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Kanji in context sentences

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Kanji in context sentences

Postby Lucas89 » Thu 09.24.2009 4:31 pm

I decided to not make the title too specific just in case I want to add more to this thread, since some of the sentences in "Kanji in context" are quite difficult for me to figure out (Although until now have always managed to get by)

I haven't been using the books for very long (In fact I'm only on page 9 right now) but I have come across 2 sentences which I can't quite grasp the meaning of.

They are the following:
人にはそれぞれ長短があって、それで世の中はうまくいくようにできているのです。
Here I am not quite sure what ようにできている would roughly translate too in English.
My attempt at understanding this sentence turned out as something like this:
"Each person has strong and weak points, and because of that the world(society?) is able to run smoothly"
I am unsure as to whether or not that is the actual meaning of the sentence.

The second sentence which I can't quite grasp is:
二人は砂の上に肩を並べて座り、海に沈んでいく夕日をずっと見つめていた。
The part that I can't figure out here is 肩を並べて座り, what exactly does this mean?
My guess is perhaps "sit side by side" if I take 並べる as "To line up", but I have only seen this word in the context of sorting lists of information before so I am not completely sure.
"The couple sat side by side on the sand, and gazed at the evening sun sinking into the sea" is what I currently read it as.
(I'm not sure the best way to translate 二人 so if you think my word choice of "The couple" is poor then please tell me)

Any help is appreciated :)
どうぞよろしくお願いします!
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby NileCat » Thu 09.24.2009 6:21 pm

Hi Lucas89,
I like those two sentences.Especially the second one, it sounds beautiful.

人にはそれぞれ長短があって、それで世の中はうまくいくようにできているのです。

Your grasp is fine.
世の中はうまくいくようにできているのです。is a bit tough, though.
The world is designed like for everything to be able to run smoothly. ---Hmm, it's not beautiful but makes sense? It is the literal translation. (maybe there is a better word than "designed" but I couldn't come up with it)
But who designed it? It depends on the speakers opinion. God? People? Civilization? Destiny? Who knows?

二人は砂の上に肩を並べて座り、海に沈んでいく夕日をずっと見つめていた。

Can you picture the scene in your mind like a movie? Maybe it should be an old film and little sappy but romantic.
I like your choice "couple". They would be lovers.
If it was a modern American film, they wouldn't wait for the sunset before they start kissing. But hey, in good-old-days, things went slower. it was romantic. Just sitting side by side, watching the same sea, in silence..
Yes, your understanding is fine here, too.

I think "imagination" is one of the most important things in Japanese language. You'd come across many expressions that are not necessarily logical. In that case, try to imagine the picture in the context, maybe you would find your guess is not that different from the true meaning, I think.

Good work, Lucas89-san.
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby khan » Thu 09.24.2009 11:54 pm

i thought those two translations are both correct.

肩を並べて座り
i thought it`s okay to say sit side by side, or maybe sit in a line.
imagine there`re 2 person, and their shoulder is in a same line.

just for reference,
肩を並べて歩く
walk in the same line.

hope it helps u.
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby Lucas89 » Fri 09.25.2009 2:20 am

Thank you both for your replies.
I'm glad that I didn't make any horrible mistakes while translating those. :lol:
I'm sure I will be back here again with another sentence at some point soon. :roll:
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby Lucas89 » Fri 09.25.2009 4:14 pm

I'm sorry for the double post but as I said I would be I am back with a couple of other sentences.
This time though I can't even make a decent guess as to what certain parts mean.
Here they are:

青信号で渡ろうとした時に車が飛び出してきたのだから、明らかに向こうが悪い。そういう明白な事実があるのに非を認めようとしないなんてとんでもない奴だ。

In the first part I don't understand 明らかに向こうが悪い - "Clearly the other side is bad"? That's all I can think of.
In the second half I want to confirm here whether なんて is being used simply to emphasis the negative feelings of the speaker, or is there is some other meaning to it? or even if it's actually to do with とんでもない奴だ and not the part before it.

For example: "Despite that obvious fact, they didn't even try to recognise their own damn error"
(Not sure if that's how it would be translated to English)

And I don't really get the meaning of とんでもない奴だ all I can think of for this is "Offensive/Unthinkable guy"

The second sentence is as follows:
お嬢さんが近々結婚すると言って、隣の人が挨拶に来た。向かいの人の話によると、お嬢さんは実はまだ結婚したくなかったのだが、親が強引に結婚を決めたらしい。

Here I don't understand 隣の人が挨拶に来た and 向かいの人の話 (I seem to have problems with any parts that use 向かう)
My best guess with お嬢さんが近々結婚すると言って、隣の人が挨拶に来た。Is "Their daughter said she will get married soon, and the next door neighbours came to greet her"
But I can't really think of a way to put 向かいの人の話 into English.

Edit:
Does 向かいの人 refer to people who live on the other side of the street?
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby NileCat » Fri 09.25.2009 7:28 pm

Sorry. I'll just make it short, because I'm so sleepy now. :) But I want to answer you before I go to bed!

向こうが悪い : It's the driver who has to be blamed. (the person of that side/opposite side)(this side=myself)
なんて: Correct. Emphasis. Your translation seems fine to me.
とんでもない奴だ: Correct.
お嬢さんが~: My neighbour came to my home to (greet and) tell me that his/her daughter is going to get married soon. According to the person who lives on the other side of the street, in fact, the daughter didn't want to get married yet,but her parent(s) decided the marriage against her will.

