恋の行方
Seiza no matataki kazoe uranau koi no yukue

同じ地球に生まれたの ミラクル・ロマンス
Onaji kuni ni umareta no mirakuru romansu

信じているの ミラクル・ロマンス
Shinjite iru no mirakuru romansu

Now let’s do four more lines!

泣きたくなるようなmoonlight
Nakitaku naru you na moonlight

(You’ll notice that I actually had to correct something from my source in this verse. I simply had to add a “う” between “よ” and “な”.)
Our first word is “Naritaku”. This is, believe it or not, a verb in -tai form. You’ll remember that we said that -tai verbs acts like adjectives with that -i ending being like the -i’s in adjectives and declining as such. Well, here that -i has done something that adjectives can do, which is turn into adverb by becoming -ku. (So we have Naku->Nakitai->Nakitaku). “Naku”, the base verb, means “to cry”, and the desiderative form would mean “I want to cry”, but what would it mean in an adverbial form?
Well, we don’t have to worry about that because of what follows: “naru”. “x+ ku (adverbial suffix) + naru” means “becomes x ”, so this means “becomes I want to cry”. That makes no sense in English. And that’s a big problem with “naru”, that for the sake of translation you have to do a bit of interpretation. But let’s hold off on the interpretation for the end of the verse.
Our next puzzle is “you na”, which is a “dependent adjective”, all that means is that it has the properties of an adjective but its meaning is dependent on what comes before it. “x no you na y” means “y like an x”. That’s all.
So, if we put these things together, we get something like “moonlight like I become I want to cry.” That makes no sense, yet. But let’s think about this for a moment. Our main noun, is “moonlight” and because we have no verb we can use a copula. So, “[It] is the moonlight…”. Now, believe it or not, all adjectives are dependent clauses of the kind “x that is y” in which y is an adjective. “The blue bird” is just another way of saying “The bird that is blue”. So let’s see if we can use that somehow: “[It] is the moonlight that becomes I want to cry”. Now it becomes clear that the moonlight leads to wanting to cry: and that’s the idea behind this verse. It may sound awful in direct translation, but it makes sense after some thought. So how to we translate this? I propose we use: “It is the moonlight that makes me want to cry.” In English, because copulas are generally frowned upon, you can say “The moonlight makes me want to cry” with poetic license.

電話も出来ないmidnight
Denwa mo dekinai midnight

This one is much easier. “Denwa” means “phone”.
“Mo” is a particle that substitutes “ga”, “wa”, and “wo” in order to say “also”. In this case, it’s substituting “wo”.
“Dekinai” Is the negative form of “dekiru”, which means, “can”. This verb, “dekiru”, serves as the potential form (we talked about it as having the -eru ending) of “suru”, which we know means “to do”. “Denwa wo suru”, means “to phone” someone. Now in potential-negative form, it means “cannot phone”.
Now we just need to remember that the negative form of verbs acts like an adjective and that adjectives go before the nouns they are modifying in Japanese. That’s what’s happening here with “midnight”. So, like in the last verse, this is “the midnight that I cannot call you”. If you want you make it prettier English like last time, you can say “I cannot call you at midnight.”

だって純情 どうしよう
Datte junjou doushiyou

“Datte” is the Te-form of the copula “da”. This is used as an expression, an equivalent to “however”. (We see something similar in English in contrafactual statements such as “Being good, he still a lot of bad in him.”)
“Junjou” is an noun that is often paired with “na” to become an adjective. It means “pure hearted” to the point of naïveté.
Then we have the expression “Doushiyou”, made up of two parts. “Dou” means “what?” in a reflexive sense. And “shiyou” is an exhortative form (there are a few exhortative forms) of “suru”. “What?/do!” becomes “What will I do?”
“However, pure hearted. What will I do?”
Because we’ve been presuming we’re in the first person and we can buy a copula, we can tune this up to “However, I am pure hearted. What will I do?”

ハートは万華鏡
Haato wa mangekyou

“Haato” means “heart”. It’s an adoption of the English word. This is where you ask if Japanese has a word for “heart”. Kind of. The poetic heart, the one that’s not a beating organ, is “kokoro” (心), but it primarily means “mind” and isn’t as cute as “haato”, which has a ring of innocence.
“Wa” is our subject marker.
“Mangekyou” means “kaleidoscope”. All you Naruto fans will recognize this word from the “Mangekyou Sharingan”, which is called a kaleidoscope because of the funky designs they carry that resemble a kaleidoscope.
So, “[My] heart is a kaleidoscope.”

Let’s recap:
Sorry, not being honest
I can tell you only in a dream.
My mental circuit is about to short.
I want to see you right away.
The moonlight makes me want to cry.
I cannot call you at midnight.
However, I am pure hearted. What will I do?
My heart is a kaleidoscope…

We’ll finish this off next time. Till then!

“Moonlight Densetsu” (Sailor Moon Theme) (Part 1)

The following is an unedited post created on our Tumblr page. You may find the original here.

This iconic opening theme from Sailor Moon is called “Moonlight Densetsu” (伝説), meaning Moonlight Legend. Like most op’s, it is longer than the actual opening of the show, meaning it’s clipped in certain parts. We’ll taking a look at what made it into the opening, which are the first two stanzas and the final verse.

