コンビニ人間: Week 3 Discussion

Haha yeah I liked that part too.

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Meant to answer to this before when it was mentioned /asked, but forgot.

So, I don’t know about Konbini, but when I was working as part of the staff in a hotel, during the 朝礼 we would also do this. Starting off with おはようございます at the beginning, and ending with a series of customer service 挨拶. This included the ones mentioned in the book as well! かしこまりました、失礼致します、ありがとうございました etc.

So, I imagine this is actually a thing and not just a parody. The chanted oath might or might not be, we didn’t have that. :sweat_smile:

It did feel a bit sect like.

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I think this is absolutely real. If you watch dramas, you often see small companies do this.

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Repeat Club Discussion Starts Here!

23 January 2021

End Page (PB): 36
End Page (HB): 31
End Kindle Location: 320
End Phrase: 世界を信じている。

Welcome to Week 3! I hope the reading is starting to go more smoothly as everyone gets accustomed to the writing style.

Feel free to use past discussion for reference, but please don’t hesitate to post any questions or comments! The more we discuss the more we all learn, and the more fun it is! Also, I strongly recommend setting each week’s thread to “watching” to stay abreast of the discussion. Please try to mark any spoilers as such.

  • I’m reading along
  • I’ll catch up soon
  • I have no intention of catching up or the club has already finished, but I’m using the forums as reference

0 voters

Live Reading Sessions

The second live reading session will be 2021-01-24T03:00:00Z If you haven’t already, join the Japanese Book Club Discord. When the time comes to start, just enter the コンビニ人間 voice channel.

For the format, we will go through the entire week’s reading with each volunteer reading as much as they feel comfortable with up to about a page. Joining just to listen is completely welcome! Then we will pick a section of the reading to translate together. Last time it took us an hour and a half, but feel free to join late or leave early as your schedule allows.

Please post any questions regarding live reading session logistics in the Discord channel or on the home thread.

Vocab Sheet

Anybody should feel free to add to the vocab sheet. Read the guidelines on the first sheet- even if a word is not yet included you can use the spreadsheet as a tool to get help.

Discussion Questions

  1. What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!

  2. What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?

  3. Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?

  4. To what extent do we embody the people we surround ourselves with? Is Keiko unique in this regard?

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This week was harder for me, mainly because of all these new minor characters and their names in kanji.

Question (15% for me, near the beginning):

日色町駅前店では寒い日はコロッケがよく売れる。ちょうどセールでもあるので、今日はコロッケをたくさん作ろう、頭に叩きこむ。

I thought all food is delivered to a konbini from the outside. Does 作ろう only means unpacking these コロッケ and putting them on a shelf/in a display case, or do the workers actually prepare some food personally?

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Those are fried, right? I imagine the workers are at least heating them up in an oven of some kind. They could be pre-packaged frozen variants for example. That counts as “making” food as far as I’m concerned! :laughing:

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I am enjoying the story so far. And find it interesting how much I like the main character, even though she behaves almost machine-like.

I love that she is basically

“Fueled” by the convenience store food… I found it was a poetic way of saying that the convenience store lives inside of her and is deep within her at all times

I finish my first read of the chapter and found it the hardest so far in terms of vocabulary. I will read again throughout the week and contribute to the spreadsheet and will come back with my questions and more in-depth comments :slight_smile:

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I like very much the book so far! The first two weeks’ reading has been very hard for me, with all the kanji I don’t know. I only could do it because I started ahead and put a lot of work into it. But I got myself an e-reader and with the integrated dictionary things seem to be much easier now. I hope I will be able to keep the pace now!

I have a problem on p. 30 though. I don’t understand very well the sentence: ベリーショートの髪を本当は赤くしたいのだとぼやいていた。

I only understand that she has very short, red hair. But is したい wants to do?and is ぼや small fire? How does all fit together?

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Yes, it’s the 〜たい form of the verb, in this case
(赤く)する = to make red, to turn something red
(赤く)したい = to want to turn something (dye) red

ぼや is from the verb ぼやく, in its て-form ぼやいて. It means to grumble, to complain.

I would translate the sentence as something like „She actually wanted to dye her very short hair red, she grumbled.“ (imagine this sentence, but in a more character-describing introduction style)

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Bleh, I keep forgetting I need to go follow the existing thread instead of waiting for someone to post a new one…

Just to point out one thing quickly: ベリーショート is quite specifically a women’s hairstyle in Japanese, almost but not quite approaching a pixie cut. It’s shorter than ショート, naturally.

