“All You Need is Kill”: Let’s Read #4

“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.

ついさっきでうごき、わらい、じょうだんげっていたあいつが、つぎしゅんかんなまあたたかいにくかたまりになる。

  • ついさっき. Expression. “Just now.”
  • で. Particle.
  • 動き. Noun. “Move.” Compare with its verb version. うごく. “Moving.”
  • 笑い. Noun. “Laugh.” Just like 動き・動く, also has a verb version ending in う. わらう. “To laugh.”
  • 冗談. Noun. “Joke.”
  • を. Particle. Marked every noun that precedes it into a direct object.
  • 投げっていた. Verb. Non-present continuous form of げる. “To throw.”
  • あいつ. Noun. “That dude.”
  • が. Marks the previous part as a subject.
  • The marked subject, 「ついさっきで動き、笑い、冗談を投げっていたあいつ」 is a verb-noun construction that then could be translated into “that dude who was just now, move, laugh, and throwing jokes,”
  • 次. Noun. “Next; Following.”
  • の. Particle.
  • 瞬間. Noun. “Moment; Instant.”
  • 生暖かい. Adjective. “Lukewarm; Tepid.” A combination between なま “raw,” and あたたかい “warm.” This adjective will modify the noun that follows it.
  • 肉. Noun. “Meat.” Explained by the previous adjective to becomes “lukewarm meat.”
  • の. Particle.
  • 塊. Noun. “Lump.”
  • に. Particle. Target particle.
  • なる. “Becomes.”
  • The phrase then becomes “the next moment, turns into a lump of warm meat.”
  • And finally the whole sentence becomes “that dude who was just now, move, laugh, and throwing jokes, at the next moment, turns into a lump of warm meat.” Pretty grim.

というやつは、とうとつで。あっというで。ようしゃらない。

  • 死. Noun. “Death.”
  • という. Expression. “That was called.”
  • やつ. Pronoun. “That guy; That dude.”
  • Therefore, 死というやつ “that guy who was dead.”
  • は. Particle. Marks the previous phrase as a topic.
  • 唐突. Adjective. “Abrupt.”
  • で. Particle. In this case, gives a “by” nuance.
  • あっという間. Expression. “A blink of time.” Interestingly, this expression literal meaning is “the time it takes to say あ.”
  • で. Particle. Similar to the previous で particle, gives a “by” nuance.
  • 容赦. Noun. “Mercy.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 容赦 as a direct object.
  • 知らない. Negative form of a verb 知る “to know.”
  • 容赦を知らない then could simply be translated into “not knowing mercy.”
  • And this give the whole sentence a translation of, “that guy who was dead, abruptly. In a blink of time. No mercy.”

それでも、かんがえるもなくいのちうばわれるしゃこううんである。

  • それでも. Conjunction. “But still; Nevertheless; Even so.”
  • 考える. Verb. “To think.”
  • 間もなく. Adverb. Continuation form of 間もない. “Without time to…; Soon.”
  • 命. Noun. “Life.”
  • を. Particle. Marked 命 as a direct object.
  • 奪われる. Verb. Passive form of うばう. “To steal; To rob.”
  • 者. Noun. “Person.”
  • 命を奪われる者 then becomes verb-noun construct that translates into, “the person whose life was stolen.”
  • は. Particle. Marked 命を奪われる者 as a topic.
  • 幸運. Noun. “Good luck; Fortunate.”
  • である. Formal/literary form of “to be.”
  • This 幸運である then explains the topic that “the person whose life was stolen was lucky.”
  • Why? Because 考える間もなく “(it was stolen) without time to think.”
  • And overall the whole sentence becomes, “even so, he whose life was stolen without time to think (as in quickly), was the lucky one.”

 

“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.”

“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.”

“All You Need is Kill”: Let’s Read #1

“Let’s Read” is an attempt on my behalf to master this 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.

