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Bethetsu
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reading Taketori Monogatari Reply with quote
ltdomer98 wrote:
I am in for May.

It is now May, in Japan, the middle of Golden Week, and no move yet.

So I have a proposal.
Let us post a portion of Taketori, then everyone participating will independently make a translation with comments and questions and post it around the end of the week. The next week we will have discussion, so it will go in two-week cycles. I hope that that will not be so fast busy people cannot participate or so slow that we forget about it. Of course, we can modify our plan.

So here is the first paragraph (From the U of V library), but different editions may differ somewhat.

竹取物語

かぐや姫おひたち

今は昔、竹取の翁といふものありけり。野山にまじりて、竹を取りつゝ、萬づの事に使ひけり。名をば讃岐造麿となむいひける。その竹の中に、本光る竹一筋ありけり。怪しがりて寄りて見るに、筒の中光りたり。それを見れば、三寸ばかりなる人、いと美しうて居たり。翁いふやう、「われ朝夕毎に見る竹の中に、おはするにて知りぬ。子になり給ふべき人なめり」とて、手に打入れて家に持ちて來ぬ。妻の嫗に預けて養はす。美しきこと限りなし。いと幼ければ籠に入れて養ふ。
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm not quite at this level yet, and my apologies for not starting right on 1 May, my day job is rather time-consuming.

I've started going through chapter 1 of the Shirane text, but it doesn't seem that I'll be ready for translation until I've been through a few more chapters. What Heron and I had talked about was going through that textbook. Feel free to continue with this and whomever wants to participate can go for it, but I'm not there yet.
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I was just trying to get the ball started rolling, so i am willing to go along with whatever you all were thinking of.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is one of Shirane's base texts in the Reader so vocabulary notes and grammar notes are given with it.. Thanks, Bethetsu for getting us started. It had been on my mind that May 1st had arrived. I am happy to go through the notes and try to translate this, and ask about the grammar points I don't understand (probably most of them!), at the same time as going back to the Grammar text book and starting on Wixted.
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
My apologies, reading my previous comment I see that it can be misinterpreted as reactive and angry, and it wasn't meant that way.

By all means, go for it! I'll join in as I can. Unfortunately I was operating with the understanding that work was going to slow down and I wouldn't have any more big events to plan for in my remaining months here in Louisiana, and that's been thrown a curveball, so I'm much busier than I anticipated. Any frustration I have is with that, and not with anything else.
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I didn't take it as angry or reactive at all. I'd been wondering how to approach the study group and this seems a good method to get started. I keep thinking "next month will be less busy" but it never is, so I'm glad to get a much needed nudge.

But who else is in?
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is my attempt at translation.

Long ago there was an old man known as the Bamboo Cutter. He would go into the fields and mountain to cut bamboo which he put to many uses. His name was Sakaki Miyatsuko. In the middle of the bamboo there was one stem that shone at its base. Approaching suspiciously to look (he saw) a light shining within the tube. When he looked a very beautiful person barely three inches high was sitting there.
The old man thought ‘It’s because I come morning and night to look at the bamboo that I found (her). She must be meant to be my child.’ So thinking he put her in his hand and carried her home. He gave her to his wife to look after. She was supremely beautiful. Since she was very young they put her in a box and brought her up.

Some questions:

ありけり (in the first sentence) けりcan be hearsay past ('so it is said') or direct past, but in this sentence it could be either, so how do you determine which?

なむ is a bound participle denoting emphasis but I'm not sure what that means or how to indicate it in the translation

知りぬ -ぬ is the final form of the auxiliary verb ぬ meaning perfection or completion but again I don't see how to make the sense any more complete. And 知る seems to have many more meanings than 'know' so is it correct to translate it here as 'found'?
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for kicking off something. I was wondering about it as well, but then got caught with no downtime for the last couple weeks.

I attempted my own translation--and the flow is horrible compared to yours. I'm still struggling with much of the grammar (I'll start going through the textbook more heavily), and between a literal translation v. getting the spirit of what is meant. That said, I have a few questions between what I was reading into it and what you had in your translation. Maybe going through the differences will help us to understand? I like the flow of your translation better than what I could come up with, but I'm trying to understand parts of where you made your decisions.


1) I took the first sentence to be more like: "There is a story (thing that is said) of an old bamboo cutter." Rather than thinking that it was saying that the old man was called "Bamboo Cutter" (lit. Bamboo Taker, right?). That might make more sense with the "ありけり".

