Friday, June 27 2008

“Please don’t pull off my school uniform”

[Update: added amusing machine translation of the lyrics, along with commentary]

Okay, so a link to a link to a link to a Youtube video got me started on this, and now I have six videos of the song セーラー服を脱がさないで.

Apparently, it all started back in 1985, when someone formed the idol group おニャン子クラブ (literally “kitten club”). The title of their debut single was “Please don’t strip off my sailor suit” (school uniform, that is), and their first album included songs like “Teacher, stop that!” and “Oh, no! Molester”. They lasted long enough to grow to over 50 members, and inspire future generations, including Morning Musume.

Videos and lyrics below the fold.


For extra credit, here’s Morning Musume’s other tribute to the Nyan-nyan girls.

今はダメよ 我慢なさって
よダメよ こんなところじゃ
女の子は いつでも
勉強してるのよ Ah- 毎日
のリボン ほどかないでね
興味津々 しちゃうのよ Ah- 不思議
バージンじゃ つまらない
バージンじゃ つまらない
おばんになっちゃう その前に

Ah, for sheer amusement, there’s nothing like machine translation:

The sailor suit there is no deviation from umbrella,
now useless, you being patient,
the sailor suit there is no deviation from umbrella,
hate useless such a place
as for the girl with when “MI? MI? DO? SHI? MA “
It studies, is, Ah?
However everyday we would like to etch more quickly than the friend,
it is too cowardly is not advanced first from kiss.
However the weekly magazine we would like to see we would like to etch,
because it is wasted to increase everything… it does not increase.

The sailor suit there is no deviation from umbrella,
to be turned up to the skirt and the ちゃ arm do
and there is no deviation from umbrella
and the ribbon of the chest without undoing the ょ sailor
The boy becomes that time how?
The interest Tsu 々 it does and it is the ちゃ う, Ah? Don’t you think? wonder
Being invited in date, the virgin it is trivial
The father and the mother do not know staying out of tomorrow
Little bit however we fear, the virgin it is trivial
It is before the that of the っ ちゃ う… eating the tasty heart

The kana turds that SYSTRAN leaves behind reveal a lot about the limitations of its vocabulary and conjugation rules. For instance, it doesn’t know the verb nugasu, so when it reaches nugasanaide (negative request), it breaks it apart into “nu” (脱 = kanji meaning “removing/deviating”), “gasa” (modified phonetic spelling of 傘 = umbrella), “nai” (not), and “de” (conjunction). For the curious, this is distinct from nugasenaide, which would mean “please stop me from stripping” (negative causative request of nugu, “to undress”); when handed that one, SYSTRAN comes back with a relatively comprehensible “without making the sailor suit disperse”.

There’s the usual pronoun trouble (that is, there aren’t any) adding “it” all over the place. Omission stumps humans pretty often as well; I saw one translation of this song title as “don’t take your sailor suit off”, as if it were an admonition to other girls who might be tempted. Unfortunately, nugasu refers to removing someone else’s clothes, such as when searching a criminal, so at best it could only mean “please don’t take her sailor suit off”.

The trivial virgin should be “being a virgin is boring”, and of course the desire to etch is about “doing ecchi”, unspecified naughty things. -mitai is misinterpreted as “would like to see” instead of the correct “-like”.

“The boy becomes that time how” is surprising, because the grammar is pretty clear, if casual. A literal translation would be: “as for boy(s), at that time, how does (he/they) become?” The next line blows up on the -taru adjective kyoumishinshin “immensely curious”, and then again on the contraction of shite-shimau (to do completely).

The last line suffers both from vocabulary and conjugation lapses; oban is rude slang for “old hag”, and nacchau is a contraction of natte-shimau (to suffer from becoming; yes, shimau is often ambiguous), and it again fails to interpret the final -de as a casual request (it would be followed be kudasai in more polite speech), so “please eat my delicious heart before I become an old hag”.