Japanese songs
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Twice ~ Cheer up (Japanese version)

I am not a K-pop or J-pop fan and to be honest, I am not familiar with trendy groups. Having said that, I do appreciate some famous songs that I know and “Cheer-up” by Twice is one of them. This song was so popular when it came out that several candidates for the presidential elections (2017) in Korea used this song as part of their campaign, changing the lyrics to promote their candidature. This was one of the weirdest things I saw in my life…

Anyway, Twice has made their debut in Japan this summer and released an album with all their title songs in Japanese.

I hesitated a lot before translating the lyrics of “Cheer-up” because:

  • It’s much more difficult than I imagined, sometimes what they say just does not make sense (to me)
  • I have checked several English translations found on the internet, and they are all different! But the worst thing is that, in several parts, they all differ from mine! 😱There is a greater probability that they are all right, and I am wrong… But as it would be totally pointless to post my own translation if it were just a copy of others’, I will stick to my interpretation.

What decided me to turn thoughts into action is this post by Kotobites. Lyrics do not always make sense, and the meaning is sometimes hard to grasp because of limited grammar. But it is definitely an excellent exercise that forced me out of my comfort zone. And I did learn some very interesting expressions like “よそ見させない” or “既読スルーされる”.

The lyrics are very long, but I really had fun translating them. It is frustrating to understand every word and still don’t see what the meaning of a phrase is. But it is fun too, to try to crack the lyrics, especially if you study only one or two strophes a day like I did.

Please, keep in mind that I am maybe (certainly) wrong in some parts of my translation. Don’t hesitate to correct me in the comments!

Note: when I post about Japanese songs, I like to illustrate my post with a drawing inspired by the song’s music video or film in which the song appeared. In this case, it refers to the original Korean music video.

Lyrics

君から鳴る ベル ベル
ごめん マジ無理
バッテリー
減るの早すぎる

  • 鳴る・なる “to ring”
  • 無理・むり means “impossible”, while まじ means “seriously”, “really”. The two together mean something like, “really impossible”.
  • 減る・へる to decrease, to diminish.
  • 早い・はや(い) + すぎる. すぎる is a grammar point which means “too much”, “excessively”. Drop the い of the adjective and add すぎる.

I am sorry, but I can’t receive all your phone calls (it’s really impossible), my battery is decreasing too rapidly.

着信が 止まらなくて
スマホがパンっ!
弾けそうだよ

  • 着信・ちゃくしん incoming message or call (on the phone)
  • 止まる・とまる to stop. Here in the negative form 止まらない・とまらない + the form て which only means “and” “so”. With an い adjective or the negation ない, replace the い with くて.
  • スマホ smartphone
  • 弾ける・はじける to burst open. そうだ is a grammar point which means “look like”, “seem”. It is attached to the ます form. In the case of 弾ける it is はじけ+そうだ.

Calls from you won’t stop, and it seems that my phone will explode.

んで? なんで?
私のせい?って思うだけで
胸キュンするなんて
だけどね みんな カワイイねって近づくの

  • せい means “fault” here
  • って is a casual way of saying と
  • きゅんする means “be shocked by emotion” or “momentary tightening of one’s chest caused by powerful feelings” and is often used with 胸・むね chest.
  • なんて is a grammar which means “things like”.
  • だけどね however
  • 近づく・ちかづくto get acquainted with, to get closer to, to get to know.

Why is it my fault if your heart is torn apart (or things like that) when you think of me (by only thinking of me). It’s just that everybody is approaching me telling me that I am cute.

I first thought (and most translations on the internet go in that direction) that “っておもうだけで” referred to “why is it my fault”. The meaning would then be something like “I am sad or upset just to think that it could be my fault – that you consider it to be my fault”. But, きゅんする is used when suffering from a great emotional shock, for example when parting with a lover. I think this word would be strange referring to the girl being upset and instead, applies best to the boy being in love with her (but not able to see her often). Secondly, I think that the expression “なんて” (but I may be mistaken) may be used to take some distance from what is said and would suit better if it referred to the guy’s feeling. 🤔

As for people trying to get close by saying she is cute… I just don’t understand how it is supposed to make sense here. Is it a way to say that the boy’s approach is nothing new to her because she is used to hearing such things? Or on the contrary, that the boy is saying something else than just “cute”, and that’s why she will eventually fall for him? Or am I totally mistaken with the translation? But well, there are some lyrics that I don’t even understand in French, so… 

Ah さっきの電話ごめんね
友達といて shy shy shy
まだ会えないごめんね
かけ直すから later

  • さっき some time ago
  • 会えない・あえない is the potential form 会える・あえる of 会う・あう, here in the negative form: 会えない “not able to meet”.
  • かけ直す・かけなおす to call again, to call someone back.

