遠からん者は音にも聞け

English translation: If you are (standing) far away, listen intently.

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Japanese term or phrase:遠からん者は音にも聞け
English translation:If you are (standing) far away, listen intently.
Entered by: conejo

02:36 Oct 5, 2011
Japanese to English translations [PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
Japanese term or phrase: 遠からん者は音にも聞け
Apparently the whole proverb/saying is:
遠からん者は音にも聞け、近くば寄って目にも見よ.

I found something saying that this is 戦場で、武士が名乗りをあげるときの言葉。

But what does it actually mean? I'm especially looking for the translation of the first half, 遠からん者は音にも聞け.

Thanks!
conejo
United States
Local time: 20:12
If you are (standing) far away, listen intently.
Explanation:
There may be more exuberant ways to say this, but it means just that.
Selected response from:

Yumico Tanaka
Australia
Local time: 12:12
Grading comment
Thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +3If you are (standing) far away, listen intently.
Yumico Tanaka
1behold me standing here
cinefil
Summary of reference entries provided
A bit about the grammar.
53507
Translation in Wiki
Benshin

  

Answers


20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
If you are (standing) far away, listen intently.


Explanation:
There may be more exuberant ways to say this, but it means just that.


Yumico Tanaka
Australia
Local time: 12:12
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)
1 hr
  -> Thanks!

agree  53507
1 hr
  -> Thanks!

agree  Vladyslav Golovaty
3 hrs
  -> Thanks!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
behold me standing here


Explanation:
an idea
http://www.weblio.jp/content/遠からん者は音にも聞け、近くば寄って目にも見よ

cinefil
Japan
Local time: 11:12
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 4
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Reference comments


1 hr peer agreement (net): +2
Reference: A bit about the grammar.

Reference information:
It comes up (originally?) in Heike Monogatari, as well as various 時代劇 etc.

http://questionbox.jp.msn.com/qa756594.html

I'm guessing that what might be tripping you up is the grammar of 遠からん者は音にも聞け. If you're used to modern Japanese, you might mistake 遠からん for 遠からない or 遠からず, but the ん here is a sound change from む, a classical 助動詞, attached to the 未然形 conjugation of the classical adjective 遠し, far.

So,
遠からん = (遠しの未然形)遠から + (仮定・婉曲助動詞)む

In this case, it's used to express a conditional expression - "If you are far away (or, ones who are far away), listen intently" as given in the answer above.

Here's another example for reference: 花の咲かむ時に行け。
In modern Japanese: もし花が咲いたなら、その時に行きなさい。
Or, 花が咲くような時に行きなさい。

53507
Japan
Works in field
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Mami Yamaguchi: Good explanation. I am really impressed.
1 hr
agree  David Patrick
2 days 13 hrs
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6 hrs peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: Translation in Wiki

Reference information:
The reference page might be helpful.

Old books are difficult to read correctly.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2011-10-05 12:51:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The translation on the above page seems to be based on a different text of Heike Monogatari, which can be seen on:

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/heike/heike.html


    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taira_no_Kagekiyo
Benshin
Japan
Native speaker of: Japanese

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Mami Yamaguchi
19 mins
  -> Thank you very much.
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