Thursday, September 19, 2013

A new translation of "The Fruit-shop owner" (果物屋さん)

果物屋さん
           『スーパーマンその他大勢』より
               谷川俊太郎

果物屋さんは夜になると電話をかけます
もちろん果樹園の主人にかけるのです
でも果物の話はほとんどしません
ふたりは最近読んだ本の話をします
果物屋さんはこのところSFに凝っています
どうして他の星の生物が人間の言葉を喋るのか
それが果物屋さんにはどうも腑に落ちません
一言も分からなくていいから
宇宙人の喋る言葉をこの耳で聞きたいと言うと
果樹園の主人は何故か黙り込んでしまいます


The Fruit-shop owner
                                           From "Superman and many others"
                                                      Shuntaro Tanikawa 
                                                 (trans. by Naoko Ishikura)

When night falls, the fruit-shop owner makes a phone call 
Of course he calls the owner of an orchard
But they hardly talk about fruits
The two men talk about books they read recently
Lately the fruit-shop owner is hooked on science fiction 
It doesn't quite make sense to him
Why organisms from other planets speak human languages
Even if he doesn't understand a word
He wants to hear the language spoken by aliens firsthand
As he says so, the orchard owner lapses into silence for some reason




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