Ah, sorry for not answering your call some time ago, I was with friends (that’s why I was shy). Sorry if we still can’t meet, I will call you back, so see you later.

おねがい 急かさないで
前のめりな Baby
もう少し ガマンしてね
よそ見させないよ

  • 急かす・せかす to hurry, to urge on. Here, the form ないで means “don’t…”
  • 前のめり・まえのめり first means “pitching forward”. But here, it describes someone who can’t wait to do things and urges things on.
  • 我慢する・がまんする to be patient
  • よそ見・よそみ means “to look away” but, in this particular context and associated with させない, the negative form of the causative form of the verb する, it means to look another girl/boy. よそ見させない・よそみさせない is a way to say “do not let or make your partner have an affair”.

I beg you, don’t urge me, restless baby. Be a little more patient, I won’t let you go after someone else (look at another girl).

When I googled よそ見させない, I found it associated with “浮気させない”. 浮気・うわき means “unfaithfulness”, “infidelity” or simply “extramarital sex”. I found out that there are three ways of using this word, which allow us to make a little grammar revision:

  • Active form: 浮気する having an affair, cheat on your partner
  • Passive form: 浮気される your partner cheated on you, your partner is having an affair.
  • Causative form: 浮気させる, more often used with the negative form 浮気させない which would mean “let or don’t let your partner cheat on you”.

CHEER UP BABY
CHEER UP BABY 追いかけて
胸の扉を叩いて
今よりも もっと大胆に
気がないフリして 恋してるの
ホントは君が好きだよ
Just get it together
and then baby CHEER UP

  • 追いかける・おいかける to chase, to run after
  • 扉・とびら door, gate
  • 叩く・たたく to knock, to beat, to strike. Here in the imperative form 叩いて・たたいて
  • よりも is an emphatic form of より.
  • もっと more
  • 大胆・だいたん bold, daring, audacious. It’s a な adjective, so changing な into に transforms the adjective into an adverb.
  • 気がない・きがない to be uninterested
  • ふりする means “to pretend to”
  • 恋する・こいする to love

Cheer up Baby and chase after me. Knock on the door of my heart more audaciously than now. I am pretending that I am not interested but I love you, I really like you.

ソワソワしてる姿 浮かぶし
ドキドキしてるの 伝わるけどね
ダメダメ軽いと 思われるから
メッセージ届いても 既読でスルー

  • そわそわ restless, nervous
  • 姿・すがた figure, form, state, condition
  • どきどき the heart beating fast
  • 伝わる・つたわる to be transmitted
  • 思われる・おもわれる is a passive form: I will be thought to be…? = you will think that I am…
  • 届く・とどく to reach, to arrive (ex: for a message)
  • 既読・きどく “already read”, it is the notification that will appear next to your message when it is read. (on Line, for example).

I am well aware of your restlessness (the restless figure of you comes to my mind), and I know that your heart is beating fast with emotion (your beating heart is transmitted to me), but no, it would not be good to reply to your messages (it’s no use), you would think that I am easy (light). I leave your messages “read” but unreplied. (Even if your messages arrive, I let them “already read”)

What she means is that she reads the boy’s messages so that he knows she has read them – the “read” 既読 mark will appear on his phone – but she does not reply, leaving him even more restless than if she hadn’t read them at all. I found this article about “being left already read” 既読スルーされる. I love this expression, haha!

Oh oh oh 許してね boy
やりすぎなのかな 胸が痛いよ
Oh oh oh どうすればいいの
夢中になっちゃう
夢中になってる

  • 許す・ゆるす means “to permit, to allow” but it most probably means “to excuse”, “to forgive” in our context.
  • やる means “to do” and is here associated with “すぎる”, which means “too much”. すぎる is attached to the ます form of a verb. In the phrase やりすぎなのかな, she is asking herself if she didn’t go too far.
  • すれば is the ば form of する. It means “if” and express a condition. “どうすればいい” means “how shall I do?, what should I do?”.
  • 夢中・むちゅう trance, delirium. 夢中になる・むちゅうになる means that you love something so much, you are in a trance. Here, the form てしまう is attached, which means that something is done completely with a possible negative consequence. 夢中になってしまう is contracted into 夢中になっちゃう.

