Friday, March 27, 2009

Learning Japanese - Part 56, Page 18

Here's the dialog for the last page. If you stuck with me through all of this - "毎度ありがとうございます!" If not, then "おきゃくさま。 ごいっしょにポテトはいかがですか?"

ベル。エポックの作家が洋菓子に託したように。 店主の願いのこもった フライド
ベル。エポックの さっか が ようがし に たくしたように。 てんしゅ の ねが
いのこもったフライドポテトは はしかし の きおくをほんのいっしゅんだけかい

芋のスチックを揚げたものが殺人に値するとは。 俺にはとうてい思えなかったが、
いものスチックを あげたもの が さつじん にあたいするとは。 俺にはとうてい
思えなかったが、 むかし のいしょう をきた ろうふじんは 十分にチャーミング


ベル。エポックの作家が洋菓子に託したように。 店主の願いのこもった フライド

ベル。エポック の さっか が ようがし に たくしたように。 てんしゅ の ねが
い の こもった フライドポテトは はしかし の きおく をほんのいっしゅんだけかい

beru eppoku - Belle Epoch
no - possessive
sakka - writer
ga - subject marker
yougashi - sugary confection
ni - towards
takushita - make excuse of
you - in the direction of
ni - towards
tenshu - shop keeper
no - possessive
negai - desire
no - possessive
komatta - to be filled with (i.e. - desire)
furaido poteto - fried potato
wa - topic marker
hashikashi - wife
no - possessive
kioku - memory
wo - object marker
honno - only / just
isshun - one moment
dake - only
kaifuku - recovery
saseta - to make / to allow

Belle Epoch's . writer . (subject) . sugary confection . towards . make excuse of . in the direction of . towards
shop keeper's . desire's . to be filled . fried potato . (topic) . wife's . memory . (object) . only . once . only . recovery . to allow

"Like the sugary writings of a Belle Epoch poet. A shopkeeper's desire-filled french fry for giving back to his wife a single memory."

Now THIS is a hard sentence to figure out. First, the Belle Epoch (1871-1914) was a period of intense creativity, during which we had the creation of impressionism. Second, "yougashi" usually refers to western style confections, but can mean something sickly sweet or over-done. Third, "tenshu no negai no komatta furaido poteto" gives us "a fried potato filled with the shopkeeper's desire."

I went with "Like the florid writings of a Belle Epoch poet, a shopkeeper's one wish for fried potatoes to return a single memory to his wife."


芋のスチックを揚げたものが殺人に値するとは。 俺にはとうてい思えなかったが、昔の衣裳を着た老婦人は十分にチャーミングだった。

いも の スチック を あげたもの が さつじん に あたいするとは。 俺にはとうてい思えなかったが、 むかし の いしょう を きた ろうふじん は 十分にチャーミング だった。

imo no schiiku - a stick of tuber
wo - object marker
ageta mono - foods that have been deep fried
ga - subject marker
satsujin - murder
ataisuru - to be worth
to - is said
wa - topic marker
ore - me
ni wa - in regard to
toutei - can not possibly
omoenakatta - negative of "had thought"
ga - but / however
mukashi - old
no - possessive
ishou - clothing
wo - object marker
kita - wore
roufujin - elderly woman
wa - topic marker
juubun - enough
chaamingu - charming
datta - was

a stick of tuber . (object) . was deep fried . (subject) . murder . to be worth . is said . (topic) . I . in regard to . can not possibly . had not thought . but . old's . uniform . (object) . wore . elderly woman . (topic) . enough . charming . was

"I've never thought that a fried stick of tuber was worth commiting murder over, but that old woman in her old uniform really was quite charming."

We saw "agemono" (deep fried foods) on page 17. Here, it's "ageta mono" (foods that have been deep fried).

"chaamingu" - I love katakana English words. Especially as in "juubun chaamingu", which is literally "satisfactorily charming", or "charming enough".

"imo" generally means "potato", but can also refer to "tuber" and "taro". Obviousy, the idea is to say "a stick of potato" (i.e. - french fry), but we already have "fried potatoes" in the previous balloon. To avoid being redundant, I stuck with "tuber".

I went with "However, murder is a high price to pay for a stick of tuber. Then again, I wouldn't have thought it, but that old woman looked quite charming in
that old costume." Not quite the same meaning, but in keeping with the "hardboiled gag" humor of this comic.



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