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Wanderlust King
April 7th, 2009, 03:08
So I just recently bought some Japanese children's books, and I decided it would be good practice for me to transcribe them onto my computer. It's good for me since it helps me to remember the new vocabulary I'm encountering.

Anyway, I figured I might as well make them available for you all, too. I'll start with the first half of Momotaro the Peach Boy. Pardon any typos and the lack of kanji sometimes. The books are written in all Hiragana.

I have some questions written in red, completely optional if anyone wants to fill me in on them. Mostly grammar points I haven't been able to find answered elsewhere.

The Adventure of Momotaro, the Peach Boy: Part I
http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Momotaro-Kodansha-Bilingual-Childrens/dp/4770020988
昔々のお話です。
お婆さんが川でせんたくをしていると、
大きなももがながれてきました。
どんぶらこどんぶらこ
What is "どんぶらこどんぶらこ"?

お婆さんはももをひろいあげると
いそいで家に帰りました。

「これはりっぱなももだ!」
お爺さんはおおよろこびです。
そしてほうちょうできろうとすると、
ももは二つにわれて、
赤ちゃんが出てきました。
Third line: Should "とすると" be translated as "when they tried"? Meaning, "With a knife, when they tried to cut (the peach), the peach split open and a baby boy appeared"?

お爺さんとお婆さんは
ももたろうと
名前をつけました。

ももたろうはすくすくと
大きくなりました。
心のやさしい
ちからもちにそだちました。
Using what I know about grammar so far, it seems to me that it would be translated as "He was raised to be the heart's good-natured strongman." .. Which obviously is incorrect. What am I missing?

ある日のことです。
ももたろうはお爺さんとお婆さんに
鬼ヶ島に鬼たいじにいくことを
話しました。
I've seen こと used quite a bit in other contexts similarly but still don't quite understand. Does it mean here, "the topic of going," as in "Momotarou talked to his grandparents about the topic of going to Ogre Island for the purpose of slaying the Ogre"?

お婆さんはきびだんごをつくり、
お爺さんは刀を出して
ももたろうにもたせました。
My only question here is the use of つくり. Is it a noun or a verb, and if it's a noun, how can a noun effect another noun with を? If it's a verb, why isn't it in -te form since there is more to the sentence afterward?

ももたろうはふたりにみおくられて、
鬼たいじにでかけました。

I have the rest of this book, plus about six others to transcribe. I'll keep the thread updated. If anyone else has any stories that could be good practice for people, feel free to put them here. :D

toadhjo
April 7th, 2009, 03:45
I'll just run through in order

1) I have no idea, I did a quick Google search but there was no obvious helpful result.
2) Yeah, that's correct.
3) I don't know what the "rule" is here per-se, but I think from context it's fairly obvious that he was raised to be a good hearted, powerful man.
4) こと doesn't translate particularly well in English all the time, I'd say your translation is literally correct, but sounds a bit more stilted than the Japanese would come across. I would probably say "Momotaro talked to his Grandpa and Grandma about going to Ogre Island to slay the ogre".
5) It's a verb, this happens pretty often in writing, with the う becoming an い at the end of a verb creating a compound sentence. In the case of "る-verbs", you drop the る, leaving you with, for example, 食べ.

Sorry, I'm not so hot on actually being able to explain J-grammar (and I'm nowhere near fluent or anything), but hopefully that helps you out some.

Regarding こと, another example I can think of is it's pretty common to say something like "私のこと、覚えていますか?", which "literally" means "Do you remember my 'thing'?", which obviously doesn't make any sense in English, but is perfectly normal in Japanese when asking somebody if they remember you.

vdog
April 7th, 2009, 04:11
I actually have that exact book, is it like "the little engine that could" of Japan or something?

EDIT: Now that I look at your link, it may not be that exact version, mine definitely is not bilingual

vdog
April 7th, 2009, 04:34
1.) Total guess, but is it just an onomatopoeia?

2.) できろうとすると is actually two separate grammatical points I'd say. The first is "X-(y)oo to suru" which means "try to x", and a verb plus と means "with the verb." And I know that made no sense, an example is ボタンをおすと、ドアが開く。 To mean "with the pushing of the button the door opens." BTW, did I screw up the transitive / intransitive with ドアが開く? The sentence from the story is a little goofy to translate directly because of できる. I imagine a professional translator would use something like you wrote or maybe "with the slice of a knife."

3.) Maybe "He grew up to become a pure-hearted muscle man"

4.) I think you got it

5.) It's a verbal stem, I believe this has something to do with written-style Japanese. But it is grammatically the -te form.

Take this all with a grain of salt, I may be wrong, just trying to help.