2) The name--I believe it is Sanuki no Miyatsukomaro, from what I can tell. I introduce the "no" in translation, though it could be left out. I believe this is one of those points onomasts will argue over as far as when that fell out of use.

3) As for "namu", I'm not sure that I have a good answer for that one. It is possible some things just won't translate.

4) "It's because I come morning and night to look at the bamboo" -> "In the middle of the bamboo that I see every morning and evening"? How did you see "おはする"?


4) "She must be meant to be my child" -- Why this and not "This child must be a gift"? I would have thought "給ふ" would imply more of the latter connotation.

5) "He gave her to his wife to look after." -> "He gave her to his wife to raise." Would either one fit?

6) Isn't "kago" more like a basket than a box?
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Real quick:

heron wrote:
ありけり (in the first sentence) けりcan be hearsay past ('so it is said') or direct past, but in this sentence it could be either, so how do you determine which?


As you know, けり has two uses: (1) marking a past event not directly experienced by the speaker; and (2) sudden realization. While き・し are used to denote directly experienced past events, Vovin suggests that some texts do contain directly experienced けり examples. As a general guideline, き・し=directly experienced/けり=indirectly experienced holds, but linguists continue to debate the intricacies of their usage.

Classical Japanese can be very vague and context dependent. I do not believe there is a hard-and-fast grammatical rule for determining which usage is being used.

Quote:
なむ is a bound participle denoting emphasis but I'm not sure what that means or how to indicate it in the translation


なむ shifts our attention to the preceding word. In that regard, it is very similar to the focus particle/bound participle ぞ.

Quote:
知りぬ -ぬ is the final form of the auxiliary verb ぬ meaning perfection or completion but again I don't see how to make the sense any more complete. And 知る seems to have many more meanings than 'know' so is it correct to translate it here as 'found'?


Japanese translations don't make an effort to imply completeness any more than 知った or 分かった or 見つけた. I think the passage would begin to sound unnatural if you aimed for anything more "complete" (however that might look).

You translate his thoughts as, "It’s because I come morning and night to look at the bamboo that I found (her)."

How do you interpret his reasoning. I see two possibilities:

1) I am in these woods night and day. I know them inside and out. It was therefore easy for me to spot a suspicious difference.

or

2) I am in these woods night and day. They provide my livelihood. Because this wondrous little person appeared to me in the stalk of MY bamboo, she must be meant to become my child.

What are your thoughts?
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
1) I took the first sentence to be more like: "There is a story (thing that is said) of an old bamboo cutter." Rather than thinking that it was saying that the old man was called "Bamboo Cutter" (lit. Bamboo Taker, right?). That might make more sense with the "ありけり".


I believe the text is saying that he was called the "Bamboo Cutter"; since it is common to call people, even nowadays, by their profession, this makes sense to me.


Quote:
2) The name--I believe it is Sanuki no Miyatsukomaro, from what I can tell. I introduce the "no" in translation, though it could be left out. I believe this is one of those points onomasts will argue over as far as when that fell out of use.


My text has "Sanuki no Miyatsuko" 讃岐造. Does yours read "Miyatsukomaro"?

Quote:
4) "She must be meant to be my child" -- Why this and not "This child must be a gift"? I would have thought "給ふ" would imply more of the latter connotation.


Concerning 給ふ, the verb itself is connected to なり and is equivalent to なさる. The おはさる is the 尊敬語 for 居る, so いらっしゃる. He is speaking very respectfully of her. While the grammar, itself, does not describe her as a gift, he may very well have considered her so.

Concerning 籠, I believe it would most likely have been a container woven from bamboo.
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here is my translation and comments.
I tried to make this as literal as possible to reflect the original grammar and still be English.

A long time ago from now, there was an old bamboo cutter. He would go into the fields and mountains and cut bamboo, and use it for many things. His name was Satsuki no Miyatsuko. Among the bamboo, there was one bamboo stalk whose base was shining. When thinking it strange he drew near and looked, the inside of the bamboo tube was shining. When he looked into it, a very beautiful person just three inches tall was sitting there. The old man said thus: “Since this personage is among the bamboo that I look at every morning and night, I know! Surely she is meant to become my child.” He took her in his hand and brought her to his house. He entrusted her to the old woman, his wife, and had her raise her. Her beauty was without limit. Since she was very young, they raised her in a basket.

Verb endings: The verbs of the setting and then being verbs (ari, iru) use -keri; the continuative verb hikaru has -tari. Shiru (come to understand) and ku (come) have the completive past -nu, while verbs of action over a long time yashinau are present.

