なぜ?どうして?Finished! (But open for post-bookclub discussions)

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国っきの 絵がらからは、その国の とくちょうなどが 一目で わかる ことが あります

Okay, I’m getting there… I think… thank you @Rowena and @Leebo.

But… given a choice between these two sentences, aren’t they both good translations? I just wonder if there is anything inherent in the Japanese that brings about (a) rather than (b)?

a) There are times where you can determine characteristics of a country by a glance at that country’s flag.
b) you can determine characteristics of a country by a glance at that country’s flag.

Your second sentence implies it is always possible, but the ことがあります bit really does mean ‘times when’ , ‘situations where’ - basically ‘sometimes

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Okay, so if it were always possible, you’d just write わかります, but to imply the “sometimes” you write わかることがあります. Got it! :partying_face:

Thank you everyone!

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It sounds like you’ve got it now, but just to add another way of thinking about it:
こと can mean event; circumstance; situation
so ことがあります = there are event(s)/circumstance(s)/situation(s).
Then the previous part of the sentence modifies こと so you have
わかることがあります = there are situations in which you understand/comprehend


btw, @rowena, it’s nice to see you back around again :slight_smile:

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Wow, that’s a great explanation too! Thank you so much!
(And did I just see your picture change before my very eyes? Amazing!)
Thanks again so much everyone!

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Section three: しぜん.どうぶつの ふしぎ

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Nature. The wonder of animals ?

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Or just “Animal Wonders”

An easy day! Time to catch up!

How are people translating the book title by the way? せかいはふしぎ。

Wonders of the world?
The world is wonderful?
The world is a wonder?

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I think “the world is wonderful” makes the most sense.

  1. “Wonders of the world” would probably use a possessive construction?
  2. ふしぎ appears to be most commonly used as an adjective. Maybe a more appropriate word for “wonder” as a noun would be 驚異 (きょうい)? Not sure though :confused:
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I agree. In which case I think the chapter title should be “Wonderful Animals!”

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Well it may be a little more complicated in the case of the chapter title: しぜん.どうぶつの ふしぎ
The の here could be one of two things:

  1. a possessive particle, in which case ふしぎ must be a noun
  2. whatever the heck this is called: 本 の 上, which would translate to “the above book”

My reservations about option 2 are:

  1. I’ve only seen this with location adjectives. However, I’m also still a weeb scrub so I wouldn’t know.
  2. These location adjectives also happen to serve as nouns in other places, which could suggest that it used identically here.

All of this is to say that maybe it’s “wonders of animals”??? But also whatevs because we understood it and literal translations can be misleading anyway because we don’t know the frequency of different adjectival positions used in Japanese, which each have their own literal English equivalent.

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The wonder of nature and animals.
??
I suspect (despite my poor typing skills at the chapter opening place-holder post) that the dot is an “and” rather than a full-stop. Just an idea. What do you think?

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I didn’t read the book today and I went by your transcription.

I’ve just checked the book and it’s a • not a . so yes, probably it’s and and.

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Sorry about that! I couldn’t find how to type a big dot! My apologies!

It’s so easy! Just install the Catalan keyboard and the use the sign in number 3! • boom!

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Or just copy and paste?! lol! (It’s actually a pretty useful thing to know; if I remember rightly, the book uses these dots in quite a few places!)

Interpuncts are often used to separate transcribed foreign names or words written in katakana. For example, “Can’t Buy Me Love” becomes 「キャント・バイ・ミー・ラヴ」( Kyanto·bai·mī·ravu ). A middle dot is also sometimes used to separate lists in Japaneseinstead of the Japanese comma ("、" known as tōten ). Dictionaries and grammar lessons in Japanese sometimes also use a similar symbol to separate a verb suffix from its root. Note that while some fonts may render the Japanese middle dot as a square under great magnification, this is not a defining property of the middle dot that is used in China or Japan.

However, the Japanese writing system usually does not use space or punctuation to separate words (though the mixing of katakana, kanji, and hiragana gives some indication of word boundary).

The interpunct also has a number of other uses in Japanese, including the following: to separate titles, names and positions: 課長補佐・鈴木 (Assistant Section Head · Suzuki); as a decimal point when writing numbers in kanji: 三・一四一五九二 (3.141 592); as a slash when writing for “or” in abbreviations: 日・水・金曜日 (Mon/Wed/Friday); and in place of hyphens, dashes and colons when writing vertically.

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So… is it possible it means something like:

Nature: The wonder of animals!

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Wow, I’m learning more English than Japanese this morning! Thank you @emucat for your amazing post!

Thanks the Wikipedia! (I’ve found it under the Catalan explanation :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

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