1

マリコの部屋へ 電話をかけて 男と遊んでる芝居 続けてきたけれど

My translation would be something like:
I called the place of Maiko to talk about the boy that I am playing around with

Is my translation of playing around with correct? Also, it refers to just 1 man, right?

  • I suggest looking up 芝居 in a dictionary, and if that's not enough, coming back with (a) more context and (b) a more specific question on the part of the sentence giving you trouble. – Philippe Jun 11 '17 at 12:50
  • ok, I'm gonna edit the question – The Beast Jun 11 '17 at 12:53
  • I can't give any context as it comes from a song and each part says a different thing. しばい is play, drama. Are you suggesting my translation of "playing around with" is not correct? – The Beast Jun 11 '17 at 12:56
  • As you can see from mackygoo's answer, "playing around with" is incomplete. It stops at 遊んでる and doesn't cover the 芝居. – Philippe Jun 11 '17 at 13:49
2

マリコの部屋へ 電話をかけて 男と遊んでる芝居 続けてきたけれど

中島みゆきの「悪女」の出だしの歌詞ですね。 歌詞全体をどう解釈するか話題になっている歌です。
It is the start line of the lyrics of "悪女 akujo" by a famous singer-songwriter Miyuki Nakajima. How you interpret the whole lyrics is a topic also in Japan.

芝居 in the given sentence is meant by the definition 1, not by 2 in the following list.

  1. to play a trick; to put up a false show; to deceive someone

  2. to put on a play; to present a play; to give a play

So, 「男と遊んでる芝居」means 「男と遊んでる振り making a pretense of playing around with a man」.

Is my translation of playing around with correct?

Yes, she pretends to "play around with a man", but actually she is not playing around with any man.

it refers to just 1 man, right?

Yes and No. It might refers one man, his boyfriend, but at the time she is calling Mariko she is not playing around with him as you know.

Last but not least, I posted my answer under the condition that I read only the phrase given by the questioner without reading the lyrics written by Miyuki Nakajima.
However, the interpretations of the first line of the lyrics by the people who have read the whole of them seem to be totally different from that of me.
Here is a variety of interesting interpretations.
I recommend that you would make use of them for the training of your imagination after having read the whole of the lyrics.
I would suggest that you guys would answer the question only from the standpoint of how to interpret the "芝居" in the given phrase under the condition of not having read the whole of the lyrics.

  • 1
    That was an interesting link, from a linguistic perspective. I wonder if we're supposed to assume that Mariko stole the speaker's boyfriend, and that the speaker is now trying to show she's over him and has already moved on by pretending to have a new boyfriend. – Philippe Jun 11 '17 at 13:58
  • 1
    @Philippe: There is a quite different interpretation of the phrase here! komachi.yomiuri.co.jp/t/2007/0123/116443.htm – mackygoo Jun 11 '17 at 14:14
  • Quite different indeed. It would never have occurred to me from just that one phrase. The variety of other interpretations in the answers is surprising as well. – Philippe Jun 11 '17 at 14:31

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