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I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head.

Do you have a translation question?

I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head.

Postby BlackRider » Mon 03.21.2005 3:15 pm

I know I'm way over my head because I have only been studying Japanese on my own for a little over a week. I learned the katakana and hiragana and also how to look up kanji. My vocabulary is nill, but I have JWPce on my iPaq Pocket PC... so those dictionaries and kanji lookup methods really help.

Basically I figured that if I jumped into a really hard book instead of starting with children's books that I would get one foot firmly into the door and pick up the grammar as I go. (Plus the book was almost free. :P) When I picked up the book, I had no idea what it was about and could only hope that it was a story book and not home economics. :P

It took me three hours to connect 真田幸村 and the さなだゆきむら written in very small letters next to it. I had to have someone point out to me that this was Sanada Yukimura (a person) and that I was not supposed to read those kanji literally. (truth, rice paddy, happiness, and village... it didn't make any sence to me :P)

Now I'm finally getting to the inside of the dust cover. Of course, the first sentance has me stumped.
沼田城(ぬまたじょう)をでた幸村は、道をまつすぐ高崎(たかさき)のほうにむけている。
I have Numada Castle, Yukimura, road, and Takasaki. My guess is that を goes with Numada Castle, but I have no idea what でた means. Also I am not sure about the comma because I don't know how it gets placed when reading vertically. It is placed like a single quote, high and to the right. Finally, I am having trouble separating the second half of the sentence into words... and that makes it hard to look up those words. :(

I know I'm probably crazy, but if I can get through the first chapter then I can finish the book. Only, I haven't even gotten to the first chapter yet. :)

Thanks for any help in getting me a foothold on the Japanese language.
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby mrfusion » Mon 03.21.2005 5:09 pm

konichiwa!

Maybe you should try something a little easier to start out.
I picked up an untranslated manga and I've started with that.
It's not a "See Dick Run" kind of book and the pictures help you
get a clue about what the words mean.


Good Luck
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby BlackRider » Mon 03.21.2005 6:25 pm

Where do you find them? I can't find anything but "learn Japanese" type books at the new book stores, and only novels and education books at used book stores. I'm not a big fan of ordering things online... but if I can't tackle this book or find something easier, I guess I may have to buy some books online. If I don't get into the first chapter by the end of the week, then I'll try something else.

Thanks again.
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby mrfusion » Mon 03.21.2005 6:36 pm

I found them at my local Border's Books and Music.
I didn't notice where you live, is it near a large city?
You might try calling around to any large book stores and ask if
they carry "untranslated manga". It's worth a shot, otherwise
online is the next best thing.
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby BlackRider » Mon 03.21.2005 7:59 pm

I checked Barnes and Nobles and they only had educational books and the manga was all translated. And I drove to all of the local bookshops and couldn't find anything.

I guess Amazon.com is my only option. :)

*edit* One more question...
朝の街道(かいどう)はだ静(しず)か。
朝 = morning
街道 = かいどう = highway
静か = しずか = quiet

I don't under stand the grammar of this one.
morning の highway は だ quiet.
There is no verb, so is the verb "to be" (i.e. 'is') assumed? What is 'da' for?
The morning's highway is/was quiet. <--is that supposed to mean that the highway was peaceful in the morning or am I puting 2 & 2 toggether and getting 9 somehow?

I've got to make sure I'm reading this correctly. Thanks for any help.
Last edited by BlackRider on Mon 03.21.2005 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby Mukade » Mon 03.21.2005 10:43 pm

BlackRider wrote:
Now I'm finally getting to the inside of the dust cover. Of course, the first sentance has me stumped.
沼田城(ぬまたじょう)をでた幸村は、道をまつすぐ高崎(たかさき)のほうにむけている。
I have Numada Castle, Yukimura, road, and Takasaki. My guess is that を goes with Numada Castle, but I have no idea what でた means. Also I am not sure about the comma because I don't know how it gets placed when reading vertically. It is placed like a single quote, high and to the right. Finally, I am having trouble separating the second half of the sentence into words... and that makes it hard to look up those words. :(


Your sentence would be broken up like this:
沼田城/を/でた/幸村/は、/道/を/まっすぐ/高崎/の/ほう/に/むけている。

でた is the Simple Past Tense of でる. You'll have to look up that word that way.

You have written まつすぐ. If this is an older book, it's probably written this way, but these days, this word is written with a small つ. So try looking up the word まっすぐ.

のほう is a grammatical element that may or may not appear in a dictionary. It means "in the direction of," or, when given the choice of two objects, could also mean "this one."

むけている is the Present Progessive form of むける.

Hopefully, this will help you out a bit.

As far as good texts to read, I would suggest a manga like Ranma 1/2 (even though I am not a manga fan - and never really read any manga). My reasons:
1) since Ranma 1/2 was intended for a middle-school-level audience, the furigana (the smaller kana next to the kanji) are included.
2) the Japanese is simpler than what you've chosen here.
3) the Japanese is more conversational, and thus you will see grammar forms and vocabulary that you can actually use the next time you chat with a Japanese person.
4) Ranma 1/2 is quite funny and entertaining - so you can have fun while you study - what better way to learn!

I read Ranma 1/2 while I was doing my study abroad, and I learned a lot of useful stuff from it. Not only that, but it passed the time during my one hour commute to school.

As far as where you can get Japanese books...

I would try Kinokuniya. They have a couple of stores in the U.S. that you can order from, and since they are a large, respected company, likely won't defraud you. Their homepage is: http://www.kinokuniya.com/

Hope this helps!
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby BlackRider » Tue 03.22.2005 12:53 am

Thanks! That helped a ton! I've almost made it to page one. lol

I'm not a big manga fan either, but if it helps then I'll look into it. I still hope to get through this book soon.
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby Mukade » Tue 03.22.2005 7:34 am

BlackRider wrote:
One more question...
朝の街道(かいどう)はだ静(しず)か。


Could you verify this sentence? I can't think of any situation where だ would appear in this way in the middle of a sentence.

I half-suspected that this might be a more classical, obsolete formation, and so I took it to the Kokugo (Language Arts) teacher in my office here and asked her about it.

She scratched her head and asked if I was dyslexic. :o
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby BlackRider » Tue 03.22.2005 6:03 pm

I can't believe I missed a ま! It should be: (まだ)
朝の街道(かいどう)はまだ静(しず)か。

for まだ my dictionary gives me: yet, still, more...

Sorry! :)
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RE: I am trying to read 真田幸村 and am way over my head

Postby Qbe » Tue 03.22.2005 11:39 pm

You can get manga from clay himself at thejapanshop.net. I'd bet that he'd even give you suggestions if you ask him--he did when I asked. He's a class act all the way.
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