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I was trying to translate this song, it was all going well until I stumbled upon this line

二人迷わぬよう歩いていけるたった一つの道標

I am having a hard time spliting the words correctly I feel like it either is lacking some particles or commas, I'm not really sure... What I could come up with so far:

二人(が)迷わぬよう - It's like both do not hesitate.

歩いていけるたった一つの道標 I can only walk one more signpost. (lol sounds weird, I might be wrong)

So maybe the whole thing should rather be structured like this?

二人(が)迷わぬよう、歩いていけるたった一つの道標。 It's like both do not hesitate, (but) I can only walk one more signpost.

Thanks in advance!

Ps: This is the last line of one paragraph of the song, so it's a ful sentence which should hold some meaning alone, also the previous line is talking about other stuff aswell.

EDIT: The whole paragraph of this song is this:

一枚一枚増える色の違う写真めくる様に

伝えたかった事は今も昔もずっと同じままだよ

二人迷わぬよう歩いていけるたったひとつの道標.

  • You have wrong よう in mind. – naruto Mar 9 '17 at 23:29
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    Why do you call this a sentence? It does not have what it takes to be a sentence. – l'électeur Mar 10 '17 at 0:42
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    @l'électeur よくそれ仰ってますし正当な指摘であることが殆どですけど、歌詞や詩に出てくる体言止めの1行に対してそこまで言う必要あるんでしょうか(ヒップホップの歌詞なんて7割方そうです)。主語と述語が揃わなくても1つのまとまった言‌​明を構成していれば、例えば"How Many? Four. Okay." で3つの立派な(minor) sentenceのはずです。 – naruto Mar 10 '17 at 3:22
  • Why is it downvoted? What did I do wrong? So I don't do it again... – Felipe Oliveira Mar 10 '17 at 12:51
  • @naruto それなら「文」と呼ばずに、「一行」と呼べば良いのでは?"Sentence"の形になっていないことは、この「一行」を説明するのに、大切な事実であるというのが私の見解です。英語の詩でも「文」の形が整っていなければ、教える側の人がそれを"sentence"と呼ぶことはありません。"line"を呼びます。それ一行で意味を成しているかどうかは、二次的な問題です。日ごろから私に対するご不満が多いようですが、説明の仕方を変更する予定はありません。悪しからず。 – l'électeur Mar 11 '17 at 3:43
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The critical problem here is wrong parsing:

[二人(が/で)迷わぬよう(に)歩いていける]たった一つの道標
(It is) the only signpost [that enables us (two) walk along (in pair) without(=the way not) losing our way]

It's a typical "gapless" relative clause explained in this topic. The literal translation would be "the only one signpost that/where we can walk along..." but it doesn't make sense in English, I guess. This construction tells "signpost" has something to do with "we can walk along without being lost", thus results in the translation above.

For lack of particles, you can insert が or で after 二人 (it's ambiguous whether it means "we two" or "in two of us"). You can also add に after よう, but it doesn't change the meaning in this context.

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  • I got it now, the way you parsed relative clause makes it so much better to read, I still have some problems with that – Felipe Oliveira Mar 10 '17 at 13:00
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「二人迷{ふたりまよ}わぬよう歩{ある}いていけるたった一{ひと}つの道標{みちしるべ}」

First of all, this is only a relative clause, not a sentence of any kind. Everything in front of 「道標」 modifies 「道標」.

If a somewhat long phrase ends with a noun, there is a big possibility that it is a relative clause and not a sentence.

Second of all, even though no particles are "lacking" in the first place, let us add a couple if that helps.

「二人()迷わぬよう()歩いていけるたった一つの道標」

If one blindly believes that this is a sentence, trust me, one's translation is bound to look at least weird or awkward because it is not a sentence to begin with. Since it is a relative clause, a good TL will have to start with:

"the only road sign (← 道標) that/which ~~~~~~~~~~"

My own TL would be:

"the only road sign that enables the two of us to continue walking without getting lost"

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  • I added the whole paragraph, does it helps anything? – Felipe Oliveira Mar 10 '17 at 4:40
  • Grammatically speaking, it's important to know it's a long noun phrase. However if you blindly translate every such noun phrases literally to English, that would look weird. You know translation is an art, so you wouldn't probably say this translation of Furusato (which has very few "sentences") is bad, will you? – naruto Mar 10 '17 at 5:29
  • @naruto Yes, I always try to keep a "japanese logic" in my mindset when trying to translate thos things, What really bugged me here was the fact that there was so much information without "," or particles so it got really hard to read, at least for me you know. – Felipe Oliveira Mar 10 '17 at 12:58
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Could this mean the only signpost which both people can reach by walking without hesitation? And the insertion of が looks right.

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  • yeah, makes my sense than mine, I guess – Felipe Oliveira Mar 9 '17 at 19:41

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