ちいさな森のオオカミちゃん 🌳 Week 1 (The Wolf of the Small Forest Book Club)

As its the first week I will post my full set of translations to try and encourage some others to do the same. Feel free to correct me whenever (which I assume will be often) I mistranslate :slight_smile:

p1 町のはずれにある小さな森 -"At the edge of the town there is a small forest" 昔から人々のあいだでは - "Since long ago, people..." オオカミの住む森として恐れられる - joining onto the previous sentence "feared the wolves living in the forest" 森の奥には入らないようにと言い伝えられてきました - "Traditions says not to go deep into the forest"
p2 はじめまして - "Nice to meet you/How do you do" この森に住むオオカミです - "I am a wolf that lives in this forest"
p5 幼い頃 - "Very early in life" 両親とはなればなれになって - "I was seperated from my parents" 今はひとりだけど... - "Now I am alone however..." 森にはたくさんのお友達がいるから大丈夫 - "Inside the forest I have lots of friends so I am okay" 毎日楽しく暮らしています - "Every day I spend having fun"
p6 そんな私にもお仕事があって - Not sure here, I think she is saying "I sort of have a job" それは森のパトロール - "(in regard to the job mentioned) I patrol the forest" 森に迷い込む人間さんを見つけたら - "I find humans that stray into the forest" 驚かせて追い出すの - "I surprise them (?) and scare them out" そう私はみんなが恐れる - "Everyone appears to be afraid of me" 強くて怖いオオカミなのです - "I am a strong and scary Wolf"
p7 あっ早速人影が - "Ah - prompty a figure of a person" 先回りして待ち伏せしよう - "In anticipation, I wait ready to ambush" よし完璧 - "Looking good/perfect" あとは来るのを待つのみ - "I will wait here until she comes, only..." なかなか来ないなあ - Not sure on what なかなか is doing here but "No-one/Nothing comes" 何してるの - "What should I do" (?) しっ静かに - "Shh be quiet/silent" 今待ち伏せしてるの - "Now I will wait to ambush"
p8 楽しそうね! みあもやるわ! - "This is fun right! Mia (her name?) doing this also"(?) not sure with this bit. I think she is trying to say that it is fun her being there doing the same thing too いいいいつのまに - "wwwwhen!! (did you get here)" だって耳としっぽ丸見えだもん - "I saw your ears and tail in plain sight" (?) 気になったから追いかけてきただけ - "I was interested in you chasing someone" (?) あたしみあっていうの - "I said that I am Mia" あたしは - "And you are?"

Not 100% confident on them but I feel like I got most of it generally correct.

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I started reading this a day or two ago and paired with the vocab list, I thought I was ontop of the world until I started reading everyone’s questions today and realized how much of it I didn’t actually understand :joy:

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answering questions for p.7 and 8

なかなか来ないなあ - Not sure on what なかなか is doing here

This is the “By no means” definition. So basically just confirming that Mia is not coming as expected.

楽しそうね! みあもやるわ! - “This is fun right! Mia (her name?) doing this also”(?) not sure with this bit. I think she is trying to say that it is fun her being there doing the same thing too

Yep, pretty much. “That looks fun, huh! I will also do it!”

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p1

that’s close, but the “オオカミの住む” is modifying the “森” part, so it’s a forest with wolves in it, and that’s what the people were afraid of

言い伝える is “to hand down/to spread by word”
So “‘that one shouldn’t go into the forest’ came to be handed down [among the people” is the raw translation of it

p6

そんな私 is close to “such a thing/person as me”, so “そんな私にもお仕事があって” is “even someone like me has a job”

驚かす → to surprise/to frighten

p7

I think 先回り here is the “I go ahead of them” meaning here, especially because of the する attached.

I think this 何してるの is referring to the non-wolf girl, “what is she doing (why isn’t she coming)”

p8

Especially for children (or in anime/manga, those, that are shown to be childish or straight up dumb), it happens sometimes, that people use their own name to refer to themselves. Think of Anya in Spy x Family.

This is just “My name is Mia”, っていう does get used like that

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Page 1

Could you go a bit into detail on the として and ように part please? The vocab sheet translations don’t make much sense to me in these cases.

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p1

In the first case, として means something like “The people feared it as a forest where wolves live”
In the second sentence, it won’t go directly into any translation most likely, but it’s also another “as/like/similar to”

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I’m having hard troubles wrapping my head around the ように. Because after it comes と, which I assume is the quoting particle that the stuff before was what was passed down. I don’t understand what the ように part exactly adds to the sentence.

