にゃんにゃん Reading Group - Finished!


Not at all. This thread is definitely the place to ask! The most likely place to get a good answer is here as everyone here is focused on this book and understands the context etc, and of course everyone here is interested in the answers! I use Hi-native as a back up only!


Side question here. On p30, the drawing has a picture of a flower in the speech bubble. What does that mean?


Ah! My resident expert loves this moment! When we settle down on a Saturday night and watch an episode of some detective programme, or a detective movie, she loves the moment when the actor suddenly comes to the realisation of who the criminal is and why they committed the crime! They get a kid of far-away look in their eyes and will often then suddenly jump up and run off somewhere. Think of Dr House finally figuring out the puzzle, jumping from his chair and doing something dramatic that will prove his new theory. Cumberbatch in Sherlock. Any great detective actor in any adaptation of Agatha Christie. Basically every mystery you’ve ever seen has this scene. And that’s what’s happening here! It’s the light-bulb moment!


So is the flower the Japanese equivalent to a light bulb? I get that she’s come to a sudden realization of something here but I didn’t understand the use of the flower.


Oh, I see! I don’t know if Japan generally uses a flower instead of a light-bulb, but it is definitely what is going on! Interesting question!


I’ve seen my Japanese teacher draw a flower on my Kana practice sheet next to a kana that she thought I wrote well (I think an English native speaker might draw a smiley face instead).

I suspect the meaning in the book is something along the lines that the idea has come to bloom.


It is interesting how varied English constructions are in comparison:

The eaten eel [participle as adjective before noun]
The eel eaten [participle as adjective after the noun]
The eel I ate [“gapped” relative clause]
The eel that I ate [relative clause with relative pronoun]

And how arbitrary and confusing the rules are!

Can’t modify the first one:
*The by me eaten eel
The eel eaten by me
Can’t gap the subject:
The eating eel
The eel eating
*The eel eats
The eel that eats

On a related note I’ve seen linguists compare English constructions such as
John’s coming late cannot be explained.
with the more general use of の in relative clauses in Japanese. (But I’m not sure I can make much sense of this claim since they seem very different)
(Some trivia: In Old Japanese が was actually used more like の today and you sometimes still see this in some idioms like わがや my home, わ being the old ‘I’; modern が most likely derives from generalising the use of が in relative clauses)


I agree! But, peeking ahead, in the second story the artist uses a star and then in the third, a chick coming out of an egg to express the same idea! I think this all has less to do with Japanese than just great drawing!


OK, so not to be massively behind but I realized upon trying to read the book initially that my grammar was not sufficient. SO, went and studied grammar a bunch, and now I’m back and really just started getting into the book today.

So, I translated the entire little sign on the table of contents, and that went well. I translated the charachter page and most of that went well. But a couple of questions because google/ google translate throws my vocab for a loop a few times. If this was cleared up already somewhere in the thread and I missed it just direct me there, as I only checked before the actual reading began as it’s pre page 7.

1.) Capone, both sentences to some degree. The first I mostly get. Hanae が article… something cat. Google seems to think it’s something like “caught by” so “Cat caught by Hanae” ? Is that correct?

And the second sentence I know says (aprox) “likes naps and hates curiosity” as if I type the whole sentence in google it comes up with that, and that seems right given context. However, breaking it down piece by piece the translation seems to fall apart. It’s clearly がが but beyond that I’m lost. I suspect the first is napping and the second is disliking curiosity, based on length, but I’m still a bit early on on negating nouns so the details are lost on me, and google doesn’t translate either of what seems to be the nouns correctly.

Aaaand my power just went out and it’s literally midnight, so I guess I’ll wait on the other question or two as I literally can’t see the book or my notes sheet any more. Sorry, if my post is wayyy too long but thanks for the help in advance!


Loosely translated, “A cat that Hanae came to raise. (It’s) not sociable/friendly and likes naps.” That’s what I think it means more or less.

かう(飼う) = to raise
ことになった = was arranged so that / ?
ネコ = cat
あいそがなくて = is not sociable/friendly and
ひるねがすき。= likes naps


はなえさんがかうこと “something [using こと nominalizer] that Hanae raises”
なった “[which] became”
i.e. “a cat which became something that Hanae raises”

EDIT: err こと is the wrong nominaliser for that interpretation :slight_smile:

I think the grammar is something like “a cat whose raising by Hanae came into effect”

seems to be a general expression for things that happen outside of one’s control


A tip from another newby ^^: I don’t think google translate will help you reading as it will give you a general translation but not how he arrived there (and I’m never sure that the translation will be good). So most of the times you’ll be like “WHAT!”.

