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i would like some help fixing my translation of a few sentences, if possible.

落語は今から三百年以上前の江戸時代に始まりました。

Our story begins over 300 years in the edo period.

この時代にたくさんの人の前で面白い話をして、お金をもらう人がいました。

In this time, in front of many people, talked about interesting thing's and people who received money existed. ( i assume this somehow means that, in the edo time period there were people who received money for telling interesting stories in front of many people.)

この面白い話を落語と言い、落語をする人を落語家と言います。 i have no idea how to translate this, it seems to say this interesting talk was about comic monologue said someone?, then it goes on about the comic monologue person says some nonsense.

落語家は一人で色々な声や身ぶりを使って、面白い話をします。 by himself various voices, gestures, etc and interesting talk.

basically the entire thing seems like gibberish to me save for the first line. oddly the story makes more sense after these first few lines.

  • Do you know what rakugo is? – Leebo Oct 20 at 0:47
  • comic monologue is what it seems to translate to but that is not super clear as no one in English has ever said that. – Faust Oct 20 at 0:48
  • It's a part of Japanese culture, so the word "rakugo" is used in English as well. Like kabuki or noh. This might be a good starting point. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakugo – Leebo Oct 20 at 0:50
  • Ah, they mean "comedic monologue" not comic monologue. – Faust Oct 20 at 0:51
  • @Faust Comic monologue looks to be roughly twice as common as comedic monologue. I was looking through corpus results trying to see if there was any kind of distinction between the two terms, but they didn't appear to have different meanings in the examples I looked at. – snailcar Oct 20 at 3:18
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落語は今から三百年以上前の江戸時代に始まりました。

Our story begins over 300 years in the edo period.

You must have had a reason for using "our story", so I will not argue that. If I were you, however, I would use "rakugo" and start with "Rakugo started ~~~" in the past tense as in the original.

この時代にたくさんの人の前で面白い話をして、お金をもらう人がいました。

In this time, in front of many people, talked about interesting thing's and people who received money existed. ( i assume this somehow means that, in the edo time period there were people who received money for telling interesting stories in front of many people.)

The second half is good because 「たくさんの人の前で面白い話をして、お金をもらう」 is a relative clause that modifies the noun 「人」.

「面白い」 in this context, however, means "funny" instead of "interesting".

この面白い話を落語と言い、落語をする人を落語家と言います。

i have no idea how to translate this, it seems to say this interesting talk was about comic monologue said someone?, then it goes on about the comic monologue person says some nonsense.

「言う」 here means "to call", "to name", etc. It does not mean "to say".

"We call この面白い話 '落語' and 落語をする人 '落語家{らくごか}'."

Or, use passive voice and say:

"These funny stories are called 'rakugo' and the persons who do rakugo are called 'rakugoka'."

落語家は一人で色々な声や身ぶりを使って、面白い話をします。

by himself various voices, gestures, etc and interesting talk.

You translate every part in the Japanese word order. The word order is completely different between Japanese and English.

"A rakugoka (story-teller) tells funny stories all by himself using various voices and gestures."

That is because a rakugoka has to play all of the characters that appear in the story.

basically the entire thing seems like gibberish to me

To you, perhaps, but I assure you that it is perfectly written Japanese.

There is a good introduction to rakugo given in English by 桂{かつら}三輝{サンシャイン}, the second professional Caucasian rakugoka in history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbt0jAYDVOw

  • if i would of know that 落語家 was a person i would of figured out the word order, i just wanted to translate as much of it as i could instead of just saying "i don't know what this say's." – Faust Oct 20 at 2:10
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落語は今から三百年以上前の江戸時代に始まりました。

Rakugo began three hundred years ago, in the Edo Period.

この時代にたくさんの人の前で面白い話をして、お金をもらう人がいました。

During this period, there were people who told amusing stories in front of many people, and received money for it.

この面白い話を落語と言い、落語をする人を落語家と言います。

These amusing stories are called "Rakugo", and the people who tell them "Rakugo-ka".

落語家は一人で色々な声や身ぶりを使って、面白い話をします。

Rakugo-ka tell amusing stories all by themselves (in the sense that no one else is up on stage), using various voices and gestures.


You seem like you may be having trouble understanding the use of the てform to link verbs/phrases together. It might behoove you look into exactly when we would use it; there are many many posts and internet articles on the topic. This is a good article I found on a cursory google search, though it does make it a little over-complicated.

  • 1
    +1 for using the word 'behoove' :-) – user3856370 Oct 20 at 9:16

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