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Sweet. First day, first page, and already so many questions asked. I’ll absorb so much just following this discussion. :joy:

Also, kind regards from the 日本デー! It’s been a blast! :smiley: Cosplay, Zen Archery, Kendo, Judo, Language courses for kids and adults, onigiri, bubble-tea, furries, otaku, Go-Playing (that 6th kyu gave me a hard time I’m telling ya!), art, calligraphy.

My phone counted 13k steps, I’m dead. XD

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p1

in general, ようにと言う often acts as a sort of “it’s said” or “I was told” or similar. I’m sure @ChristopherFritz has some examples already prepared and written on his wall if you ask him nicely enough.

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Page 8

The earlier someone is in learning Japanese, the easier it is to get by mapping Japanese to English.

As you progress, you start to see weaknesses in those associations, as they go from being a helpful crutch to being a source of confusion.

「だって」 to “because” is one of those helpful crutches to understanding that you outgrow, and now will be the time for some readers.


About だって

The first thing to know is that だって isn’t a word.

This may come as a shock when hearing about it for the first time.

image


だって is a combination of だ and って.

だ is what attaches to a noun in noun sentences (sentences that say “[something] is [noun]”).

An example sentence in English would be, “The animal living under the park bench is a cat.”

って is a short form of the quote marker と and the verb ()う (meaning “to say”).

Adding the meaning of this って to our English sentence changes it to, “They say the animal living under the park bench is a cat.”

In other words, you can take any Japanese sentence that ends in だ and add って to it to change it from “This is X” to “They say this is X”. Note that “they” can be any other party, so it can be “He said” or “She said” and so on.


Consider this panel from 「三ツ星カラーズ」 where Kotoha has heard from a shop owner about a case that she and her friends can take on:

The sentence 「大事件(だいじけん)だ」 means “It’s a big case.”

By adding って, it becomes 「大事件(だいじけん)だって」, meaning “She said it’s a big case.”


If だって is adding って to the だ at the end of a sentence, then what about when a sentence begins with だって?

In this case, the だ is essentially filling in for what was just said.

Consider in English:

“I knew it wouldn’t rain today.”

“You say that, but you brought your umbrella with you.”

See where the reply first refers back to the statement, then contradicts it?

“But” is one of the words when making a contrasting remark.

In Japanese, when a sentence starts with 「だって…」, it’s like “You say that” in English, then it typically follows with a contrasting statement.

Because a contrasting statement often follows after だって, and because English uses “but” before a contrasting statement, someone decided that “but” was a good translation for だって.


In this scene from ARIA, Akari sees a girl eating alone.

Akari: “Hey, won’t you join us for lunch?”

Akari’s friend Aika doesn’t have a high opinion of the girl.

Aika: “Hey, Akari! Why’re you inviting her?!”

Akari: 「だって だって」

In the following panels, Akari expresses to Aika why she wants the girl to join them for lunch.

Here, だって fills the role of “You say that…” about Aika’s statement suggesting she shouldn’t invite the girl before giving her contrasting reason for why she should invite her.


The sentence that follows after だって doesn’t have to contrast or negate the sentence before it. There’s nothing inherent in だって that requires a contrast. だって can be used to take what someone said and add information.

To show this, here is a scene from “Detective Conan”:

image

Ran: “Aaah! This is Ichirou’s room, isn’t it?”

Old man: “That’s right, but…”

His reply implies wondering how Ran knew this room belongs to the artist.

image

Ran: “だって, look, a painting’s sitting here!”

Ran isn’t contrasting the old man’s implied question in this case. She’s supplementing it.

In English, we’d say “because” or “after all” here, which is why these two are also listed as translations for だって.

Side-note: Her ある+もの at the end is like Mia’s だ+もん.


Now, let’s bring this back to Mia and our Wolf-chan.

Wolf-chan says いつの()に, which is a combination of words and particle that act as an expression when asking when something happened. The implication is that Wolf-chan was hiding, so when did this human child find her?

Mia responds along the lines of, “You say that, but your ears and tail were completely visible.” In other words, you weren’t hidden very well.

Now that we can see that だって does not mean “because”, but rather gets used in situations where English sometimes adds the word because, it’s time to check into だもん.


About だもん

When もの appears at the end of a sentence, it has the nuance of explaining something.

Consider the following in English:

Question: “Why did you sign up for WaniKani?”

Response: “I want to learn kanji.”
Response: “Because I want to learn kanji.”
Response: “The thing is, I want to learn kanji.”

Any of these is fine as a response, but in English, we typically use “because” to give a reason why.

In Japanese, you’ll see something like the third option: “the thing is”.

Among its various uses, もの is essentially a “thing”.