I think -keri is more the meaning “they say” and it is basically a story-teller's device. “They say that once upon a time there was an old woodcutter.” It comes in occasionally later also “nagusami-keri.”

I notice that the subjects have no particles.

竹取の翁といふもの My feeling is that the といふ is basically the equivalent of de-aru “a person who was an old bamboo-cutter.”rather than "he was called the old bamboo-cutter." “to iu” in modern Japanese is often used as a connector without any conotation of speaking. "X to iu hon", "Nan to iu koto!", "X to iu jijitsu2 etc.

Sanuki no Miyatsukomaro or Satsuki no Miyatsuko This is a textual difference. The textual criticism principle is that the more unusual reading is probably the original, so would that suggest the latter one is older?

ayashigaru- Modern ayashii means suspicious, but I find that meaning suspicious here. My classical dictionary gives fushigi (strange) and shinpi (mysterious) as the first meaning, and I think that is more the nuance here.

owasu, -tamau--honorific, so he understands her as a type of supernatural being.
われ朝夕毎に見る竹の中に、おはするにて知りぬ。子になり給ふべき人なめり
shiru means “come to know,” so the English “I know” is in modern Japanese “shitte iru.” Here the shri-nu is like wakatta. I think the nuance may be: Since she is where I come so often, she must have placed here so that she might be my child.

te ni uchi-ireru uchi- is an intensive prefix. Here could it mean “securely”
yashinawasu-- causative of yashinau
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:

I believe the text is saying that he was called the "Bamboo Cutter"; since it is common to call people, even nowadays, by their profession, this makes sense to me.


I guess for me it was more a question of capitalizing "Bamboo Cutter", as I took it merely as a way to describe who he was, not provide a title. The difference being, in English, between "a bamboo cutter" and "the Bamboo Cutter". As you note, it is common to use a job, position, or rank to refer to someone.

Quote:
Quote:
2) The name--I believe it is Sanuki no Miyatsukomaro, from what I can tell. I introduce the "no" in translation, though it could be left out. I believe this is one of those points onomasts will argue over as far as when that fell out of use.


My text has "Sanuki no Miyatsuko" 讃岐造. Does yours read "Miyatsukomaro"?


I was using the snippet from the beginning of this thread, which has "讃岐造麿".

Quote:
Quote:
4) "She must be meant to be my child" -- Why this and not "This child must be a gift"? I would have thought "給ふ" would imply more of the latter connotation.


Concerning 給ふ, the verb itself is connected to なり and is equivalent to なさる. The おはさる is the 尊敬語 for 居る, so いらっしゃる. He is speaking very respectfully of her. While the grammar, itself, does not describe her as a gift, he may very well have considered her so.

Concerning 籠, I believe it would most likely have been a container woven from bamboo.
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks to everyone for the very helpful replies and comments. Just this short beginning has helped me understand a lot. I think trying to translate is a good idea (I think Wixted says students find it much easier to understand grammatical points when they are tied to actual translation.

I followed only the text Shirane gives so have been quite dependent on his notes and vocabulary translations. He gives the name as さかきの造 and translates 籠 as ko - a bamboo box.

Nagaeyari, I think I read into his reasoning the idea in your second option: that she appeared in HIS bamboo and so was meant to be his child.

I like the way the honorific verbs おはする and 給ふ indicate he thinks she is a very superior or even a celestial being. Bethetsu's personage gives this meaning well. But is there any cause or place to add 'in my humble opinion' or something like that?

According to Shirane's note といふもの is the citational place particle to and the attributive form (rentaikei) of the yodan verb iu modifying mono (person) and he gives the translation: 'a person who is called Old Man, the Bamboo Cutter'.

I take your point about ayashigaru but again I am following Shirane. There is more a feeling of strange and mysterious, than suspicious in the modern sense. Maybe 'in awe'?

