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Vocabulary questions

Questions, discussions and translations on Murakami's Yoru no kumozaru

Vocabulary questions

Postby Paul De Stefano » Mon 04.24.2006 10:53 pm

I am one of the latecomers attracted to this forum by Clay's April newsletter. I received my book a few days ago, about 10 days after placing my order.
I have been working through the text by looking up kanji and kanji combinations. Since I have been treading water across the great gulf that separates JLPT 3 and 2, it turns out that this is over half the kanji. I have been putting this new vocabulary in a word processor file for reference.
Ironically, I have been having trouble with unfamiliar hiragana phrases.
あるいは - My WordTank gives examples which make me believe that this means something like "quite probably"
おいら This seems to be a plural form of おれ first person pronoun. Since the horn is speaking, is this a childish form of "we?"
Can someone please help me?
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby keith712 » Mon 04.24.2006 11:46 pm

Paulsan

おいら is I/we according to Kenkyusha's New J-E Dictionary. there was a discussion about oira vs watakushi vs boku in one of the other forums but I'm sorry I can't remember which one. I do remember that oira is considered non-polite and a little old-fashioned.

あるいは is (from Kenkyusha's again) 1) or/either...or 2) maybe/perhaps 3) some. I translated the sentence it is found in as: Or maybe the horn would go to the extreme of telling (him) the story of a horn's plight.

I'm a late starter, too. it took about nine days for my copy of 夜のくもざる to arrive. after about six hours with the book open on my desk and my kanji dictionary in my lap I have a first draft translation. hang in there!
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RE: about おいら

Postby coco » Tue 04.25.2006 10:31 pm

keith712 wrote:
I do remember that oira is considered non-polite and a little old-fashioned.

I think your understanding is correct.
村上春樹 uses おいら often, however , he doen't use the word おいら which is told by main character in 村上's novels, as far as I know . ( I hardly read his essay though.)

At the pablic stages/ scenes,( at business situations) men don't use おいら, generally.
According to the Japanese-Japanese dictionary, おいら is explained is also used as WE. But, at least in 標準語, people rather use おれら as we (no-polite) than おいら.
------
Keithさん。その理解で合っていると思います。
「おいら」は正式な場で使われる言葉ではありませんし、40代以下で使う人は稀です。(標準語では)

村上春樹は「おいら」をよく使いますが、主人公自身が一人称として「おいら」を使う小説は私が知る限りありません。(私は村上春樹の随筆は読みませんが、本人も「おいら」という一人称を使うことはほとんどないと思います)

国語辞典の説明でも「おいら」は I (私/僕)のほかにも we( 俺たち)の意味で使われるように受け取れますが、少なくとも標準語ではweの場合は「おいら」よりも「おら(俺等)」が使われています。
(たぶん私の英語では通じないと思いますので、英語に訳してくださると助かります)
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby keith712 » Wed 04.26.2006 3:54 am

cocosan, お説明をありがとうございます。

here's cocosan's explanation about 「おいら」

note: cocosan, in three places (marked by *) I didn't translate you literally so you could see a more natural English construction.

Keith, *I think you've got it right. 「おいら」is not a word to use in formal situations and also few people under the age of 40 use [it]. (in standard speech anyway)

Murakami Haruki often uses 「おいら」but as far as I know [he only] uses [it] as the first person [pronoun] for the hero/heroin in [his] novels. (I haven't read Murakami Haruki's essays but *I don't think he ever uses 「おいら」to refer to himself.)

The explanation in [my] Japanese dictionary [says] that besides I (私/僕) [おいら] can be understood to mean we (俺たち) but at least in the case of standard language 「おれら」is used instead of 「おいら」.
*I'm afraid nobody will understand my English so please translate my Japanese explanation into English for me.
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby coco » Wed 04.26.2006 5:45 am

Kieth712 さん。ありがとうございます。お手数をおかけしています。
えっと、私の英語の解釈が間違っていたらすみませんが、「ありません」が訳されていないように思います。

Murakami Haruki often uses 「おいら」but as far as I know [he only] uses [it] as the first person [pronoun] for the hero/heroin in [his] novels.