Forgive me, maybe I went too far, my heart aches. What shall I do, I am so into you.

Ah 悩ませてごめんね
嫌いじゃないの shy shy shy
不安にしてごめんね
打ち明けるから later

  • 悩む・なやむ to be worried, to be troubled. 悩まさせる・なやまさせる is the causative form and means “to make someone be worried”.
  • 不安・ふあん means “to be restless”. 不安にする・ふあんにする means “to cause someone to be restless
  • 打ち明ける・うちあける to confide in sb, to open one’s heart to sb., to lay bare one’s feeling.

I am sorry that I have troubled you, I don’t dislike you (I am shy because I like you). I am sorry if you are restless because of me, as I will eventually open my heart to you, we’ll see each other later.

こんなに 苦しいのは
君のせいよ Baby
あと少し 本気見せて
奪いに来て欲しい

  • 苦しい・くるしい painful
  • N+のせい the fault of, because of
  • 本気・ほんきseriousness, earnestness. 見せる・みせる means “to show” and is here in the imperative form.
  • 奪う・うばう to take by force, to rob sth. The form ます + に来る means “to come to do sth”.
  • ~て欲しい・ほしい is used when you want someone to do something. “I want you to…”

If I am in such a pain, it’s your fault. From now on show me a little more earnestness and come to take my heart.

CHEER UP BABY
CHEER UP BABY 会いにきて
君の気持ちを 今すぐ
ありのまま 全部届けてよ
これ以上 私に近付いたら
恋してるオーラ隠せない
Just get it together
and then baby CHEER UP

  • 会う・あう Here again, the form ます+に来る. Come to meet (me).
  • 気持ち・きもち feelings
  • まま means “as something is”, for example, “show me your feelings as they are”. あり is the noun form of ある.
  • 届ける・とどける to deliver, to notify.
  • 近づく・ちかづく to come, get closer. The form たら means “if”.
  • 恋する・こいする to love
  • オーラ aura
  • 隠す・かくす to hide. Here, we have the potential form 隠せる・かくせる in the negative form 隠せない・かくせない be unable to hide.

Cheer up Baby and come to meet me. Tell me all that you feel for me right now (deliver all your feelings as they are, right now). From now on, if you come closer to me, I won’t be able to hide the fact that I love you (the aura of my love for you).

もぅ 傷つくの 怖いだけよ
臆病な心に 気づいて

  • 傷つく・きずつく to get injured, wounded.
  • 怖い・こわい frightening
  • 臆病な・おくびょうな cowardly, easily frightened, scared.
  • 気づく・きづく to see, to perceive, to notice, to become aware of, to be conscious of, to realize. Used with に.

I am just afraid of getting hurt and I am aware of my cowardice (my easily frightened heart).

君を好きな気持ちが
バレちゃう前に聴かせて
迷いをとかしてよ

  • ばれる “come to light”, “be discovered”, “be revealed”. Here again, the ~てしまう form contracted into ちゃう.
  • 聴かせる・きかせる is the causative form of 聴く・きく “let hear” or “let know”.
  • 迷い・まよい means “perplexity” or “indecision”, “doubts” or “delusion”. I think it can mean “indecision” or “doubts” here.
  • とかす means to dissolve

Before my feelings for you are exposed, let me hear (…), dissolve my doubts.

I think that what is meant here is: Before she exposes her feelings and reveals her heart, she wants to be sure (of the guy’s sincerity). To clear up her doubts, he should let her hear how sincere he is (this part is omitted in the lyrics). Once again, I don’t know if my interpretation is correct…

Be a man, a real man
gotta see u love me
like a real man

CHEER UP BABY
CHEER UP BABY 追いかけて
胸の扉を叩いて
今よりも もっと大胆に
気がないフリして 恋してるの
ホントは君が好きだよ
Just get it together
and then baby CHEER UP

2 Comments

  1. cheer up love tactics,I think.
    This song use many Japanese slang ,so transration is soooo difficult.
    I am Japanese,but it’s very difficult to understand this song words !
    You are Very well done!^_^

    Like

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