Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Forum

To address questions and improvements for the Japanese Grammar Guide as well as topics concerning Japanese in general.

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#1 2011-06-14 00:11:59

hellokati
Member

Is there a better way to write this?

I'm trying to find the best way to say "Follow your heart". Google translate said it's "あなたの心に従って" but I'm not sure if that is correct. I want to make sure this is correct and also make sure there isn't a more correct way to write this. If there is, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for any help. smile

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#2 2011-06-14 00:56:37

spin13
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

Is there a reason you want to get tattoos of English sayings (cliches, even) in a language you don't understand?

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#3 2011-06-14 01:05:59

blutorange
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

Don't rely on Google translate, use Google search : ) (Although in this simple case, Google Translate doesn't epic fail.)

Literal translation:

http://www.recruit.jp/company/involvement/message/index.html wrote:

あなたの心に従おう

http://gogakuru.com/english/phrase/1851 wrote:

Follow your heart and it will lead you to the right answer.
心の導きにしたがえば、正しい答えに行き着くことができるでしょう

http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch/1/1na/T03635000/ wrote:

Follow Your Heart
心のおもむくままに

http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?p=%E3%81%8A%E3%82%82%E3%82%80%E3%81%8F&stype=0&dtype=0 wrote:

心のおもむくままに行動する

http://j-lyric.net/artist/a04e42c/l020a17.html wrote:

心が向かう場所へ
自分の心を信じて進む

http://globaltrotter.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2007-07-16 wrote:

自分の心に正直に

xD:

あなたのハートに従いましょう wrote:

あなたのハートに従いましょう

http://breathwise.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2011/02/post-ed0a-1.html wrote:

あなたのハートに従いなさい

Take your pick.

Last edited by blutorange (2011-06-14 01:09:01)


研究為可し。即、一旦事典に参照して猶、確信せざる儘、観よ。 Keep your eyes and mind open. richarddawkinsfoundation.org

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#4 2011-06-14 01:35:39

hellokati
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

> spin13 wrote:

> Is there a reason you want to get tattoos of English sayings (cliches, even) in a language you don't understand?

It's not a language I can't fully understand I am just not anywhere near an expert. I have an extreme love for Japan and for Japanese culture and if I choose to put something on my body that represents that, it is my choice. Cliche or not, they are quotes I like personally. I don't see anything wrong with combining my own culture and a culture that I love. I don't expect everyone to agree but it's not necessary for you to make snide comments about it. If you aren't going to be helpful, don't bother replying. It's that simple. Thanks.

Last edited by hellokati (2011-06-14 02:15:23)

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#5 2011-06-14 01:37:11

hellokati
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

Thank you blutorange for being so helpful. smile

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#6 2011-06-14 01:52:12

wildweathel
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

Here's how you really say it:
好きにしろ

It's an actual Japanese cliche, it doesn't sound like it's translated from a foreign language, it might even get some smiles, and it really does mean "do what you feel like doing."

The problem is the sentiment you want to express doesn't sound to the Japanese-immersed part of me like a *good* thing.  勝手なことをするだけじゃ (if you only do what the mood strikes you to do...); say something like that and I expect a negative conclusion.  Individuality isn't exactly suppressed in Asian cultures, but it's not the idolized thing we have here in the Anglosphere. 

So, unless I've missed the point and "follow your heart" isn't as selfish as I'm guessing, you've picked the wrong language to make it sound *good*.

Kinda like how saying "wow you look worn out" sounds stupid in English, but is a perfectly natural *compliment* in Japanese.

EDIT: compliment.  With an "I".  I must be up too late.

Last edited by wildweathel (2011-06-14 01:53:28)


Currently investigating the linguistic applications of
タカバージョン地獄のゲリラ・忍者・特殊部隊作戦

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#7 2011-06-14 01:57:12

hellokati
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

> wildweathel wrote:

> Here's how you really say it:
好きにしろ

It's an actual Japanese cliche, it doesn't sound like it's translated from a foreign language, it might even get some smiles, and it really does mean "do what you feel like doing."

The problem is the sentiment you want to express doesn't sound to the Japanese-immersed part of me like a *good* thing.  勝手なことをするだけじゃ (if you only do what the mood strikes you to do...); say something like that and I expect a negative conclusion.  Individuality isn't exactly suppressed in Asian cultures, but it's not the idolized thing we have here in the Anglosphere. 

So, unless I've missed the point and "follow your heart" isn't as selfish as I'm guessing, you've picked the wrong language to make it sound *good*.

Kinda like how saying "wow you look worn out" sounds stupid in English, but is a perfectly natural *compliment* in Japanese.

EDIT: compliment.  With an "I".  I must be up too late.

Thank you. That kind of helpfulness is what I needed. smile Are there any actual Japanese sayings that do have a similar sentiment as to what I'm trying to get with "Follow your heart" that wouldn't sound foreign or come across the wrong way?