Someone would go over it. If not, I'll explain tomorrow. :)
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby NileCat » Sat 09.26.2009 7:50 am

I was half asleep with sleeping pills when I wrote the pervious one. :)

そういう明白な事実があるのに非を認めようとしないなんてとんでもない奴だ。
...
For example: "Despite that obvious fact, they didn't even try to recognise their own damn error"
(Not sure if that's how it would be translated to English)

Despite that obvious fact, he (the person) doesn't even try to recognize his own fault (hence) he is a jerk.

"He is a jerk since he refuses to admit his own fault despite that obvious fact." (It reads like this to me. The most important word is "jerk". Every other word is used to describe it.)

なんてemphasizes the negative feelings of the speaker about the person's attitude. Which is "非を認めようとしない" part.
向こう can be either singular and plural. But in this sentence, it reads "the person".(the driver)
奴 is used as singular in any case . 奴ら or 奴等 are plural.
e.g.) とんでもない奴, ひどい奴, 悪い奴 / とんでもない奴ら, ひどい奴ら, 悪い奴ら

お嬢さんが近々結婚すると言って、隣の人が挨拶に来た。

You can see it like -ing form in English. (absolute participal construction is the term?)
The subject is not the daughter but the neighbour (her parent).
"Telling that the daughter was getting married, the neighbour visited me".... Do you know what I mean?

挨拶に来た is a kind of cultural thing. I don't know if the "greet" is the appropriate word here. So please look it up in a dictionary.
You got 向かいの人 on your own.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby Lucas89 » Sat 09.26.2009 12:48 pm

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions NileCat :)
When it comes to 挨拶 my dictionary just says: greeting(s)
Perhaps it should be defined more loosely.
In this case perhaps it's being used to get across the fact that he visited (in order to tell the speaker about the good news)

Maybe like "The neighbour came to tell me that their daughter was soon to be married."
How does that sound to you?

Once again, thank you for taking the time to help me out here 8)
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby NileCat » Sat 09.26.2009 1:27 pm

Lucas89 wrote:In this case perhaps it's being used to get across the fact that he visited (in order to tell the speaker about the good news)

Maybe like "The neighbour came to tell me that their daughter was soon to be married."
How does that sound to you?

I think your understanding is perfect! But I have no idea if it's preferred at school tests. Maybe you know what I mean. :wink:

My guess:
If it's the test at Japanese high school, the translation would be regarded as "wrong" because you don't have the word "greet" in the sentence. But at university level, it's correct.

EDIT:
Sorry. I might have been wrong. ( After reading ↓Endo, I reconsidered about it.)
It's a matter of Comparative Cultures. I couldn't clarify the difference between 挨拶 and greeting.
Last edited by NileCat on Mon 09.28.2009 7:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby Endo » Sun 09.27.2009 3:49 pm

I always think of 挨拶 as a kind gesture, whether it's thanking, whether it's wishing well or being polite, kinda お礼-ish.
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby Lucas89 » Tue 10.06.2009 7:50 am

あぁ、最近仕事が忙しいです。でもやっと漢字と語彙のための本に戻るようになってきました 8)
NileCatさんとEndoさん、説明してくれてありがとうございました!今分かりました :)

他の例文について二つ質問があります。

例文:「がんばれ!」と力強く肩をたたかれたら、何となく元気が出てきた。

二つ部分はちょっと分かりにくいです。
「何となく」は英語で「For some reason」に似てますか。
そして、「肩をたたかれたら」の「たたく」は辞典で「To strike」といいますが、この場合には英語で「To pat?」の方がいいですか。
自分の英語訳は「When I was encouragingly (patted?) on the shoulders with a がんばれ!for some reason I filled with energy.」ですが。

ところで、もし自分の日本語は不自然に聞えたら、もっと自然な言い方を教えてください。
:)
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby NileCat » Tue 10.06.2009 4:32 pm

I think your Japanese is very good. Because your question seems tough to me, again. :D

Usually 肩をたたく means to pat on the shoulders.(Plural? I didn't know that! In Japanese, we use this expression meaning one shoulder, I mean left or right. Anyways,)
But in this sentence, there is a word 力強く, which can read both "emotionally" and "phisically".
So, most of the Japanese readers would imagine the strength of the "patting" as "ouch" degree in this sentence. At least the"patting" produces a sound. バン!or パン! or バシン!
(Sorry, I'm sleepy now again. It's 5 o'clock in the morning)
However, because I can't make out the nuances in English, I can't say which word is appropriate.

Does my explanation make sense? Hmm...it seems weird to me. :oops:
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby Lucas89 » Tue 10.06.2009 4:49 pm

Ahh, I didn't think of 力強く in a physical sense at all, probably because I was focusing more on the 「がんばれ!」 part.
It makes much more sense to me now, but since I am not very good at translating between languages I think I will just leave it at that and be happy that I understand :)

Also, in English I say both "shoulder" and "shoulders" to mean the same thing in "Pat on the shoulders"... Maybe that's just me though lol, I've never really thought about it before.
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby NileCat » Tue 10.06.2009 5:06 pm

あ、忘れてました!
「何となく」は、for some reason と、ほとんど同じ意味で使えると思いますが・・・
http://eow.alc.co.jp/%e4%bd%95%e3%81%a8 ... %8f/UTF-8/
ここにある例文を見てください。
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Re: Kanji in context sentences

Postby Lucas89 » Tue 10.06.2009 5:29 pm

A, I totally forgot about that too!
I looked at the sentences in that link and I see what you mean about it being almost the same, since in some sentences it fits perfectly whereas other it has a slightly different but very close meaning or a much more ambiguous meaning.
Once again NileCatさん ありがとうございます!
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