Learning Japanese Through Music, Part 9: スネークイーター (Snake Eater)

In Japanese by Jeremy Arns

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This series of posts covers Japanese songs, along with their lyrics, and translations so you can make sure you learn every word.

When translating Japanese, and especially for things like subtitles which are timed, there are times when the English translation sounds more natural when the line order is switched or combined, based on how the lines are broken apart in the lyrics in Japanese and the word order, since for instance what is sometimes said at the end of the sentence would be the beginning of what’s said in the English sentence. There are also times where something doesn’t match nuance, and so what’s said is actually somewhat changed. However when going the interpretation route versus direct translation route, the translation won’t always follow the flow, and also roughly match the English translation line by line. Since this is a song, and the musical emotion is timed with the Japanese lyrics, I’ve kept it as close to the Japanese flow as possible as far as what line corresponds to the English translation. Needless to say this might sound unnatural in English or a bit like Yoda in places, but butcher the song’s flow I want not! 

For this one, let’s do: スネークイーター (Snake Eater) – 和田アキ子 (Akiko Wada)


Japanese Lyrics:

ひとり 夜の闇を彷徨い
呼ぶ声に 応え 溶けてゆく
あなたの囁き
心 狂わせる

愛に溢れて 命枯れても
わたしは すべて捧げる
たとえ 打ち砕かれても
涙は 見せない Snake Eater

雨の 中に 二人
濡れて 光る 傷跡
明日は 見えない でも 二人
信じて 恐れない

愛に溢れて 命枯れても
わたしは すべて捧げる
たとえ 打ち砕かれても
それは 望み Snake Eater

I am still in a dream, Snake Eater


English Translation:

Wandering alone in the dark night
The reply to the voice that calls out dissolves
Your whisper
Heart goes mad

Overflowing with love, even if your life withers
I will give everything
Even if crushed
I won’t show tears, Snake Eater

Two people in the rain
Getting wet, shining scars
Tomorrow not to be seen, but two people
believe and won’t get scared

Overflowing with love, even if your life withers
I will give everything
Even if crushed
That’s the hope, Snake Eater

I am still in a dream, Snake Eater


Word List:
(definitions and readings match usage in the song)

ひとりAlone
よるNight
やみDarkness
彷徨いさまよいWandering
呼ぶよぶTo call out
こえVoice
応えこたえReply
溶けるとけるTo dissolve
ゆくTo go
あなたYou
囁きささやきWhisper
こころHeart
狂わせるくるわせるTo go mad
あいLove
溢れてあふれてOverflowing
いのちLife
枯れてかれてWither
わたしI
すべてEverything
捧げるささげるGive
たとえEven if
打ち砕くうちくだくTo crush
望みのぞみWish; desire
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