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Parsing, Syntax and Turns of phrase

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

Parsing, Syntax and Turns of phrase

Postby Paul De Stefano » Thu 05.04.2006 4:16 pm

In Pencil Sharpener I am having trouble with the following sentence. それは refers to the pencil sharpener that the narrator is holding in his hand.

それは僕が中学時代から二諸N以上ずっと使っているごくあたりまえの手動式の機械で、地のものに比べて変わったところなんて何ひとつない。

I would translate this as:

This is a very ordinary hand-operated machine used continously by me for more then twenty years since my middle school days and compared with other things of this world is nothing special.

I think I have the meaning but confess that the sentence after the comma is a blur of syntax and/or parsing.

Can anyone help?
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RE: Parsing, Syntax and Turns of phrase

Postby richvh » Thu 05.04.2006 4:50 pm

地のものに比べて - comparing to other things
変わったところ - point of difference (lit: place that was changed)
何ひとつない - there isn't even one

I confess I can't quite parse なんて, but I suspect the な is a transformed だ, as happens before の/ん.

"It was a very common hand-operated device, used throughout the more than twenty years since my middle school days, not one bit different from any other."
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RE: Parsing, Syntax and Turns of phrase

Postby Oracle » Thu 05.04.2006 6:52 pm

richvh wrote:
地のものに比べて - comparing to other things
変わったところ - point of difference (lit: place that was changed)
何ひとつない - there isn't even one

I confess I can't quite parse なんて, but I suspect the な is a transformed だ, as happens before の/ん.

"It was a very common hand-operated device, used throughout the more than twenty years since my middle school days, not one bit different from any other."


The なんて adds a little emphasis to what comes before it, usually in a negative sense: that there is not a single thing about the pencil sharpener which is out of the orginary, that it is a little laughable to even consider it.
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