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I was trying to translate the title of the film called "Your Lie In April" into Japanese.

I came to know that 四月は君の嘘 is the official name of "Your Lie in April". But I was not able to understand the meaning of the は because I know 四月 means "April", 君の means "Your" and 嘘 means "Lie". But I couldn't figure out what は means in this sentence.

It would be great if anybody can help me out!

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In the title 『四月は君の嘘』, the 「は」 is the so-called "topic marker" in Japanese. It is a particle of speech that introduces the "topic of discourse", and is a fundamental element of Japanese grammar. In this sentence, it basically tells the listener that the context of "Your Lie" was "April".

「は」 is probably one of the first things you encounter when studying Japanese, so I am guessing you are relatively new to the language. It is – unfortunately! – not necessarily easy or quick to understand/explain to English speakers, as there is no direct equivalent in English. Nevertheless, to aid beginners with understanding how it is used, resources often suggest you structurally translate 「は」 to "As for" in English. So, structurally, it might help you to understand the sentence as "As for April, Your Lie".

I understand this is rather fuzzy in meaning, but this does also reflect the fact that the phrase in Japanese would also change its meaning depending on the context; for instance, it could be translated to any of "Your Lie in April", "April is Your Lie", or "Your Lie was in April", amongst others.

Of course, "As for April, Your Lie" sounds completely unnatural in English. "Your Lie in April" is a much more natural and stylish translation. One would expect this translation decision to reflect the creators' intended meaning of 『四月は君の嘘』 in Japanese, but it's impossible to know for sure!

There may be a more nuanced explanation/interpretation as to why the Japanese creators used 「は」 over other possible choices in Japanese, but I don't think that's strictly in the scope of your question, so I shan't digress! Hope this helps.

  • Thank you very much. – Heisenberg Jun 11 '20 at 16:58
  • Personally, I would have preferred "In April When You Lied" or "When You Lied In April" – squidlydeux Jun 11 '20 at 19:17
  • @squidlydeux I’ve not watched the film, so I don’t really know why they chose that title, but all of the options so far seem a bit awkward-sounding to me! The word “you”/“your” in particularly seems a bit out of place to me — I would have thought that “A Lie in April”, “Lies in April”, or “April Lies” might be more “typical” film titles. But again, I don’t know the significant of “Your” in the context of this film, so perhaps these translations are less good. Regardless, this scope is what makes translation such an interesting field! :) – henreetee Jun 11 '20 at 21:22
  • In the context of the series (I didn't know it was also made into a film), the story starts in April and there is something said that is revealed to be a lie at the very end that is a major driver for the events that happen. So the fact that everything eventually centers around that single lie does mean using は to focus on when it happened makes a reasonable amount of sense. – ConMan Jun 12 '20 at 3:35

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