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27 June 2010 @ 08:46 am
Lyrics/Translation Question (Golden Time Lover)  
Soo . . . because you people are epically awesome, I'm hoping a few of you may know the answer to this:

The fourth line of Golden Time Lover (from the FMAB sndtrk, in case you somehow weren't  aware ^_^ ) is (assuming the interwebs were correct where I pulled this from):

yaru shika nainda / iikikaseru you ni sou tsubuyaita
やるしかないんだ 言い聞かせるように そうつぶやいた

Which I've seen translated as both:

I whisper to myself that I just have to keep on going


  “I’ve got no choice but to try” / Those were the words I muttered to myself

Is the phrase  "yaru shika nainda" (which I think in kanji(?) in hiragana is やるしかないんだ -can anyone confirm that's the correct kanji hiragana? [edit: confirmed]) the phrase that is usually being translated as "I've got no choice but to try" or, sometimes, "I must force myself"? And if so, is there a more accurate, or direct, translation that anyone can provide? I'm pretty sure I've seen this phrase in a few of the OST songs, and as it is certainly a personal mantra for Edward, as well most of the FMA ensemble, I wanted to be certain of its meaning. I think it's a good personal motto to have :)

As always, thanks for your input, you wonderful haragen fandom! So bittersweet this all is ending ::crosses fingers for gaidens and spin offs::
Current Mood: curiouscurious
cura: do you see?notyetcuraga on June 27th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
It's not kanji, it's hiragana...
But yes, that's what it means.

Literally put, やる (yaru) means "to do" and しかないんだ (shika nainda) means "the only way/option" or "nothing but". When they get pieced together, it most literally would translate as it as "There's only but to do." ...which just sounds terrible.

Thus, the translations are transliterations. Sounds better that way, in my opinion. Generally speaking, anything along the same line if meaning can put used for that phrase. It's not really something you can translate directly.
curanotyetcuraga on June 27th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
Geeze I suck at typing fast.

*translate as
*same line of meaning
Krys, the Duct Tape Alchemist: DC Sakura 2010ductapealchemst on June 27th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification on the kanji/hiragana issue. I always mix them up.

Grammatically, is the entire phrase somehow conjugated in a way that implies one is speaking of one's self (as in, is yaru a form of the verb "to do" and because of the way it's conjugated the grammar implies "I do" or "I am doing"?

I honestly have no idea if this idea of verb conjugation only applies to the romance languages or if Japanese (and/or other Asian languages of similar construct) follows this logic or something similar (although I couldn't fathom what else)? Or would it be more accurately put that the phrase is more similar to saying, "There's only one thing to do."? I know going back and forth it's pretty much all transliterations, and in this case, I'm trying to get a sense of how much here is inferred into the phrase because of the context the phrase is in.

Thanks again!
cura: do you see?notyetcuraga on June 27th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
There's conjugation in Japanese, but it doesn't ever imply a type subject, if you get what I mean. It only conjugates singularly, and it doesn't really have an effect on who or what is the subject (nor does it retain influence from the subject).
In this case, no subject named, but the verb is still being used. Just like in English, usually when there's no subject given, it's implied to be concerning the speaker. So in the way, it can become "I ..." and isn't some type of particular conjugation.

Uh......it's really hard to say if it would be considered more similar to "There's only one thing to do" or anything else that was mentioned before because this particular phrase's meaning differs in context when put in English.
So, it's really hard to pick a single accurate translation, because it's not something that can be translated directly in that way.
Most notably, the "shika" is the reason why. There's no such form of sentence modification in English like it.