[Translation] Mad World (lyrics) - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #1  
Old 12th May 2016, 07:14 PM
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Mad World (lyrics)

edit: Updated with the official lyrics.

[edit (2017/06) : Thanks to some Japanese fans, I finally figured out what ツケの神 is supposed to mean The "ツケ" is likely a reference to "ツケが回ってくる" (if you do something bad, retribution will come for you in the end). That's why I changed the translation to "god of retribution".]

Mad World

If trees could speak
what would they plead for?
Chopped down without mercy,
they lie at death’s door

The god of retribution laughs
at our endless foolishness

*
Please, tell me, if it's you,
what would you think at a time like this?
Please, tell me, if it’s me,
to whom should I confess
what I’m thinking at a time like this, in tears?

If the wind could speak
what would it plead for?
Its colours and scent
polluted beyond recognition

The god of retribution laughs
at our immense arrogance

**
Please, tell me, if it's you,
how would you live in this era?
Please, tell me, this era honestly makes me sick to my stomach
— where should I voice this opinion?

"It means nothing if I, just one person,
stands up" — thinking like that,
will you simply wait for a stranger
to stand up before you?

* repeat
** repeat


Japanese lyrics:
Spoiler:

もし木々が話せたら
何を訴えるだろう
無残に切り倒され
横たわる死の淵で

終わりなき愚かさに
ツケの神が笑ってる


教えてよねぇあなたなら
こんな時何を思う
教えてよねぇ私なら
こんな時何を思い涙して
いるのかなんて
本当誰に吐けばいい

もし風が話せたら
何を訴えるだろう
色だとか匂いとか
原形なく汚染され

肥大する傲慢さ
ツケの神が笑ってる

**
教えてよねぇあなたなら
この時代をどう生きる
教えてよねぇ私はもう
この時代に心から吐き気が
してるだとかって
本音はどこにやればいい

たった自分ひとりだけが
立ち上がったとこで
意味はない
そうやって知らぬ誰かが
先に立つのを待つの?


**

Last edited by tenshi no hane; 25th June 2017 at 11:56 AM. Reason: official lyrics
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Old 12th May 2016, 07:22 PM
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As always, thank you so much for these translations. Wonderful work.
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  #3  
Old 12th May 2016, 07:34 PM
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yes, thanks! please keep them coming!
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Old 12th May 2016, 07:39 PM
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Ooo, another social commentary song. I love it!
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  #5  
Old 12th May 2016, 07:56 PM
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Damn, Ayu made meaningful music this time. LOVE IT.

Quote:
Tell me, if it were you,
what would you think at a time like this?
Tell me, if it’s me,
to whom should I confess
what I’m thinking at a time like this, in tears?
What is the "if it were you/me"? If what were you/me? I don't get these parts...maybe they make sense in the JP but I don't understand. :S
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Old 12th May 2016, 08:00 PM
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^ It's just an English expression. It means the same as: "in your case, what would you..."
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Old 12th May 2016, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenshi no hane View Post
^ It's just an English expression. It means the same as: "in your case, what would you..."
Oh yeah, I know the expression, but I don't understand it in this context lol.

A time like "this"? in "this" case"? What's going on?

And it uses WOULD, so it's a hypothetical.

It's not "in this modern day, what are you thinking in your case? in this modern day, to whom can I confess what I'm thinking in tears?".
That would make sense to me.
But the would and the time like "this" kinda make it vague for me. It's written as if it's about a different fictional situation.
It sounds like she's talking about something that's not actually happening but something that could happen? Is she talking about the metaphor of the trees being cut down? Like "what would you do if you were like that tree"? Ummm.

Quote:
Tell me, if it were you,
how would you live in this era?
Again, the "would" confuses me here. If the *you* person is not living in the era already, where are they? Time traveled to the past? Lol

Edit: btw I'm not criticizing the translation or anything ^^ just don't understand the lyrics lol

Last edited by 4Seasons; 12th May 2016 at 08:09 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12th May 2016, 08:49 PM
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Wow, those lyrics are really something else. I don't think she has ever written something like this. Amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Seasons View Post
Again, the "would" confuses me here. If the *you* person is not living in the era already, where are they? Time traveled to the past? Lol
I think I get what you mean.

Quote:
Tell me, if it's you,
what do you think at a time like this?

Tell me, if it's you,
how do you live in this era?
You think that this is more logical, don't you? I think I agree.
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Old 12th May 2016, 08:56 PM
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Yeah, that makes more sense to me.
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Old 12th May 2016, 08:59 PM
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Then it would be 思っている, not 思う.