Wanderlust King
April 7th, 2009, 04:38
Thanks guys! A little more research and I found out that donburako donburako is the sound it makes going down the river. So good guess, vdog!

ampersand
April 7th, 2009, 08:34
3.) Maybe "He grew up to become a pure-hearted muscle man"When sentences of the form "[noun] ga [adjective]" are used as modifiers, the ga often becomes no. In this example "心のやさしい” is one thing modifying ちからもち, thus "a kind-hearted strongman."


4.) I think you got itVerbs can not be the objects of other verbs (not anymore, anyway). In modern Japanese, you can't say いくをはなす, so the verb-phrase has to be nominalized somehow. Just like you can't say "talk about go" (unless go is a noun, but then the meaning is quite different) in English and have to use the gerund, in Japanese you usually "talk about the matter of going"--"いくことをはなす".


5.) It's a verbal stem, I believe this has something to do with written-style Japanese. But it is grammatically the -te form.It is the verbal stem, but that is not the same as the te form, though some of their uses are similar. In this case, it's just a way to form a compound sentence. The nuance of the linking is slightly different. In this case, I'd translate that part as:

"His grandmother made [him] dumplings, and his grandfather got out his sword and had Momotaro hold it [gave it to him]."

And since you asked, technically both the masu-stem and the te form are nouns. As for still taking objects, the same thing happens in English. The gerund, always a noun, and the infinitive, sometimes a noun, can still have objects, both direct and indirect, be modified by adverbs, etc.

"Drinking beer is fun."
"Running away quickly is our best option."
"I like to eat apples."

Wanderlust King
April 7th, 2009, 13:09
The Adventure of Momotaro, The Peach Boy: Part II
http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Momotaro-Kodansha-Bilingual-Childrens/dp/4770020988
山の中で犬に会いました。
「ももたろうさん、どこへ行くのですか?」
「これから鬼たいじに行くのだ。」
犬はきびだんごをもらって、
おともをすることにしました。

つぎにあったのはさるでした。
さるもきびだんごをもらって、
おともをすることにしました。

ひろいのはらできじ(Japanese pheasant)に会いました。
きじもきびだんごをもらって、
鬼ヶ島にいくことにしました。

いよいよふねにのって、
鬼ヶ島をめざします。犬は
ろ(Japanese oar)をこぎ、さるはかじ(ship's helm)をとり(to attend)、
きじはみはりにたちました。

ももたろうはとおくに
しまかげをみつけました。
「鬼ヶ島だぞー。島はちかいぞー。」
ももたろうは大声で言いました。

鬼達もふねをみつけて、
大騒ぎになりました。
「へんなふねがこっちにくるぞー。」

「おやぶん、大変です。
こぞうが犬とさるときじをしたがえて、
むかってきます。

「扉を開けろー。」
きじは空にとび、
さるは門をのりこえて
城にとびうつり、
ももたろうと犬を
城の中に入れました。

犬はかみつき、さるはひっかき、
きじは目をつっつきました。

鬼の親分はかなぼうをふりまわして、
ももたろうにむかってきます。
ももたろうはみをかわすと親分を
くみふせて、 うでをねじりあげました。

鬼の親分はあやまりました。
「もうにどとわるいことはいたしません。どうぞゆるしてください。」

たからものをつみこんだふねは、むらにむっかてすすみます。

はまにつくと、たからものはむらにはこばれました。

お婆さんとお爺さんはみんなをでむかえました。
ももたろうと犬とさるときじは「ただいま、かえりました。」と、
元気な声であいさつをしました。

Might be typos galore. Have some questions but I'm beat, I'll type 'em out tomorrow. Next story will be Kintaro!

toadhjo
April 7th, 2009, 13:22
BTW, keep in mind that a real deep knowledge of grammar isn't necessary to understand and communicate in a language. I don't know what the hell a gerund is, or an infinitive for that matter, and I do pretty well for myself in English.

I think grammar is useful when you're first starting out to try to make a little sense of what you're reading, but then I find it's better just to kind of feel things out through lots of exposure. Then perhaps once you get to a real high level, you can go about reading about Japanese grammar, in Japanese, to try to refine your skills.

ampersand
April 7th, 2009, 14:26
BTW, keep in mind that a real deep knowledge of grammar isn't necessary to understand and communicate in a language. I don't know what the hell a gerund is, or an infinitive for that matter, and I do pretty well for myself in English.You also went through a vastly different learning experience for your native language than you did for others.

Explicit knowledge of grammar isn't necessary to have functional ability in a language, but it facilitates discussing a language. That in turn makes learning to use it easier.