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Let's Sing the "Rudolph" Song in Japanese
Part 1: The "Rudolph" Song in Japanese
More of this Feature
Translation of the Lyrics

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Page 1 of 2

As you might already know, the New Year (shogatsu) is the biggest and the most important celebration in Japan. Christmas is not even a national holiday, though December 23rd is, because of the Emperor's birthday. However, the Japanese love to celebrate festivals, and have adopted many Western customs including Christmas. The Japanese celebrate Christmas in a "Japanese way".

There are many Christmas songs translated into Japanese. Here is the Japanese version of "Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer (Akahana no tonakai)".

Makka na ohana no tonakai-san wa
真っ赤なお鼻のトナカイさんは
Itsumo minna no waraimono
いつもみんなの笑いもの
Demo sono toshi no kurisumasu no hi
でもその年のクリスマスの日

Santa no ojisan wa iimashita
サンタのおじさんは言いました

Kurai yomichi wa pika pika no
暗い夜道はぴかぴかの
Omae no hana ga yaku ni tatsu no sa
おまえの鼻が役に立つのさ
Itsumo naiteta tonakai-san wa
いつも泣いてたトナカイさんは
Koyoi koso wa to yorokobimashita
今宵こそはと喜びました

Vocabulary

makka
真っ赤
bright red hana
nose
tonakai
トナカイ
reindeer itsumo
いつも
always
minna
みんな
everyone waraimono
笑いもの
an object of ridicule
toshi
year kurisumasu
クリスマス
Christmas
santa
サンタ
Santa Claus iu
言う
to say
kurai
暗い
dark yomichi
夜道
night journey
yaku ni tatsu
役に立つ
useful naku
泣く
to cry
koyoi
今宵
tonight yorokobu
喜ぶ
to be pleased

Here is the original, though it is not literally translated. I will explain the Japanese lyrics line by line on the next page.

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose;
And, if you ever saw it you would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.
The one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say,
"Rudolph, with your nose so bright, Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
Then how the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee,
"Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer you'll go down in history!"

Next Page: Translation of the lyrics > Page 1, 2

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