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:

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:


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

  • Link to the full lyrics? Jul 9 at 7:59
  • 1
    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
    Jul 9 at 8:02
  • 3
    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
    Jul 9 at 8:57
  • 3
    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. Jul 9 at 13:48
  • 1
    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
    Jul 10 at 14:10

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