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How would you translate "先手必勝スマイル"?

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How would you translate "先手必勝スマイル"?

Postby kyra.chandler_512825 » July 1st, 2016 12:01 am

I understand that 先手必勝 is an expression translated to something like "victory goes to the one who makes the first move", but how would "smile" fit in there grammatically? Thank you!

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Re: How would you translate "先手必勝スマイル"?

Postby thegooseking » July 4th, 2016 9:43 am


My instinct would be simply that there's an implied の in there - 先手必勝スマイル - which would make 先手必勝 into an adjective. Turning an expression into an adjective is indeed difficult to translate, so we have to be a bit liberal. "A smile that comes with victory-through-initiative" is still a pretty clunky translation, but I think it's along the right lines.

I'd be tempted to more idiomatically translate it as "smiling like the cat that got the cream" though I'm not sure if that idiom really captures the sense of initiative - I guess in my mind it implies that there are other cats that didn't get the cream because that cat got there first, but we do use it in cases where making the first move isn't implied, e.g. "He did well in his exams so he's smiling like the cat that got the cream." My sense would be that 先手必勝スマイル is more literal than that. Maybe we could mix our idioms and instead say "smiling like the early bird that got the worm", but there's still that word 'like' that implies it's less literal than it actually is. So perhaps, "the smile of the early bird that got the worm".


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Re: How would you translate "先手必勝スマイル"?

Postby neige_schnee » July 7th, 2016 8:45 am

san, 小狼さん
Konnichiwa. :)
先手必勝スマイル means ‘if you smile in a match, you will win.’
Smile indicates calm and confident so your opponent will be scared or lose his/her courage.
先手, 必勝 and スマイル are all nouns.
You can put some nouns together and make words.
Yuki  由紀

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Re: How would you translate "先手必勝スマイル"?

Postby arthur_rogers_513971 » October 12th, 2016 4:35 am

you smile first and you win.Is it something like that :!: :roll:

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Re: How would you translate "先手必勝スマイル"?

Postby community.japanese » October 24th, 2016 8:27 am

Konnichiwa. :)
Thank you for your post.
Yuki 由紀

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