Thursday, March 8, 2012

For Now — Sayonara

I have to thank echosquirrel for introducing me to The Books. They're an American duo whose first album Thought for Food came out way back in 2002.

Tokyo is from their second album, The Lemon of Pink (2003). I love how at about the 1:21 mark of this video the flight attendant says: "We hope you have enjoyed the flight.... And for now — sayonara."

For an English speaking person sayonara really just means goodbye. But in Japanese, it seems to me, it means "goodbye, I probably won't see you again for a while" which is somewhat at odds with the for now. Sayonara is more like "farewell", so you really don't hear it that often.

There are lots of other ways to say a more temporary goodbye, like when leaving work one says otsukara sama deshita which I like translating, somewhat ridiculously, as "I salute you, oh tired one!" or "Thank you for working so hard!" (The assumption being that everyone always works hard.)

Then there's jâ ne! (More woman's language than men's, meaning "see ya".) Or ja, mata ashita. (See you tomorrow.) Or ato de (later). Or the terrible schoolgirl "bai-bai!"

Anyway, for now, sayonara. I hope you have enjoyed the flight.

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