Lyircs of the song here. The part I want to ask about is:


  1. Is there a postposition or postpositional phrase which allows one to say that whatever follows is an event from the dream, rather than something happening as the speaker is dreaming the dream? For example, if I said "Kurikaeshi miru yume no naka de me ga samete miru", would that mean that the waking up is happening inside the dream, or still that I'm waking up from the dream?
  2. I was told that <<The "temiru" gives the impression that the speaker's will is not very much involved there, or that there is little causal relationship between the first and second sentence. Without it, it would emphasize more that the reason for waking up is because of the dream>>. If I look up "miru", I see that X-te miru means "try to X". Am I missing a sense? How do we go from "try to wake up" to "the speaker's will is not very much involved" or the dream not being the cause of the awakening?
  • 2
    Is there a reason you broke the last line into two? The lyrics page shows that as a single line, as it should be.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jul 15, 2022 at 23:00
  • @EddieKal musical reasons. The music clearly has a pause there. If the lyrics page were under my control, I'd split it there too. In fact, if you look at my blog post about the song (which has terrible translations, but that's beside the point), you'll see it split that way.
    – MickG
    Jul 16, 2022 at 5:52
  • Actually, that's exactly why you should put them together, contrary to what you think. You are asking about the meaning not how to sing it, which comes down to the semantics and grammar, not musicality. Song writers takes all kinds of artistic license and alter the lyrics to match the melody, but when you want to know the grammar and meaning behind the words, you should put them back.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jul 16, 2022 at 6:24

2 Answers 2

  1. Yes, 夢の中で目が覚める means waking up within/inside a dream (but she is still in a dream; she has to wake up again to be truly awake). On the other hand, 夢に目が覚める means "wake up {to / because of} a dream". This に is always a reason/cause marker. 目が覚める is not a verb of existence like ある, so it does not take に as a location marker. FWIW, 夢で目が覚める usually means the same thing as 夢に目が覚める, but it is technically ambiguous.
  2. The basic meaning of (-て)みる is "try X-ing (to see what happens)", not "try to X". This sentence is closer to "I tried waking up". That is, she usually don't wake up in similar situations, but this time she happened to wake up and had a chance to realize the fast heartbeat. She did not make any effort in order to wake up.

V-てみる literally means “do V and see.” Generally, both the action of the verb and the seeing are done by the same person. For example, 食べてみる means “eat (something) and see (how it goes or what it takes like).” In English, this idea might be expressed with “try eating …” It’s not the same as “try to eat …” because the eating is sure to happen and what’s uncertain is what will happen after that.

目が覚めてみる is irregular. I would say unidiomatic, at least in this context. 覚める describes an involuntary change of state, not something you intentionally do. I would never think this is supposed to mean “I tried waking up.” I would first try to break it up into 目が覚めて and 見る. If I’m not allowed to do that and have to make some sense out of 覚めてみる, I would understand the part up to と as meaning something like “now that I’m awake” or “once I wake up.” This is similar to how I understand 言われてみると.

In any case, it sounds unnatural to me.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .