なぜ?どうして?Currently reading pages 87 to 90


I think めんし is masu stem of 面する.

Hey, this hi-native post is great. I didn’t know this. Makes the translation much better.:+1:

ほんのわずか is an expression.


Thanks Trout, I think you are right. Also, when I type めんし on my phone the first suggestion is 面し.

So we can translate as: Facing out towards the Atlantic Ocean, there is a country called the Bahamas, famous for beautiful seas and beaches.


This is what it is. The trick to remember is that if there’s a word ending in ~い before a comma that doesn’t seem to make any sense, try checking whether it’s a ~ます stem.

I’d honestly translate this more emphatically. “There are a vast number of islands in the Bahamas, but very few of them are inhabited.”

Fun fact for today: Big Major Cay is one of the Exuma cays, the largest of which is Great Exuma, which is… aha, “famous” for being the site of the Fyre Festival in 2017. The Tropic of Cancer passes through Great Exuma.


Page 77

I agree that that hi-native post is great and that it makes for a much better translation, but I don’t see how the pattern fits this sentence!

X is famous for Y

So, it should be:

The Bahamas are famous for its beautiful sea and beaches

But what we actually have is:

beautiful sea and beaches で famous な Bahamas
beautiful sea and beaches are famous for the Bahamas!

I’m sure this is all down to my own confusion (I’ve just re-set to level 6 after being so overwhelmed with Japanese in general); so does anyone have any ideas on how to clear the mist?


It’s a relative clause modifying the Bahamas. So, it’s “the famous-for-its-beautiful-sea-and-beaches-Bahamas” even though it’s awkward to frame it that way in English.


Thank you! You’ve come to the rescue again Leebo!
(I think I’ll have to start walking on my hands, wearing my clothes inside out, and doing everything backwards if I’m ever going to get the hang of this! Thanks again so much!)


You don’t quite have to go that far - just remember that grammar structures in Japanese tend to be backwards when compared to English. Where English deals largely with prepositions - words that modify what comes after - Japanese deals with postpositions - words (or rather, particles) that modify what comes before.

And just because we like to do even that backwards, in the case of noun-modifying phrases and clauses, which in English tend to come after the noun (i.e. “the house that Jack built”), in Japanese they come before the noun.


Thank you Belthazar!


Thanks everyone for the help with めんし and ほんの わずかです (I think I had a typo which was probably why I struggled with that :sweat_smile:)


Page 78

I’ve just started reading page 78, and instantly got stuck…

ブタと いえば, もともと 人に かわれている どうぶつです.

ブタと いえば, - I’m lost here. Is it “when you say “pig”” or “if you say “pig”” or something else entirely?
もともと - 元々, originally
人に - by people
かわれている - 飼う, to keep (a pet), to raise / rear animals, in passive continous form
どうぶつ - animal
です - polite ending

“When you say pig, it is an animal orginally raised by people”.

How far off am I?


Does this help


A great deal! Thank you so much!


Page 78

The second sentence (it’s all I have time for, I must go to bed!) is much easier…

どうして この 島に ブタが すみつくように なったのか, わかっていません

どうして - how
この - this
島に - island + に
ブタが - pigs + が
すみつく - 住み着く, to settle (in a place); to settle down
ように - meaning 2 I guess - method of …ing
なった, - became
の - explanation particle
か - embedded question
わかっていません - don’t understand

We don’t yet fully understand how the pigs came to settle on this island.


I’m not sure how much it would change your translation, but ようになる is often thought of as one grammar point.


Thank you again! Much appreciated!


Page 78:

I’ll steal the first sentences from @marcusp :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

ブタと いえば, もともと 人に かわれている どうぶつです.

Speaking of pigs, it’s an animal originally raised by people

どうして この 島に ブタが すみつくように なったのか, わかっていません.

We don’t know how the pigs came to live in this island

「だれかが この 島に ブタを もちこんだ」とか、「ブタが のっていた ふねが、なんぱして たどりついた」など、いるいるな せつが あります。

That “Somebody brought them to the island” or “the pigs were riding a boat and it shipwreck​ed, etc…” are various theories.

しかし、そんな りゆうなど おかまいなしに、ブタたちは 白い すなの ビーチで、のんびり くらしています。

However, disregarding these reasons, the pigs are living freely on a sandy white beach


Page 78

Your translations look good to me. I struggled with the middle phrase in the third sentence, here is what I got breaking it down:

ブタが のっていた ふねが、なんぱして たどりついた

ブタが - pig + が

のっていた(乗っていた) - 乗る in te form plus いる in -ta form = was/were travelling

ふねが- boat + が

なんぽして - shipwreck as a suru verb (to shipwreck/to be shipwrecked?) in te form

たどりついた - たどりつく in ta form = arrived (with a struggle)

[the pigs] [travelling by boat] [being shipwrecked] [arrived]

Or: the pigs arrived after travelling by boat and being shipwrecked

Also, I liked the last sentence. It seems to imply that the pigs don’t worry about the explanation of how they got there, they just live carefree on the beautiful beaches!


That’s a wonderful breakdown of the sentence. Very useful for me! Thank you so much!


Page 79

およぎも じょうずです

A quick re-cap from the discussion we already had on this sentence when we compared it to one of the same structure on page 56:

[ブタは] およぎも じょうずです

[ブタは] - pigs + は topic marker… it’s not written on the page, but the invisible topic is pigs
およぎ - swimming
も - even - (see the discussion on page 56)
じょうず - good at
です - polite ending

pigs + swimming + も + good at
Pigs are even good at swimming


Page 79

およぎも じょうずです。

They are even good at swimming.

きれいな 海を、 ならんで およぐ すがたは とても かわいらしく、 すっかり かん光きゃくの 人気ものです。

The lovely sea, with sweet figures swimming side by side, is a really popular thing with tourists.

ボートから えさを もらったり、 いっしょに およいだりしています。

ボートから - from boats

えさ - animal feed

を - object marking particle

もらったり - もらう (to accept) in -ta form plus り

いっしょに - together

およいだり - およぐ (to swim) in -ta form plus り

しています - are doing

X-tari Y-tari = things like X and Y

They do things like accepting food from boats, or swimming together.

It feels like the “they” in this sentence should be the tourists from the end of the last sentence. But the phrase えさをもらう meaning “accepting animal feed” suggests it’s the pigs!

観光客に 人気の バハマの ブタ。

[spoiler]Literal: A popular-with-tourists Bahamian pig.

Natural: One of the Bahamian pigs which are popular with tourists.[/spoiler]