Something that helped me cutting sentences down when the grammar was complex was jisho.org, which is not just a mere dictionary. If you type in it the entire phrase in kanji and kana it will try to cut it down for you and you can then click on any of the words separately.

Thanks for the link @aiju. So in かうこと

  • かう = to raise
  • こと = thing/event (thanks WK level 10)

So this would be like “the raising”

かうことなった = the raising became

(かうことなった)ネコ = the cat whose raising became (by hanae san)

I understand the grammar here is something like

— かう ------- こと-------- なった----ネコ
— verb — nominalizer — verb ----- noun

verb + nominalizer = noun

— かう ------- こと-------- なった----ネコ
— verb — nominalizer — verb ----- noun
---------- noun ---------------- verb ----- noun

and since the verb is to the left of a noun, the verb to the left becomes an adjective of the noun

verb + noun = adjective + noun
(noun + verb) + noun = adjective + noun

So then we have

— かう ------- こと-------- なった----ネコ
— verb — nominalizer — verb ----- noun
---------- noun ---------------- verb ----- noun
-------------------- adjective ------------- noun = the cat that adjective

Wow, this was fun ^^. In any case I still have some questions:

  1. The first one not a question: I am still super amazed of how people can discern in かう rise from buy. I understand that it’s a matter of context and knowing vocab…
  2. The second, I’m really doubting that this phrase says “the cat that was risen by hanae” because the grammar does not indicate passive voice. It’s much simpler to me, it indicates mostly “the cat that became hanae’s riser (don’t know the word in english for this one)”. So it is Hanae that has risen the cat or the opposite :slight_smile: ?


I’m not 100% sure what’s going on, but I think it’s grouped like

((はなえが かう)こと)に なった

so こと nominalises the whole phrase into “the raising by Hanae”.
A more literal translation would be “the thing/matter/affair of Hanae raising [the cat]”.
Passive is just the result of making the English sound natural.

If the cat were raising Hanae it would be を instead of が. (And I’m not sure the whole construct would make much sense).


When I use google translate I break up the sentences using the particles I can pick out and then translate each word I don’t know at a time, that way I actually learn something because otherwise yeah, just translating it whole doesn’t really help explain it. Translating the whole thing is sort of how I check my solution, or a last ditch effort if the translations make no sense


Also, that break down was super helpful so thank you!


Page 31

Ouch, no furigana!

The only character I know here is the middle one, 決, from level eight of WK!

Can anyone help with the rest?


解決編? You can find the same kanji in the sign in the table of contents, where it has ふりがな ^^. It means something like

解決 = solution
編 = volume/text

So it’s like the “solution sub-chapter”. And just FYI

解 -> WK level 21
編 -> WK level 31


Page 31

Wow, you are amazing! I’d never have found this without you! Thank you so much!


Page 34:

Question 1:

あたしが 「ファン です」というと なかに とおしてくれた。

I can understand the first part of the sentence but I am lost in the second one, I can’t find a translation for the verb(s). Like I tried to search for とおして and くれた on their own but no combination of meaning seems to make sense.

Question 2:
[ 「あんどう なぎさ さんへ」って いれてください ]

If I understood correctly she asks the author to include random words when he signs (to be able to compare the writing of the same kana) , but I am not sure if they are actually random words or if they make sense together. I am not even sure they are words because I can only find a translation for なぎさ.


I’m lacking a bit of context because I’m slightly behind with reading the book, but I hope I can still help you here.

The second part of the sentence, とおしてくれた is a fixed grammatical form. The first verb is とおす, in this case I think it should be translated as “to lead somebody into one’s house”, and the second one is くれる, to give to me (this is important - the actor of くれる is always somebody else, never me). The first verb is in te-form (this is how this grammar thing works) and the second verb carries tense and politeness, in this case くれた is past tense.
So literally this means “he gave me the letting into the house” which I would translate as “he was so kind as to let me in”. It can also be translated as “somebody did something for me” or “did me the favour of … ing”.

So the whole sentence would be something like, “I said ‘I’m a fan’, and he kindly let me into his house.”

If you really want to know everything about this くれる business, I can highly recommend this article: https://www.japanesewithanime.com/2016/10/ageru-kureru-morau-difference.html