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I am trying to translate some lyrics that go like

We can talk about nothing

then I hit a snag because I am not sure what the word for "nothing" could be. Things that keep coming to mind:

話すことがない
have nothing to talk about

何も話していない [we] are talking about nothing

Usually a sentence with "nothing" in it becomes 何も + a negative verb, but I'm not sure it could also work in this context. What would a standalone noun for "nothing" or "nothingness" be? I am not thinking of the religious/philosophical concept of nothingness (e.g. 空、無).

My best attempt:

何も話さなくてもいい

But I'm not really happy with it since "nothing" is not directly rendered.

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  • Link to the full lyrics? Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 7:59
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    Perhaps 語らない can do better job? 何も語らない, 何も語らなくていい, etc...
    – Skye-AT
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 8:02
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    何も言わなくていい would (normally) be "You don't need to say anything", so, does that mean something similar to "We don't need to talk about anything" (since you translated it as 何も話さなくてもいい)? Btw in a song I know, I think its lyric "You spend hours on the phone, talking about nothing at all" is interpreted as たわいもないことを/何でもないことを/とりとめのないことを話して... (but this is not what you're looking for, is it.)
    – chocolate
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 8:57
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    My reading of 'nothing' in 'we can talk about nothing' is that it means 'we can talk about things which are unimportant'. I'd be inclined to focus on a natural translation of that, but maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick. Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 13:48
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    If you are looking for X such that 'Xについて話した' = 'talk about nothing', then there is simply no such word X.
    – sundowner
    Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 14:10

2 Answers 2

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"Talk about nothing" here I believe means talk about things that are not important or don't matter.

In that case you could say "くだらない話をしてもいい" you could also use 意味のない話 or similar words.

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「何のことも話さない」 - lit. "don't talk about anything".

Maybe this would work in your context?

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