村上春樹は「おいら」をよく使いますが、主人公自身が一人称として「おいら」を使う小説は私が知る限りありません

Murakami Haruki often uses おいら but he never let his hero( main character) use the word おいら in his novels. (hero uses 僕 instead of おいら). other character(s) somethimes use おいら, but hero doesn't use.

In this story the image of ホルン uses おいら( 14-4,5,6line) but narrator uses 僕.(12-3,12-6,13-3,13-4,13-8, 15-3)
This author uses the word おいら like this, generally.
*
Heroine never use おいら because おいら is uesd by male.

うーん。私の英語力ではReading Clubのお手伝いは難しそうです。Orz
-----
add:
To keith712-san.
Although I try to keep reading this 夜のくもざる forum, I really wish someone's help who are advanced in (?)English.

---
Correction
Heroin→ Heroine :p :D (thanks for pointing )
Last edited by coco on Wed 04.26.2006 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby keith712 » Wed 04.26.2006 5:57 pm

cocosan, sorry about that huge error... I have an excuse... I worked a double shift that day and it was really late when I read your post... but the truth is I'm an overconfident beginner... 私が自信満々ですが、何も知らない...
this is off topic but, cocosan, please keep helping us... I promise to learn from my mistakes and I know English will get easier for you... がんばりましょう!
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RE: vocabulary questions

Postby Paul De Stefano » Wed 04.26.2006 9:12 pm

Thank you Keith-san for your translation of coco-san's post. My kanji recognition is still so poor that without your translation I would not have learned as much. Thank you coco-san for your dedication in teaching Japanese.

In the spirit of friendship I should point out that heroin and heroine are two very different words that are pronounced exactly the same.

Heroin is a highly addictive narcotic that is illegal in America and I believe also in Japan.

A heroine is a female principal character in a literary work or drama.
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby AJBryant » Wed 04.26.2006 10:18 pm

And a hero can have a heroine, but only an anti-hero will have heroin. ;)

Tony
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby coco » Wed 04.26.2006 10:38 pm

:D:D
Thanks for good explanation.
learning foreign languages is full of laughableness and mystery. More funny than novels.
:D:D

Thanks SS-san.
ehehe, we Japanese (people) pronounce "grammar" as "glamour".
Great EngRish speakers we are!!
Last edited by coco on Fri 04.28.2006 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby ss » Wed 04.26.2006 10:55 pm

:D:D
Coco-san, I'm sooo impressed with your EngRishfull of laughableness and mystery

Nice ! ;)
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby keith712 » Sat 04.29.2006 3:43 am

ugh! heroin vs heroine... maybe I should join an English discussion group... thank you all for being so understanding!

I have questions about 鉛筆削り!

しょうゆさし is a shoyu measure? I was expecting shoyu bottle or dispenser or ???

what kind of a sink is a 流し台?

鉄腕アトム.シール is a canonball atom seal?!?!?

じゃあね、 Keith
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby Oracle » Sat 04.29.2006 7:47 am

keith712 wrote:
しょうゆさし is a shoyu measure? I was expecting shoyu bottle or dispenser or ???


It's a small container for holding soy sauce.. like this

what kind of a sink is a 流し台?


Any type. That's just the japanese word for "sink"

鉄腕アトム.シール is a canonball atom seal?!?!?

鉄腕アトム ("Iron-arm Atom" is the real/original name for Astro Boy)
=> "Astro Boy Sticker"
Last edited by Oracle on Sat 04.29.2006 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby keith712 » Sun 04.30.2006 4:52 pm

thanks Oracle... the shoyu dispenser and Atom Boy are good examples of the pitfalls of me trying to understand the words when I don't know the culture...

but I'm really surprised that none of my dictionaries have 流し台 (=ながしだい?) as an entry... they all give 流し for sink!
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby richvh » Sun 04.30.2006 5:09 pm

It's in edict: 流し台 【ながしだい】 (n) sink, washstand
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RE: Vocabulary questions

Postby keith712 » Tue 05.02.2006 10:05 pm

thanks Richard... ready for my next dumb question... is edict online or are Clay and Yumi selling it or ???
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