Last edited by hellokati (2011-06-14 02:01:37)

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#8 2011-06-14 02:56:31

spin13
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

> hellokati wrote:
> It's not a language I can't fully understand I am just not anywhere near an expert. I have an extreme love for Japan and for Japanese culture and if I choose to put something on my body that represents that, it is my choice. Cliche or not, they are quotes I like personally. I don't see anything wrong with combining my own culture and a culture that I love. I don't expect everyone to agree but it's not necessary for you to make snide comments about it. If you aren't going to be helpful, don't bother replying. It's that simple. Thanks.

I was curious as it's not a decision I really understand.  Thank you, your reaction has been quite enlightening.

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#9 2011-06-14 06:40:51

Hinoeuma
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

Hellokati- I understand that your decisions are just that, your decisions. However, it just may help to keep in mind that, aside from the negative association that tattoos still hold for many, visibly expressing "extreme love for Japan and for Japanese culture" in a culture (I believe) not known for freely and publicly expressing extreme feeling may get you reactions anywhere from a strong side-eye to outright dismissal. (I believe spin13 is a native speaker... did you know that?)

Having said that, wildweathel's advice sounds quite good. Using a recognizable Japanese phrase is likely better than an adapted English one. Also, I'd recommend reading "Love, Hate and Everything in Between" by Murakami. It is an excellent resource for expressive phrases.


君が笑う度に記念日
"Every time you laugh it's a day to treasure"

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#10 2011-06-14 13:05:52

Lyrencropt
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

>(I believe spin13 is a native speaker... did you know that?)

He's not.

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#11 2011-06-14 13:52:20

hellokati
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

> Hinoeuma wrote:

> I understand that your decisions are just that, your decisions. However, it just may help to keep in mind that, aside from the negative association that tattoos still hold for many, visibly expressing "extreme love for Japan and for Japanese culture" in a culture (I believe) not known for freely and publicly expressing extreme feeling may get you reactions anywhere from a strong side-eye to outright dismissal. (I believe spin13 is a native speaker... did you know that?)

I understand not everyone agrees with tattoos. I have several already and know exactly how some people feel about them. However, as far as Japan not expressing themselves, I don't necessarily think that is true. Maybe for older generations but a lot of younger people express themselves pretty freely as far as fashion goes. I'm sure there are other ways as well. In any case, I'm not really worried about other people judging me.

> Having said that, wildweathel's advice sounds quite good. Using a recognizable Japanese phrase is likely better than an adapted English one. Also, I'd recommend reading "Love, Hate and Everything in Between" by Murakami. It is an excellent resource for expressive phrases.

Thank you. I will see if I can find it. smile

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#12 2011-06-14 14:01:57

Lyrencropt
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

Not saying anything either way, and perhaps you are already aware, but tattoos are considered highly taboo in Japan, and generally it is only yakuza who get them. This is so prevalent to the point that many hot springs do not allow anyone with tattoos to enter, in order to keep out yakuza.

I don't think spin was talking about the tattoo itself so much as the idea of just picking some cool sounding phrase in English and then asking what it is in Japanese, as if that makes it better. It makes one wonder, why not just get the phrase in English? At least that way you know exactly how it sounds, and you don't have to worry about making up some random phrase that no Japanese person would actually say. (Spin, if I'm putting words in your mouth, feel free to tell me I'm wrong)

Again, I personally don't care much either way, but it's food for thought, I think.

Last edited by Lyrencropt (2011-06-14 14:03:18)

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#13 2011-06-14 14:30:31

hellokati
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

> Lyrencropt wrote:

> Not saying anything either way, and perhaps you are already aware, but tattoos are considered highly taboo in Japan, and generally it is only yakuza who get them. This is so prevalent to the point that many hot springs do not allow anyone with tattoos to enter, in order to keep out yakuza.

I don't think spin was talking about the tattoo itself so much as the idea of just picking some cool sounding phrase in English and then asking what it is in Japanese, as if that makes it better. It makes one wonder, why not just get the phrase in English? At least that way you know exactly how it sounds, and you don't have to worry about making up some random phrase that no Japanese person would actually say. (Spin, if I'm putting words in your mouth, feel free to tell me I'm wrong)

Again, I personally don't care much either way, but it's food for thought, I think.


I'm aware of how tattoos are viewed in Japan. I do think this is very slowly beginning to change though. I don't want it in English because it is going in a Japanese themed piece. The lettering is not the only component and if written in English, it wouldn't go with the rest. Also, I am not entirely settled on what I would like it to say. Hence the reason I've asked two different questions. I have also been looking at many different Japanese poems but they are already correct so I don't have to ask about them. I have only asked about English quotes that I like because I do understand they are foreign and wanted to know if it could be translated or if there is something similar that is a native saying in Japan. I didn't mean for my simple question to blow up into a huge discussion. I just merely asked for help.

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#14 2011-06-14 14:46:16

Hinoeuma
Member

Re: Is there a better way to write this?

That's why cultural studies exist: even apparently 'simple' matters can have complex ramifications. wink


君が笑う度に記念日
"Every time you laugh it's a day to treasure"

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