View topic - Very Basic reading question
In English, words are separated by spaces but that doesn't seem to be the case in Japanese.
Here's some text from the Tortoise and the Hare ebook:
how am I suppose to know that ある is the first word and ところ is the second if there's no spaces between them?
Why isn't it written like this?
ある ところ に うさぎ と 亀 が いました。
What's the best way to approach reading this way?
Forgive me if this is really basic, but it just looks very daunting to see a long line of Hiragana and not know
how to break down each word.
- Posts: 53
- Joined: Wed 02.23.2005 8:47 pm
Japanese sentence parsing is made easier by kanji, particles, and other helper words. When a sentence is mostly kana (e.g. for children), it becomes more difficult but not impossible to read. SimilartotheabilitytoreadwithoutspacesinEnglish. You might stutter over a word or two, but overall it's intelligible.
There's no "best way" to approach reading in all kana when they don't use spaces. The more vocabulary and grammar you have, the less trouble you will have parsing sentences out into something that makes sense. I know it's ある ところ because I can't even imagine what あると ころ might mean.
- Posts: 709
- Joined: Wed 02.27.2008 11:54 pm
- Native language: (US) English
- Gender: Female
- Posts: 1572
- Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
- Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
- Gender: Male
Pork Chop wrote:think it might also be interesting to note that あるところに is part of a set pattern that is common in fairytales/物語/昔話:
kinda like "once upon a time, in a land far, far away..."
Just a small yet not so small thing coming to my attention yet again, kanji making life so much easier. Um yeah. Unpopular maybe but to me so true.
If you just have the kana first, period, I would suggest first, read the entire sentence Then go for the verb very first, since it gives kinda the happening on the stage of the sentence. Then the particles next. They kinda form a overarching form for certain expressions with other words (あるところに - at that place) Find them next, they are the breathtakers, the intersections in the sentence, and alot of meaning-givers to previous words. From the particle you can often work your way backwards, that is towards the start of the stentence (since they are postparticles, defining, what came before them). Very often, right before them, is a noun, and then a compagnion, as we call it in my language. As such you take compagnon + noun/adjective /whatever + particle = Form to be translated.
If you find verb (end of sentence) particles (floating, may be several) main parts to particles (often nouns) and their compaignons, you are far in reading and comparing. Verb + Particle and its noun and compagnion + maybe more particle noun compagnon groups = build a sentence. My construct is really a bit a crude sentence, but basically works that way. (be prepared for noun can be sometime adjective, and other interchangeables).
Hope this helps. Else sentence me to 17 years of Galeere of explaining japanese sentenence patterns to novices!
- Posts: 13
- Joined: Sat 02.28.2009 8:34 pm
- Native language: スイス語 (ドイツ語
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests