“All You Need is Kill”: Let’s Read #2

“Let’s Read” is an attempt on my behalf to master Japanese language by reading Japanese texts found in books, magazines, newspapers, etc.

In this edition, the text is from “All You Need is Kill.” A military sci-fi written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and has been adapted to what I think as one of the better sci-fi films with Tom Cruise in the lead, “Edge of Tomorrow.

See all previous posts on this series from its dedicated category.

ちかくをかすめるだんたかんだおとはっする。

  • 近く. Adverbial noun. “Near.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 近く as a direct object.
  • かすめる. Verb. “To graze; to skim.”
  • 弾. Noun. “Bullet.”
  • かすめる弾 is then a verb-noun construct and translates into, “bullet that graze.” This construct then acted on the previous direct object and add the translation so it becomes, “bullet that graze nearby.”
  • は. Particle. Topic marker. 近くをかすめる弾 “the bullet that grazes nearby” is now marked as a topic.
  • 高く. I-adjective. Continuation form of 高い “high.”
  • 澄んだ. Verb. Past form of 済む “to be clear.”
  • 音. Noun. “Sound.”
  • 高く澄んだ音 is then a verb-noun construct and translates into, “sound that is high and clear.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 高く澄んだ音 as a direct object.
  • 発する. Verb. “To fire (a gun); to emit.” This verb acted upon the direct object and the combined translation becomes “emitting a sound that is high and clear.”
  • Combined with the topic, the whole sentence translates into, “the bullet that grazes nearby, emitting a sound that is high and clear.”

がいをビリビリとふるわすかなごえをあげて、そいつはぼくにかってくる。

  • 頭蓋. Noun. “Cranium; Skull.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 頭蓋 as a direct object.
  • ビリビリ. Na-adjective. “Rippling; Rattling; Like an electric shock.”
  • と. Particle. Often carries an English’s “and.” However, when it follows onomatopoeia such as ビリビリ, it makes the previous onomatopoeia to function adverbially, modifying the verb that follows it.
  • 震わす. Verb.  “To shake; To tremble; To vibrate.”
  • ビリビリと震わす then becomes a verb (震わす) that was modified by ビリビリ and translates into, “rippling shake.”
  • 金切り声. Noun. “Shrill voice; Piercing cry.” Kanjis for this compound are きん “metal,” “cut,” and こえ “sound.” The kanjis themselves suggest that it is a “sound of metal being cut.”
  • ビリビリと震わす金切り声 then becomes a verb-noun construct and translates into, “A shrill voice that ripples and shake.”
  • This verb-noun construct then acted on the direct object (頭蓋) to gives it a translation, “A shrill voice that ripples and shakes the skull.”
  • を. Particle. This marks the entire sentence that precedes it, 頭蓋をビリビリと震わす金切り声 as a direct object.
  • あげて. Verb. Continuous form of あげる “Gives.” I found continuous form to be an awkward concept to be explained but often, I would relegates into replacing it with a hanging “and…”
  • This verb then acted on the previous direct object, 頭蓋をビリビリと震わす金切り声 to gives it a translation of, “It gives a shrill voice that ripples and shakes the skull, and…”
  • そいつ. Pronoun. “That (one).”
  • は. Particle. Marks そいつ as a topic.
  • ぼく. Pronoun. “Me.”
  • に. Particle. Target particle. I often takes it as an “into..” Not quite a literal “into” but rather a movement from the word that follows this particle “into” the word that was marked by it.
  • 向かって. Verb. Continuation form of 向かう “To go towards.”
  • くる. Verb. “Comes.”
  • 向かってくる then could be translated as “Comes toward.”
  • And therefore ぼくに向かってくる could be translated as “Comes toward me.”
  • What was “comes toward me”?  そいつ “That (one).”
  • The full sentence then could be translated to, “It gives a shrill voice that ripples and shakes the skull, and it comes toward me.”
  • The “it” here refers to whatever the context that was established somewhere within the vicinity of this sentence.

めんさる。

  • 地面. Noun. “Ground.” Kanjis for this compound are “ground; earth,” and めん “screen; surface.” At least for me, this kanji is indeed invokes an image of “Earth’s surface.”
  • に. Particle. Target particle.
  • 突き刺さる. Verb. “To stick into; To pierce.” The two kanjis in this word are 突 “stab; thrust,” and 刺 “stab.” I’m visualising these kanjis with following reasonings:
    • 突. The 大 symbol at the bottom part of this kanji invokes an image of an “arrow” thrusting upward giving an additional impression of violence.
    • 刺. The リ part at the right part of this kanji invokes an image of a “blade” giving it a sense of “clean” slash, or stab.
  • That being said, 地面に突き刺さる becomes a very straight-forward sentence that translates into, “(It) pierces into the ground.”

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