When attached to the end of a sentence, it gives the nuance of “the thing is, [sentence]”.

If a sentence ends in a noun + だ, then add もの, the sentence ends in だもの. But really, it’s just だ+もの.

Often, this use of もの gets spoken as もん. Thus, you get だ+もん.


Consider this scene from 「おじさまと猫」.

After his cat ran outside and was lost for several days, the owner put a fence up in front of his doorway. This will keep his cat from being able to escape.

image

As it turns out, the cat can easily jump over the fence.

The owner relays this to a friend later.

Owner: “The fence wasn’t high enough.”

Friend: “Hahaha! The thing is, it’s a cat.”

In English, he might say, “That’s because it’s a cat.”

It may now be clear that だもん does not mean “because”, but gets used in situations where English commonly uses the word because, rather than a different wording.


What if we use both だって (which doesn’t mean “because”) and だもん (which also doesn’t mean “because”)? The meaning may be a bit more clear now.

Explans of だって…だもん

In an early volume of 「からかい上手の高木さん」, Takagi convinces Nishikata to spend summer break practice riding his bike with her on the back of it.

Because Nishikata doesn’t know that Takagi likes him, he is unaware that she wants to be with him during summer break when they won’t be in school.

He suggests there’s no reason for them to do the biking riding practice.

Takagi: “You say that, but the thing is it’s summer break from tomorrow.”

Here, I’ve translated だって as “you say that”, I’ve added “but” as that’s what we use in English before making a contrasting statement, and finally, I used “the thing is” for だもん.

A more “English” translation could be:

Takagi: “It’s because summer break begins tomorrow.”


Conan and his detective club friends hide in a building until night to investigate a possible murder.

Suddenly, the lights come on.

Conan: “Idiots, don’t go turning on the lights!”

Ayumi: “You say that, but the thing is it’s dark…”

Here, I’ve translated だって as “you say that”, だもん as “the thing is”, and I added “but” to make it work in English.

Here is how the English release handled this panel:

(Hopefully that wasn’t too long. If I had more time, I might have written a shorter reply.)

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I really appreciate the write up, and honestly the added length and examples helped immensely so don’t worry about making it shorter!

Speaking from personal experience, using ‘because’ is one of those crutches I struggle to get out of and even still used it when I read through these pages myself. Was great to have this here for the clarity.

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I don’t think it needs to be shorter, I think you did an excellent job at thoroughly describing the grammar without being needlessly wordy. I had felt like I understood these already but your explanation was so good that I still feel like you helped cement my understanding of these.

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I believe that was a reference to one of Blaise Pascal’s letters, where he finished it by saying a similar line.

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I’d like to add to the general praise that I had absolutely no clue about any of these things up until they came up in this discussion. I work best with systematic context, rather than rote memory. Your transparent, to the point and quality explanation has cemented into my brain both phrases, allowing me to omit the use of any crutches.

Thanks for that, and keep up the good work. :wink:

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Ah looks like you’re right, I wasn’t familiar with that quote. I just assumed he meant that he felt he could have written it more succinctly if he had more time to edit it :sweat_smile:

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Mind blown! This is great info, even though it’s way over my head :smiley:

I finished my first read through of this section, trying to limit “lookups” – I’d say I got the gist of maybe 20%, which seems reasonable. From the bits that I did look up, I wanted to confirm a few pretty basic things:

  • ‘no’ can be used instead of ‘ka’ for questions to give a more casual tone?
  • in casual language, the “i” part of “iru” is often dropped in the ‘te+iru’ form?
  • subject/object particles are often dropped in casual/spoken language?

So, on page 7 she says 何してるの? – is this just a casual way of saying 何をしているか?

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Pretty much, yes. But in general it’s a common way of saying “what are you doing”

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Another good reason not to spend too much time on Genki! I think I’m going to pick up my pace, absorbing grammar points and some vocab and moving through the chapters faster (along with Bunpro). The casual language is a challenge when textbooks barely cover it.

Originally I had thought that I’d need to get through Genki I&2 before trying to read any manga/other texts, but I’m starting to see that–even though I can barely understand it–diving head first into an easier manga and learning trial-by-fire style (along with grammar/vocab study) may be a more rewarding route.

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At least my understanding is that の when used for questions is very similar to か but with the added nuance of specifically asking for an explanation rather than just asking a question.

So here is saying something like “What are you doing?” but with an added nuance of “can you explain to me what you are doing (and why you are doing it)”.

As a side note, you’ll also see 何してるの? furthered shortened to 何してんの? very frequently in casual speech.

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Afaik it’s short for のですか btw

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