Sep 15

Going Somewhere

Life with my family is occasionally weighty, as it is with any normal family.  Honestly, I have it good, REAL good, but part of the reason I’m trying to make regular posts like these is for the purposes of discipline, to help me further myself regardless of my situation.  Our current life is hardly desperate, but I haven’t considered it secure either.  It’s my hope that continuing to pursue my writing like this will one day create a secure life for me.  I guess I should be glad I’m not going nowhere at least.

Speaking of Nowhere, I was entranced by the haunting composition of that song when I first heard it in Madlax.  It’s an awesome song to listen to, but as it is with all songs in a foreign language, one of the reasons it’s so great is because you can’t understand the lyrics.

Do the lyrics ruin the amazing music once you know what they say?  Thankfully, no.  But they are kind of specific to the anime and the scenes that occur in it, like the ones involving yellow flowers.  My challenge in trying to write a localization for it is to write something that makes sense out of context, for those who have never seen the anime.  Lemme show you some of the hard translation.


Yanmaani yanmaani yanmaani yaiiya…

Yanmaani yanmaani yanmaani yaiiya…

Let me hear you talk about the soul

Look at me without averting your eyes

You think that I am nowhere to be found

If you’re going to run to somewhere you can’t see

Shake off all your unnecessary adornments

Even if you lay your heart bare, the baggage Is too heavy


The dreams that seem like they’ll fly away if I blow at them


Are all that’s binding the two of us together

Rebelling against the guidance of the stars that show us everything

I’ll run straight up to the door in the sky

I’ll go as far as it takes

Now, the first thing that stumped me was “the door in the sky”.  What does that even mean?  Is that some form of imagery that only the Japanese are familiar with?  I’d appreciate it if someone could explain its significance to me, cause it sounds like nonsense.

Another challenge is matching the words with the music.  Nowhere has a lot of words, but their translations are pretty brief, so I have to fill in the blanks myself.

Finally, there’s the ??? lines in the song.  Something IS sung there, but for the life of me I can’t find any sort of translation for it.  My only recourse is to make something up that’s relevant to the rest of the song.

With those points in mind, this is the localization I’ve done so far.

Yanmaani yanmaani yanmaani yaiiya…

Yanmaani yanmaani yanmaani yaiiya…

I want to hear you speak about your memoirs and your soul

Don’t turn your eyes away when you don’t know of my intent

You may think I am simply nowhere to be found, yet all I do is call and wait here for you

Why are you set on running to some non-existent place?

If you shake off every one of your needless adornments

And lay your heart bare I know the burden will still be, too heavy for you to endure alone

(You should come to me anytime, anyplace)

All the dreams we share that may scatter if I breathe

(Look for me as you run away, far away)

Are all that’s binding the two of us

Forsake destiny and all promises! Those will not matter till this is through

I’ll ascend to heaven or plunge to hell, if that will let me learn where you are

I’ll go as far as it takes, I’ll go anywhere

The second bunch of verses are proving challenging to localize due to the yellow flowers in them.  I don’t want to cut them out, but… they just don’t make any sense out of context.  There’s gotta be something I can do with them though…

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