I’m reading a little ahead so I can build up a buffer for when things get inevitably busy.
I love how dramatic Fukumaru is being and that it’s reflected in the kanji use. One of the nice things about reading so much more now is that I feel like I’m picking up more on the intended tone with the choice of kana/kanji versions, font, and typography in comics. It’s nice to be aware of the nuances now.
On page 12, there’s a final box that says ふくまるは甘えたいときに甘えられるのだ。 I understand the first part, “When Fukumaru wants to be spoiled,…” but then I lose it a bit from there. Working backwards on 甘えられるのだ copula, noun-ification, short passive form of 甘える- to behave/act spoiled. Should I interpret the second part as “He gets spoiled?” Is that a sensical translation or did I misunderstand something?
I haven’t read this part yet, so I don’t have context, but はよ is short for 早く, meaning “soon” or “early”. Preceding the verb 寝ろ (imperative form of 寝る), it sounds like it would be “go to bed soon”. Depending on the context, it might be like saying “get to bed, already” to someone who’s up late.
Let’s set the のだ aside and look at the sentence that leads into it.
First, Japanese sentences follow the topic-comment structure, and those parts are clearly visible. Topics are marked by は or も, so we see the topic is ふくまる. The remainder of the sentence is a comment about this topic. It’s being said regarding ふくまる.
The comment doesn’t list a subject (nothing marked by が). The page may provide context as to who the subject is, but I haven’t read it yet, so I’m going in a bit blind. I’ll tentatively figure the subject (the one performing the action of the verb) is also ふくまる.
The comment is essentially:
Now for the fun part. Is 甘えられる the 受け身 form (which often gets poorly taught as “passive”), meaning ふくまる “receives (someone) acting like a spoiled child (to him)”? Or is it the potential form, meaning ふくまる “is able to act like a spoiled child”?
Context should help answer this, but let’s figure for a moment that we’re not sure. Let’s look at more of the sentence. This gets us back to:
「(modifier)ときに(something spoiled happens)」
This に tells when the action of the verb takes place. We know it refers to a time because it’s attached to とき (time). But what time is it that this action occurs? It’s 「甘えたい time」. This is the combination of 甘える (to act like a spoiled child) and the auxiliary adjective たい (want to).
Thus, the time when the verb takes place is “(When Fukumaru) wants to act like a spoiled child.”
From here, we can review the two possible sentences (うけみ or potential), and determine which makes sense and which does not make sense:
“When Fukumaru wants to act like a spoiled child, he receives (someone) acting like a spoiled child (to him).”
“When Fukumaru wants to act like a spoiled child, he is able to act like a spoiled child.”
The のだ portion suggests we have an “incomplete observation”. Something is happening, but we don’t know the reason why it’s happening. This のだ is like making a statement starting with “It is that [statement]” or more commonly in English “It is because [statement].”
So, we observe something happen, and we get the reason (the cause) for it: “It’s because when Fukumaru wants to act like a spoiled child, he can act like a spoiled child.”
At least, that’s what I get without context. Maybe I’ll get to reading this part Saturday (my day for reading comics with short chapters) and find I’m way off base?
Edit: Even though this looks potential to me, if you want to read more on the passive voice versus the うけみ form, I did a write-up on that previously as well.
I’ve set a Saturday reminder on your comment so I don’t have to worry about forgetting =D
How much reading have you done? I don’t recall if I may have seen you in a prior Absolute Beginner Book Club. The reason I ask is because the more reading you do, the more familiar you should find you become with these. If you read a lot and you don’t naturally become more familiar with it (happens to me with some things), you should still be in a good place to be able to start learning it more easily. If you haven’t read a lot, then there’s no harm if you take it slowly.
Out of curiosity, I decided to check the Japanese definition for 甘える. Jisho says “to behave like a spoiled child”, which is an English language expression with a specific meaning. But let’s check the Japanese definition just to be sure we know what we’re dealing with:
わがまま means you do what’s in your own interest (“selfish”). The phrase 「わがままを言う」 thus means to make self-indulgent remarks. Think of a child demanding things of his mother, for example (in which we can see where “behave like a spoiled child” is similar in meaning).
The other action in this sentence is act in a なれなれしい way, which means to act friendly and unreserved.
Look up 甘える in a search engine’s imagine search to get an idea of what it means in Japanese. Then try an image search for “behave like a spoiled child”. I’m sure there’s overlap of the ideas of the two, but I see very different results!
I only started reading a lot in maybe February or early March. Before that, it was pretty much just おじさまと猫 and a false start with ベルサイユのばら. Now I read a lot of short comics (like often less than a page big) on Twitter.
Monolingual dictionaries are still pretty out of my league understanding wise yet. I try to remember to use weblio instead of jisho, but I rarely do. Thank you for adding the monolingual entry and a translation of it.
When I look up a word in the 三省堂 dictionary, I typically get two or three new words to look up. And each of those words tend to give me one or two more words to look up. Sometimes I’m looking up more than ten words and need to juggle their meanings before I can get the definition of the one I want. Then I forget all the words and their meanings (including the main one I was looking up) immediately after I reach the following word balloon in the manga I’m reading at the time. =(
Yes, that’s precisely why I don’t use them yet. At this point I think I’ve got my burn-out level for Japanese figured out and having to do that for every word I don’t know would put me there constantently I hope to revisit the idea of using monolingual dictionaries after I take the JLPT. I figure it’s a good deadline and given my 一本気 obsession with JoJo in my free time out of work that I’ll have read a bunch by then.
For the part 「はよ寝ろ」, I can see where there’s nothing on the page that suggests our おじさま should “go do bed, already”, but on a more exhaustive web search I can’t find any kind of extra meaning associated with the phrase.
Regardless, Kobayashi’s comment seems to make him out to be the best ever (最高):
And here’s someone who likes Kobayashi’s はよ寝ろ:
Hold on, I think we have some context in this next one:
I think this is indeed Kobayashi saying “go to bed, already”, and that Japanese readers will have the shared context of this being an expression generally used late at night. (A lot of results I saw on Twitter were being up very late playing an online video game until completing a task, then posting their victory screenshot with #はよ寝ろ tagged.)
With this shared context among readers, nothing needs to be drawn to show it’s night time. Japanese readers understand, and us learners suffer =D
But there’s a bit more to it. There wouldn’t be a lot of comments on Kobayashi being “the best” if this was just a normal casually used remark. I see Kobayashi’s remark being referred to as 「ツッコミ」, like he’s the straight man in a Japanese comedy duo:
This person refers to it as a calm/composed (冷静) ツッコミ:
And another saying Kobayashi’s ツッコミ is the best:
Comments all via:
Apparently 「はよ寝ろ」 is used in a ツッコミ fashion on season 3 episode 11 of のんのんびより, but I only have the first two seasons on DVD so I can’t get a clip of how that scene plays out.
(I’ll create a new post when I get to the other scene. This one’s gotten long!)
I see the context of the scene now: おじいさま was so absorbed in his reading that he failed to notice his leg fell asleep. He fears the worst when he sees ふくまる heading his way, but seems to communicate to the latter to stop. …and then ふくまる resumes walking over, and I figure starts clawing on おじいさま’s legs to be picked up and held.
In this case, I’m definitely going with the potential: “When Fukumaru wants to act like a spoiled child, he is able to act like a spoiled child.”
I think as うけみ (the so-called “passive”), it wouldn’t be proper grammar as written (just the feeling I have).