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In this song (https://www5.atwiki.jp/hmiku/pages/31606.html) that I was translating, there's a part where there seems to be an implied verb, but I can't figure out what it's supposed to be.

銃口に花束を詰め込んで さよならを

二秒前
「ほら、早く撃ちなよ。」

The gun's muzzle was crammed with a bouquet of flowers. My goodbye, before two seconds, "C'mon, shoot quickly."

さよならを 二秒前 seems to need a verb, but I don't know what's being implied. "Was prevented" or something of the sort would go with the flowers in the muzzle, but not with the next line, I wouldn't think.

Anyone have any suggestions for what the verb might be?

  • This could be one of those cases where the final を particle is implying that the (incomplete action) of saying goodbye was applied onto the object (which is the gun stuffed with a bouquet). I'd translate as "I said my goodbye onto a gun whose muzzle was stuffed with a flower bouquet. Two seconds before that, 'Come on, shoot me quickly.'" However, not entirely certain how correct this is. – psosuna Dec 13 '17 at 0:34
  • @psosuna seems to have a good grasp of this. The さよならを on the end of the line does not grammatically tie into the next line. One minor quibble -- I might translate the first line as "I stuffed a flower bouquet into the muzzle of the gun and said my goodbye", parsing that as two separate actions. – Eiríkr Útlendi Dec 13 '17 at 0:52
  • Thanks for the answer! I wasn't sure if さよならを was connected to the last line. It just seemed so short I thought it should go together. – Smoothie Dec 13 '17 at 21:36
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「さよならをする」 would be the most versatile verb phrase choice (even though it obviously does not seem to be known to too many Japanese-learners).

Unlike when using verb with a more "concrete" meaning like 「言{い}う」 or 「告{つ}げる」, 「さよならをする」 can be used even when one does not actually utter the phrase 「さよなら」 either out loud or silently.

Thus, using 「する」 would make it that much more poetic.

Here is the oldie hit 「さよならをするために」:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wTrqOti1zw

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The verb is implied, as you mentioned. It's most likely 言う, but leaving it out can offer advantages too. You said it was a song - maybe it was to create a certain syllabic rhythm. Or it could be done to give the phrase more impact. Or it's simply not needed because the meaning is clear. Think of the phrase 良い週末を! It's like that - the verb can be omitted because it's clear what the overall meaning of the phrase is intended to be.

  • Thanks for the answer! I've never seen を言う before; usually it's と, so I didn't consider it. – Smoothie Dec 13 '17 at 21:33
  • In this song it's probably left out because it simply wouldn't fit, but it is important to mention that it is very common in Japanese to leave out parts of sentences, e.g. verbs, to not sound very direct, especially when talking about uncomfortable things. – bjorn Dec 14 '17 at 9:09
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    @Smoothie if you use と it's a direct quote whereas を refers to the act of saying something. さよならをいう means "saying goodbyes", where as さよならという means "saying goodbye", i.e., in the first case the actual words can be different whereas in the second case exactly さよなら is uttered. – bjorn Dec 14 '17 at 9:12
  • Okay, thanks for explaining the distinction. That makes sense. – Smoothie Dec 19 '17 at 21:22

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