ゴメンね 素直じゃなくて
Gomen ne sunao janakute

夢の中なら云える
Yume no naka nara ieru

思考回路はショート寸前
Shikou kairo wa shooto sunzen

今すぐ 会いたいよ
Ima sugu aitai yo

泣きたくなるよなmoonlight
Nakitaku naru you na moonlight

電話も出来ないmidnight
Denwa mo dekinai midnight

だって純情 どうしよう
Datte junjou doushiyou

ハートは万華鏡
Haato wa mangekyou

月の光に 導かれ
Tsuki no hikari ni michibikare

何度も 巡り会う
Nando mo meguriau

星座の瞬き数え 占う恋の行方
Seiza no matataki kazoe uranau koi no yukue

同じ地球に生まれたの ミラクル・ロマンス
Onaji kuni ni umareta no mirakuru romansu

信じているの ミラクル・ロマンス
Shinjite iru no mirakuru romansu
That’s what we have to tackle. So, let’s get to it!

ゴメンね 素直じゃなくて
Gomen ne sunao janakute

“Gomen ne” is a two-part expression. “Gomen” is equivalent to English’s “sorry”. “Ne” here is an ending particle that softens what’s been said previously. It also seeks affirmation. So when you say “Gomen ne”, you’re indirectly for someone to forgive you.

“Sunao” is an adjective. It means “honest”.

“Janakute” has a lot of things going on. Let’s talk about them bit by bit. In Japanese, adjectives are denied by adding the suffix “janai”. “Janai” once upon a time was “ga nai”. You’ll remember that “ga” is the subject marker. “Nai” is the negative form of “aru”, which is one of our copulas (our “is” verbs). So, it basically means “is not”. [Yumei= famous || Yumeijanai= is not famous]. But because that ending is really a verb, it has the properties of a verb, including its conjugations. So, yes, adjectives conjugate in Japanese! What’s going on here? This a Te-form. Te-forms, you will remember, are when a verb starts acting like a participle (lots of English’s -ing words are participles). Long story short, this is denying the adjective “honest” as a participle.

“Sorry, not being honest”

夢の中なら云える
Yume no naka nara ieru

“Yume” means “Dream”, that’s easy.

“Naka” means “middle”. “No” connects both words, meaning we’re in a genitive construction. Same rules apply: “X no Y” translates to “Y of X”.
So, “Middle of a dream”. But “no naka” is also a common expression, which often simply means “in” and doesn’t carry the same meanings as English’s “In the middle of”.

“Nara” is a conditional conjunction, a form of saying “if”. (A lot of the time it’ll be a strong conditional, almost an “if and only if”.)

“Ieru” brings us to another dimension of verbs. Japanese has a potential conjugation made by the suffix “-eru”, normally, main, definite verbs will only end in -u or -ru. But when you want to express potential (can x), then you use the “-eru” suffix. That “-ru” in “-eru”, then becomes the thing that changes for all the other conjugations you might want to give it. So you can put it in the -Te form by saying “iete” or negative + -Te form by saying “ienakute”– all that is possible. Okay, back to “Ieru”. It’s normal form is “Iu”, which means “to say”. In potential form, it means “can say”.

Since we have no subject in this sentence, we’re going to assume it’s 1st person.

“If in the middle of a dream, I can say it.”**

** Because we’re using “nara” and “nara” is stronger than a simple “if”, then you might want to say “Only if I’m in the middle of a dream, I can say it.”

思考回路はショート寸前
Shikou kairo wa shooto sunzen

“Shikou kairo” is a compound word meaning “train of thought”. But let’s look at both words. “Shikou” means thoughts. “Kairo” is actually an electrical circuit. This is important for the next word.

“Wa” is the topic particle.

“Shooto” is Japanese’s adoption of the word “short circuit” to mean “to short”. This makes sense when we consider that “kairo” is an electrical circuit. It just makes poetic sense.

“Sunzen” is a suffix more than a conjunction (I feel, but it depends on the positioning” and it means “on the verge of”.

We’ll add a 1st person perspective to this and because of “sunzen” we’ll make “shooto”, which is technically not a verb, into our verb in our translation. (If you want to make a very pretty translation, you might consider changing “short” for “explode”)

“[My] train of thought on the verge of shorting”

今すぐ 会いたいよ
Ima sugu aitai yo

“Ima sugu” is another two-part expression. “Ima” means now. “Sugu” means “at once”. “Now at once” is equivalent to “right away”.

“Aitai” has a new conjugation we haven’t spoken of. “-itai” is the conjugation of the desiderative form! Desiderative is just a fancy word for “desiring”. When you want something, you use “-itai”. The base form is “au”, which means “to meet”, “aitai”, then, means “I want to meet”.  (It’s also important to note that “-itai” is used exclusively for one’s own desires. If one wants to talk about someone else’s desires, one uses a different construction. Further, there is another way of expressing one’s desires which is very common, where one says something like “I’d like to see if I could do x” because “-itai” is a very strong statement.)

“Yo” is another ending particle. This one is exhortative, kind of like an exclamation mark. It also indicates that this is information that the speaker wants the interlocutor to remember. (It’s kind of like Ebonic’s “yo”.)

“I want to meet with you right away!”

That’s all for now. I’ll see you all later!