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Re: [Lingo] 会うは別れのはじめ。 We never meet without parting.

2009/2/20 steve smith <>:

> I found this sentence among the Tanaka Corpus examples on WWWJDIC.  The
> translation doesn't make sense to me.  In fact the sentence doesn't make
> sense.  I know all the words I think, so there's something I'm missing.
> 会うは別れのはじめ。:
> 合う To meet
> は  Topic marker
> 別れ Parting, separation
> の  Explanatory marker(?)
> はじめ Begining, start
> How does this become "We never meet without parting."

The more common form is "逢うは別れの始め。", which is also in
the Tanaka corpus. It appears on quite a lot of lists of
kotowaza, and seems to have that or similar translations. A
more chokuyaku translation might be "Meeting is the first stage
of parting". That's kotowaza for you.

I've CCed this to Francis Bond, who maintains the Tanaka corpus
these days. It might help to be marked as a proverb.


Jim Breen
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
Clayton School of Information Technology,
Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia

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