I had never heard about Angela Aki or her new hit song Tegami~Haikei Juugo no Kimi he until Nick Ramsay blogged about it a couple weeks back. Now no matter how many times I read this song, I can’t stop the lump from forming at the back of my throat.. Somehow the lyrics and music join together to make this a really powerful song.
I figured that there are likely dozens of translations out there, but I didn’t look because I wanted to take a crack at translating it myself without being influenced by any of the others. Feel free to offer suggestions; this was a quickie 10-minute job, so I may have misunderstood something…
[As always, if you're going to post this translation somewhere else, I would really appreciate your linking back to this blog, or at the very least, not removing my name. I'm sick of seeing my translation of Robinson posted everywhere without my name on it.]
手紙 ~ 拝啓十五の君へ
Letter ~ To 15-year-old you
Lyrics and Music: Angela Aki
English Translation: Drew Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
拝啓 この手紙読んでいるあなたは どこで何をしているのだろう
Dear you who are reading this letter: I wonder where you are and what you’re doing.
15-year-old me has worries that I can’t talk to anyone else about.
If I write this letter to my future self, surely I will be able to honestly and openly express myself.
今 負けそうで 泣きそうで 消えてしまいそうな僕は
Whose words should I believe now, when I’m on the edge of losing, on the brink of tears, and on the verge of disappearing? When this heart that I only have one of is constantly being broken to pieces? When I’m living through these difficult years?
拝啓 ありがとう 十五のあなたに伝えたい事があるのです
Dear 15-year-old you, thank you for you letter. I have some things that I’d like to say to you.
If you keep asking yourself “in which direction should I head?” the answer will come to you
The rough seas of adolescence are harsh, but the ship of your dreams will continue to the riverbank of tomorrow
今 負けないで 泣かないで 消えてしまいそうな時は
And when you don’t want to lose, to cry, when you don’t want to disappear, believe in your own voice. And even the adult me has times when I get hurt, even has sleepless nights, but life is bittersweet.
Keep on believing
There is meaning to the entirety of one’s life, so follow your dreams without unease; keep on believing.
負けそうで 泣きそうで 消えてしまいそうな僕は
ああ 負けないで 泣かないで 消えてしまいそうな時は
Whose words should I believe now, when I’m on the edge of losing, on the brink of tears, and on the verge of disappearing? When you don’t want to lose, to cry, when you don’t want to disappear, believe in your own voice. And whatever your age, sorrow can’t always be avoided, but I now try to live my life showing my smiling face.
Dear you who are reading this letter,
I wish good things for you.