That's all from me for now
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
Thanks to everyone for the very helpful replies and comments. Just this short beginning has helped me understand a lot. I think trying to translate is a good idea (I think Wixted says students find it much easier to understand grammatical points when they are tied to actual translation.
When I am reading something complicated I do find it helpful to actually translate it.
Quote:
I followed only the text Shirane gives so have been quite dependent on his notes and vocabulary translations. He gives the name as さかきの造 and translates 籠 as ko - a bamboo box.
Everything I found for 籠 says "woven container." I wonder why Shirane says "box."
Quote:
I like the way the honorific verbs おはする and 給ふ indicate he thinks she is a very superior or even a celestial being....But is there any cause or place to add 'in my humble opinion' or something like that?
I think he honorifics are for her; whatever his relationship to her might be, so I would not use that phrase.
Quote:
I take your point about ayashigaru.... There is more a feeling of strange and mysterious, than suspicious in the modern sense. Maybe 'in awe'?
I think 'in awe' may be a little too far in the mysterious direction. The meanings my classical dictionary gives for ayashi get more and more of this world. "Strange" seems best.
1a) fushigi (strange), shipiteki (mysterious)
1b) ijô 異常 (abnormal), nami-nami de nai (out of the ordinary)
1c) utagawashii (suspicious)
1d) keshikaranu (outrageous)
2) somatsu (shabby), iyashii (of mean rank).

I looked at these three adverbial subordinate sentences with both a grammar book and classical dictionary, which gave pretty much the same meanings for the structures.
A 怪しがりて寄りて見るに、筒の中光りたり。
B それを見れば、三寸ばかりなる人、居たり.
C いと幼ければ、籠に入れて養ふ

A 見るに
S1 + ni , S2
1) S1 is the reason for S2
2) Although (のに) S1, S2
3) After S1, S2 (S1 すると、…したところ)
Here, meaning 3 seems to be the appropriate one. In fact, the grammar book quotes this sentence as an example of 3 (translating "ayashigarite" as "fushigi to omotte").

B. mire-ba is concessive (Izen已然形)+ba. In classical Japanese it is involves a condition that is certain, so when or because. (In modern Japanese it means "if".)
S1+ba, S2
1) S1 is the reason for S2… Because S1, S2.
2) After S1 is the premise of S2 When S1 happened, S2 happened. と… ところ (Hama wo mireba, Akashi no hama nari-keri).
3) When S1, we can always expect S1 (Inochi naga-kereba haji ooshi) If you live a long time, you are bound to experience much shame.

So it seems それを見れば、…居たり. is 2), When he looked, she was sitting.

C. osana-kereba is also concessive (Izen已然形)+ba. I started off this grammar section asking myself whether 幼ければ、籠に入れて養ふ means "When she was young" or "Because she was young"? However "when she was young" would mean "during the time she was young" and 2) seems to require an event for S1. Certainly one cannot say "osanai to…" So it is probably 1), "because she was young."

By the way, Japanese of 1000 years ago seems a lot easier to me than the English (Anglo-Saxon) of 1000 years ago.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here is a continuation of Oitachi:

竹取の翁この子を見つけて後に、竹を取るに、節を隔ててよ毎に、金ある竹を見つくること重なりぬ。かくて翁やう/\豐になり行く。この兒養ふ程に、すく/\と大になりまさる。三月許になる程に、よき程なる人になりぬれば、髮上などさだして、髮上せさせ裳著す。帳の内よりも出さず、いつきかしづき養ふ程に、この兒の容貌清らなること世になく、家の内は暗き處なく光滿ちたり。翁心地あしく苦しき時も、この子を見れば苦しき事も止みぬ、腹立たしき事も慰みけり。

/\ is the "repetition of two characters" mark (so やうやう, すくすく). It is usually not used in horizontal writing, so they had to come up with a substitute.
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the comments and the new text, Bethetsu.

I'll be away for a week from tomorrow, so probably won't be able to translate this until next week. But that is my last trip for a while, so I will be able to get right into it after that.
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here's my translation:

Whenever the old bamboo cutter went to cut bamboo, after he had found this child, he discovered gold in every hollow of the joints of the bamboo. Subsequently he gradually became wealthy. This infant, as she grew up, reached adult size (became a person) very quickly. When she became an adult at three months, arrangements were made for her coming of age. Her hair was put up and she was dressed in the coming of age skirt. They did not let her out from behind the curtain and they brought her up with great care. Her pure and beautiful appearance was like nothing in this world. She filled the dark places in the house with light. When the old man was in a bad mood or times were hard, he only had to look at her for his suffering to come to an end and his irritation to be soothed.

There are some slight textual differences: Shirane has the phrase
竹を取るに twice in the first sentence. Maybe it's a misprint…anyway it didn't seem to make sense to translate it twice.

