“All You Need is Kill”: Let’s Read #3

“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.

つちぼこりげる。

  • 土埃. Noun. “Cloud of dust.” Kanjis for this compound are つち “soil” and ほこり “dust.” You could maybe use けむり “smoke” instead of 埃 as in 土煙 to deliver the same information of “cloud of dust.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 土埃 as a direct object.
  • 巻き上げる. Verb. “To roll up.” I found 巻 here is an interesting kanji because it invokes an image of rolling something flat with your hands into something that takes 己 shape. Just like a rice roll sushi which was colloquially called “maki sushi.”
  • 巻き上げる is a transitive verb so it requires a direct object. On the contrary, 巻き上がる is an intransitive verb with the same meaning. The rule of thumb is perhaps that if a verb ends with an える, it is most likely a transitive verb. The same could be said with intransitive verb and ある.
  • This sentence then becomes a simple “A を B” sentence that translates into, “cloud of dust rolled up.”

ほこりのカーテンにつぎいちだんこうける。

  • 埃. Noun. “Dust.”
  • の. Particle. Possessive.
  • カーテン. Noun. “Curtain.”
  • 埃のカーテン then translates into, “curtain of dust.”
  • に. Particle. Marks 埃のカーテン as a target for the next action.
  • 次. Noun. “Next; The following.”
  • の. Particle. Possessive.
  • 一弾. Noun. “One bullet.”
  • が. Particle. Marks 次の一弾 as a subject.
  • 孔. Noun. “Hole.” Probably an alternative kanji for あな.
  • を. Particle. Marks 孔 as a direct object.
  • 開ける. Verb. “To open.”
  • This sentence then translates into, “the next one bullet opens a hole in the curtain of dust.”

そらがすいくせんいくまんのうちたったいっぱつゆびほどのかたまりからだとおけるだけでヒトはぬ。

  • 空. Noun. “Sky.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 空 as a direct object.
  • 焦がす. Verb. “To burn; To scorch.”
  • 空を焦がす then translates into “burning the sky.”
  • 幾千. Noun. “Several thousands.”
  • 幾万. Noun. “Several ten thousands.” Combined with 幾千, this actually doesn’t add anything except to over exaggerate the “a lot” meaning.
  • の. Particle. “of.”
  • うち. Noun. “Within.”
  • 幾千幾万のうち then translates into “from a lot of.” Combined with 空をこがす, it then becomes verb-noun construct meaning “from a lot of (things) that burn the sky.”
  • たった. “Only.”
  • 一発. Noun. “One shot.”
  • This first phrase, 空を焦がす幾千幾万のうちたった一発 then could be translated into, “only one shot from a lot of (things) that burn the sky.”
  • 指. Noun. “Finger.”
  • ほど. Adverbial noun. “Degree; Extent; Bounds; Limit.”
  • Aほど is a fairly common occurrence in Japanese and could be taken to mean “as much as A.” In this case, 指ほど then translates into “as much as finger.”
  • の. Particle. Possessive.
  • 塊. Noun. “Mass; Lump.”
  • Together, 指ほどの塊 then translates into “lump as big as a finger.”
  • が. Particle. Marks 指ほどの塊 as a subject.
  • 体. Noun. “Body.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 体 as a direct object.
  • 通り抜ける. Verb. “To pass through.” A combination of とおり “road,” and ける “to come out.”
  • だけ. Particle. “Only; Merely”
  • で. Particle. Instrumentation particle often translates as “by.”
  • 体を通り抜けるだけで then could be translated into “by merely passing through the body.”
  • ヒト. Noun. “Person.” Written with katakana here perhaps to highlight its importance.
  • は. Particle. Marks ヒト as a topic.
  • 死ぬ. Verb. “To die.”
  • All these then, combined and came out as a relatively simple translation, “only one shot from these many that burns the sky, a lump no bigger than your finger, merely passing through your body, a man is dead.”

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