Anyway, I did change the "if it were you" to "if it's you" for clarity.

Last edited by tenshi no hane; 12th May 2016 at 09:08 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12th May 2016, 09:01 PM
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"a time like this" can be translate as "this days" in this context, i think.

"Tell me, if it were you,
what would you think at a time like this?"

It might be about despite everyone we live in the same time, but not to everyone happens the same things.
My interpretation of this part could be something like this "If you were the person who occurs that thing, would you still think this days are such great?"

The same with the part with 生きる(ikiru, to live) "how would you live these days if it were you that person"
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Old 12th May 2016, 09:06 PM
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Maybe she's talking to someone who passed away ?
Thanks for the translation ! Love these
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  #13  
Old 12th May 2016, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenshi no hane View Post
Then it would be 思っている, not 思う.
But if I remember correctly 思っている = "thinking right now", busy with the action

思う = "thinking" generally

I don't see where the "would" comes from. To me it seems like the literal translation is "if you, at this time think what?". Of course, that's improper English, but it's most true to the original meaning, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spanishfan View Post
"a time like this" can be translate as "this days" in this context, i think.

"Tell me, if it were you,
what would you think at a time like this?"

It might be about despite everyone we live in the same time, but not to everyone happens the same things.
My interpretation of this part could be something like this "If you were the person who occurs that thing, would you still think this days are such great?"

The same with the part with 生きる(ikiru, to live) "how would you live these days if it were you that person"
That's good.
But it becomes a problem in the chorus about "era". Everyone is living in the current era, so it doesn't make sense.
"if you, how live in this era" works.
"if you, how would you live in this era" doesn't work. The person is living in the era.

I think most accurately in terms of meaning not grammar, the sentence would be like:

"In your case, how are you living in this era?"

Edit: From time to time there are these lyrics from Ayu that I think work really well in Japanese but just don't translate well to English.

Last edited by 4Seasons; 12th May 2016 at 09:31 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12th May 2016, 09:24 PM
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I'm not going to give a grammar lesson. If you wanna interpret differently, go ahead, but word-for-word translations don't work for a language like Japanese.
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Old 12th May 2016, 09:25 PM
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No need to get defensive lol. You added the "would" because of "if.." I am sure. Which is fine, like I said. This is just one of those songs that lose impact when translated focused on grammar and not meaning.

Last edited by 4Seasons; 12th May 2016 at 09:30 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12th May 2016, 09:30 PM
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I wonder just what someone said that ticked Ayu off like this.
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  #17  
Old 12th May 2016, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truehappiness View Post
I wonder just what someone said that ticked Ayu off like this.
Yeah I saw you post this in another topic. I'm also curious to know what triggered Ayu's sudden lyrical inspiration about the world and life.

But then again, knowing about Ayu's personal life post-Party Queen has done nothing but tarnish my feelings for her, so I'd really rather not know lol

I can't watch Hotel Love Songs anymore without thinking about the Maro porn and boning Ayu tbh
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Old 12th May 2016, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Seasons View Post
No need to get defensive lol. You added the "would" because of "if.." I am sure. Which is fine, like I said. This is just one of those songs that lose impact when translated focused on grammar and not meaning.
thing is when translating something like japanese, and especially a song you cannot really get the actual meaning, unless an artist themselves write the english translation. Only they know exactly what they meant saying what.

I really love the things she's discussing in her lyrics on this album, It's gotten even better since i know what they talk about. Thanks a lot for the translations!!
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Old 12th May 2016, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artcika View Post
thing is when translating something like japanese, and especially a song you cannot really get the actual meaning, unless an artist themselves write the english translation. Only they know exactly what they meant saying what.
Yeah, I am aware of how difficult it is. I studied Japanese for a year at Leiden university. It's 5 years ago but I remember the difficulty about translation. It can be very ambiguous with multiple interpretations (which is also what's great about Japanese music).

However, in this case I really think the "grammatically accurate" English translation has a slightly different meaning than the Japanese. If you look at it word-by-word, yes, you get a wrong translation, but you do understand the meaning better along the way.

I feel a bit bad for hijacking tenshi's translation thread though LOL

Last edited by 4Seasons; 12th May 2016 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12th May 2016, 09:45 PM
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well i am all for different views. I do enjoy reading a few translations. It helps to understand better. But artistic stuff is very tricky for people who don't write novels or poems and don't have enough of the vocabulary to fill in the gaps.
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