Okay, on to the first Japanese example:

戦闘開始せんとうかいしから十分間じゅうぶんかん兵士へいし恐怖きょうふおぼれる。

  • 戦闘開始. Noun. “Start of a battle.” Consists of two independent nouns, 戦闘 “battle,” and 開始 “beginning; start.”
  • から. Particle. Usually translated into “from.”
  • 十分. Noun. “Ten minutes.” Self-explanatory.
  • 間. This usually means “period,” or “between.” Tacked behind time, as in this case, 十分, it becomes “span.”
  • 戦闘開始から十分間 then points to a specific time, “ten minutes from the start of the battle.”
  • 兵士. Noun. “Soldier.”
  • は. Particle. Topic particle.
  • 恐怖. Noun. “Fear.”
  • に. Particle. Target particle.
  • 溺れる. Verb. “To drown.”
  • 恐怖に溺れる then means, “To drown in fear.”
  • Who drowns in fear? The topic. 兵士. The soldier.
  • Thus, the whole sentence translates into, “Ten minutes from start of battle, the soldier was drown in fear.”

Pretty easy, right?

そうぞうしてるがいい。

  • 想像. Noun. “Imagination.” Kanjis in this compound are そう “thought; idea,” and ぞう “picture.”
  • して. Verb. Continuation form of する “to do.” Continuation form means that there would be some more chaining that adds to the meaning brought by this on itself.
  • する verb attaches to noun would turn the noun into its verb version. Here, as it attaches to 想像, the new meaning becomes, “to imagine.”
  • 見る. Verb. “To see.”
  • が. Particle. Officially, a subject particle. A beginner Japanese learner trap to distinguish between this particle and topic particle, は.
  • いい. I-adjective. “Good.”
  • して見るがいい construct is a suggestion from the speaker to “do something and see for yourself” with an added impression that the speaker thinks it was good for you.
  • Literally, 想像して見るがいい translates into “it is good to try imagining it.” However, the better translation to this sentence would actually be, “Imagine!” Remember that Japanese are never straight-forward so any direct imperative should be avoided.

こうてつ場所ばしょだ。

  • 鋼鉄. Noun. “Steel.” Kanjis for this compound are こう“steel,” and てつ “iron.”
  • の. Particle. Often function as possessive, like English’s “‘s,” but also, as in this case function like English’s “of.”
  • 死. Noun. “Death.”
  • が. Particle. Subject marker.
  • 飛び交う. Verb. “To fly about.” This is actually a verb-verb construction. 飛ぶ “to fly” and 交う “to exchange.” Another example of this verb-verb construction is 飛び出す “to fly out” which combines 飛ぶ and 出る “to out.”
  • 鋼鉄の死が飛び交う then becomes “Steel of Death flies about.”
  • 場所. Noun. “Place.” A common kanji.
  • だ. Copula. This wikipedia article should explains copula better than I ever could.
  • 鋼鉄の死が飛び交う場所 then becomes a verb-noun construction and translates into, “A place where Steel of Death flies about.”

とおはなれただんかなでるおとひくくにごっている。

  • 遠く. Adverbial noun. “Far.”
  • 離れた. Verb. Past form of 離れる “to be separated.”
  • 弾. Noun. “Bullet.”
  • 遠く離れた弾 then formed a verb-noun construct and translates into, “Bullet that was discharged from afar.”
  • が. Particle. Subject particle.
  • 奏でる. Verb. “To dance; to play.”
  • 音. Noun. “Sound.”
  • 奏でる音 then formed a verb-noun construct and translates into, “Sound that played.”
  • は. Particle. Topic particle.
  • 低く. Noun. “Lowering; Bringing down.”
  • にごっている. Verb. ている form of にごる “to become dull (of sound).” ている form of a verb is generally an equivalent to English’s progressive form. Therefore 濁っている roughly translated to, “becoming dull.”
  • 低く濁っている could then be translated into, “Bringing down, becoming dull.”
  • Overall, this sentence’s idea could be thought of along this line. “The sound of bullet that was discharged from afar, low and muddy.”

はらうごかすかわいたおとだ。

  • 腹. Noun. “Stomach; Belly.”
  • を. Particle. Marks 腹 as a direct object.
  • 揺り動かす. Verb. “To shake.” A verb-verb construction, it combines 揺る “to shake,” and 動かす “to move.”
  • 乾いた. Noun. “Dried.”
  • 音. Noun. “Sound.”
  • だ. Copula.
  • The sentence then translates into, “It is a dry sound that shakes a belly.”