I felt the meaning was very easy to grasp in this section but my translation may be too free.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
the site tofugu has been running a series on classical Japanese - the articles are really very interesting. This is a link to the first one:
http://tinyurl.com/ln3yka4
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
There are some slight textual differences: Shirane has the phrase
竹を取るに twice in the first sentence. Maybe it's a misprint…anyway it didn't seem to make sense to translate it twice.
The problem is not Shirane--the book I am using (Ôi大井) has it also.
竹取の翁、竹取るに、この子を見つけて後に、竹取るに、節を隔ててよ毎に、
I suspect most (all?) manuscripts have it. The version I posted was from the UV site, which used the version from Iwanami shoten, 1929, probably because there is no copyright problem. I notice there are a lot of differences between the Iwanami and the Shirane and Oi; especially, Iwanami has a lot more kanji. I suspect it was more concerned about getting a literary text than a text close to original.
But about the doubling, Oi says the writer was not used to writing kana, but that doesn't make sense. I suspect that here Iwanami is right and the original had 竹取の翁、 この子を見つけて後に、竹取るに、節を隔てて…
However, a copyist skipped from 竹取の翁 to 竹取るに, but then realized his (her?) mistake and went back to この子を, but did not scratch out the first 竹取るに.


This is my translation, which aims at preserving the sentence structure as much as possible:
After the old bamboo cutter found this child, it happened repeatedly that when he gathered bamboo, he would find a bamboo in which there was gold in every hollow of the joints he cut. In this way the old man gradually became rich. While he was raising this child, she quickly became notably bigger. In just three months, since she had become a person of good size, they did made preperations for her hair-putting up, had her put up her hair, and dressed her in a formal skirt. While they carefully raised her, not even bringing her out of the curtain of state, the pure beauty of her form was not that of anywhere (else) in the world, and the inside of the house was light-filled with no dark place. Times the old man was feeling bad or was suffering, when he looked at the child, his suffering stopped, and his anger calmed down.

Comments: 竹を取ると...金ある竹を見つくること重なりぬ Literally, "The instances accumulated that when he gathered bamboo he found a bamboo with gold…."
I don't think it says it happened every time "whenever".
But what did the neighbors say, let alone the revenuers?

髮上などさうして sau su (sô su) is usually taken as 左右す "arrangements were made" as Shirane does, but another interpretation of sô is "divined 相 concerning the day for the ceremony"

itsuki "take care of carefully" is the rentai-kei of itsuku. Its original meaning 齊 was "to serve a diety".
hikari-michitari光滿ちたり: michiru (or mitsu 満つ) is intransitive, "to be filled." First I thought it was "filled with light," but one would expect "hikari ni," so probably hikari is the rentai of the verb used earlier "hikaru."

I have trouble getting a feel for "hodo ni."

By the way, piling up verbs is not restricted to classical Japanese. This was in the newspaper recently.
With regard to possible restrictions on streetside selling of bentos (packed lunches) in Tokyo, a truck driver remarked, "昼食にありつけなくなってしまいかねない." Can anyone unpack that?

I will try looking at that site.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Very interesting about the repetition of 竹取るに. I only have the Shirane text so don't have anything to compare with, but will look at the UV site too from now on.

Do you have the Shirane textbook, Bethetsu? Your knowledge of this subject and ability to read Japanese are far greater than mine, so I don't want to bring up things that you may have already considered and rejected Very Happy he has both itsuki and hikarimichi as renyoukei - the continuative form. Both seem to be composite verbs which would explain why no ni after hikari.

hodo ni "is generally treated as a comp. (composite word) meaning while"

I have a translation of this by Helen McCullough (which I only allow myself to look at after finishing my own translation Very Happy ) which reads:

When the old man went to cut bamboo after having discovered that child, he kept finding stalks with gold between the joints, and he gradually grew wealthy.

The child shot up swiftly while they cared for her. By the time she was three months old, she was as big as an adult so they put up her hair and dressed her in a train. They looked after her with great solicitude, making sure she never emerged from behind her curtains. The incomparable beauty of her face and figure filled the house with radiance. Even if the old man felt ill or upset, a single look at her was enough to end his distress or soothe his anger.

This is much more free than Bethetsu's which, as she says, preserves the sentence structure.

The piling up verb example you gave defeated me - I usually arrive at the opposite meaning in these cases. (It's possible that we will end up unable to get lunch??) How did you translate it?
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nagaeyari
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
昼食にありつけなくなってしまいかねない


Your understanding of the sentence is correct, Heron.

昼食・・・・ に・・・ありつけなく・・・・・なってしまいかねない
[lunch]・・・・・・・[find⇒neg pot]・・・[possible outlook]
(where "neg pot" is "negative potential")

Wixted's explanation of "unpacking verbs" was eye-opening for me.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hurray Very Happy I am going off to read Wixted on this immediately.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, it means something like "I am afraid it is quite possible that we may not be able to get lunch."

V (ren'yo) + kaneru or kanenai
kaneru means "difficult" or "impossible", often used in apology to the adressee "what you ask is impossible"
kanenai means "not impossible" or "quite possible", usually something undesirable.


I went on an read a little more of Taketori, though it is not in Shirane.
There were two places I found particularly amusing.

Section 2, The courting of the noblemen, starts off talking about the suitors, how they were wandering about trying to even speak to some of the servants of her house and spending nights and days in the neighborhood.
人の物ともせぬ所にまどい歩けども、何のしるしあるべくも見えず。家の人どもに物をだに言はむとて、言ひ懸くれども、事ともせず。あたりを離れぬ君たち、夜を明し日を暮す人多かりける。
Then it continues:おろかなる人は、用なき歩きはよしなかりけりとて、來ずなりにけり。
My first reaction was, I would not call them "oroka-na," but rather the opposite; clearly the meaning of the word has changed! Actually, though, the meaning is not 愚かなる but 疎かなる or 疎かそなる.

Kaguya gives each one of her five suiters a task like "Buddah's stone bowl is in India. Go get it." "There is a mountain in the eastern sea with a tree with silver roots and a gold stem and pearl fruit. Bring me a branch of it. ""Bring me a jacket made of the pelt of the fire rat." "Bring me the 5-colored jewel in the dragon's neck." "Bring me an easy-labor shell of the swallow."

赫映姫、石作皇子には、「天竺に佛の御石の鉢といふ物あり、それをとりて賜へ」といふ。車持皇子には、「東の海に蓬莱といふ山あなり。それに白銀を根とし、黄金を莖とし、白玉を實として立てる木あり。それ一枝折りて賜はらむ」といふ。今一人には、「唐土にある火鼠の裘を賜へ。」大伴大納言には、「龍の首に五色に光る玉あり。それを取りて賜へ。」石上中納言には、「燕の持たる子安貝一つ取りて賜へ」といふ。
Then we have this interesting dialog (try translating):
翁、「難き事どもにこそあめれ。この國にある物にもあらず。かく難き事をば如何に申さむ」といふ。
赫映姫、「何か難からむ」
Can we be surprised to discover she is not human?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I was quite at sea without the grammar notes to help. Maybe we can go on to the next Shirane extract. I could get the meaning of the final piece of dialogue (He says it's too difficult, she says what's so hard about it?) but I don't really understand the verb cases etc.

I'm confused about the oroka-na/ orosoka-na distinction. Would you be able to translate that whole sentence for me, please?

And how do you read 難き?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
翁、「難き事どもにこそあめれ。この國にある物にもあらず。
難き is muzuka-shi-ki, adjective RT
事ども is plural. I notice that older Japanese seems to use plural more than modern Japanese.

ni + koso, mo, etc. + ari = the copula nari (cf. modern de mo aru, de wa aru for the copula)
ni koso amere (linked form with koso) = ni koso aru (RT) + mere; meri = mi ari "it appears that".
ni mo ar-a-zu negative of ni ari = nari
"These seem to be difficult matters. [The items] are not even things that are in this country."

かく難き事をば如何に申さむ」といふ。
赫映姫、「何か難からむ」
môs-a-mu is future. wo-ba is strong form of wo.
"How can I tell them such difficult things?"
muzukashi-karamu = muzuka-shi-ku + ar-a-mu
(You were right about the meaning.)
"What will be difficult about them?"!


おろかなる人は、用なき歩きはよしなかりけりとて、來ずなりにけり。
yô naki yô: "use"; naki: RT of na-shi modifying aruki.
aruki is a noun derived from the RY form, like "oyogi" "kaidashi" "sawagi" "tanoshimi"
yoshi: reason; nakarikeri = na-ku ari-keri = nashi: does not exist
kozu nari-ni-keri ko-zu (RY of negative of ku(ru)); I think here nari- is naru, "become".

"The oroka suitors decided that there was no point in such fruitless walking around, and stopped coming."
The ordinary modern meaning of "oraka" 愚か is "foolish," and my first reaction was that on the contrary, they were very wise. However, 疎か can mean "indifferent."

I think you are right that it is best to stick to Shirane.
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