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For reference, in case people were curious. Kind of runs the gamut, but you get the idea.

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+1 on what Myria said.

The official book translation has that sentence as: " [She’s a singer in a band] and goes on about wanting to dye her short hair red".

The ぼやく was translated as “goes on”, which probably fits the translation a bit better.

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With this sentence:

泉さんと前の店で仲が良かったという主婦の女性がヘルプに来たときは、服装があまりに泉さんと似ているので間違えそうになったくらいだ。

Why is it 泉さんと前の店で仲が良かったという主婦 and not just 泉さんと前の店で仲が良かった主婦? I checked the Dutch and English translation and neither of them indicate that the lady claimed to have got along well with Izumi, so I don’t think it’s a quotation.

And then there is this one:

それをそのまま真似してはすぐにバレてしまうので、ブランド名で検索し、そこの服を着ている人がブログで紹介したり、どちらのストールを買おうかな、と名前をあげている他のブランドを着ることにしている。

I got this far with it:

それをそのまま真似してはすぐにバレてしまうので、
Because I would immediately be found out if I imitated them exactly,

ブランド名で検索し、
I look up the brand name,

名前をあげている他のブランドを着ることにしている。
and I decide to wear the brands of other people who offer names

But then how does そこの服を着ている人がブログで紹介したり、どちらのストールを買おうかな、と fit in?

I suspect と is a quotation と marking どちらのストールを買おうかな, so:

“[Asking] ‘which scarf should I buy?’”

And then そこの服を着ている人がブログで紹介したり means ‘people who wear clothes from that place make introductions on blogs’..

But I am not sure how to ultimately string it together in one sentence that makes sense syntactically.

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I think I can help you with your second question. You got the beginning already, so I’m starting after that:

そこの服を着ている人が - people who wear these clothes
ブログで紹介したり、- have given advice in their blogs (among other things)
どちらのストールを買おうかな、と - “I wonder which scarf I should buy” (quotation - that’s what they write in their blogs)
名前をあげている他のブランドを - (in the quotations in the blogs) the listed names of other brands
着ることにしている。- I usually wear.

Does this help already? (If not, please ask more questions!)

I guess if I had to put it in a proper English phrase, I would maybe say something like

… and I looked up some of those brand names on blogs of people who offer advice regarding clothing, took note of other brands they mentioned, and I would usually wear those clothes.

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Ah, thanks, that meaning of 紹介 makes more sense! But I am still not sure why this is a ‘correct’ Japanese sentence, if that makes any sense? Like it seems that そこの服を着ている人がブログで紹介したり just gets randomly tossed in there without any syntactical connection to the rest of the sentence…?

The way I see it:

  1. それをそのまま真似してはすぐにバレてしまうので、<-- implicit ‘I’ as subject
  2. ブランド名で検索し、<-- implicit ‘I’ as subject
  3. どちらのストールを買おうかな、と名前をあげている他のブランドを着ることにしている。<-- implicit ‘I’ as subject

I can see how these clauses can each be strung along together to make one sentence. But then そこの服を着ている人がブログで紹介したり gets added in with a different subject. Is that another clause in its own right that just happens to have a different subject, or should we see it as part of clause 3?

Maybe this seems like an overly academic exercise, trying to apply some sort of taxonomy to the sentence. I have a background in Latin and Greek, so it’s what I’m familiar with. Perhaps it’s a case of ‘if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail’ :sweat_smile: But it’s how my brain works!

Not at all! I think it is good to look into complicated sentences in detail and to try to pick them apart.

The way I see it is that this thing in the middle is a very very long relative clause. The main clause goes like this:

それをそのまま真似してはすぐにバレてしまうので、ブランド名で検索し、 他のブランドを着ることにしている。

And this is all about the implicit “I”, as we both agree.

Now what about these other brands? We need more information. And we find a relative clause that is attached to them:

そこの服を着ている人がブログで紹介したり、どちらのストールを買おうかな、と名前をあげている

In English you would say “other brands that were mentioned on the blogs of people who gave advice regarding clothing” or something, so the relative clause goes after the noun that it specifies. But in Japanese it’s the other way around, a relative clause always appears before its noun.
And that’s why we have the “randomly thrown in” new subject, it’s the subject of the relative clause.

(How do you recognize a relative clause? Look at dictionary forms, like あげている. If the sentence is not over after that, we found a relative clause.)

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anyone know the difference in usage/使い分け between おわる and おえる (終)

Sweet baby Jesus that is the longest relative clause I have ever seen in Japanese :exploding_head:

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You def need to read more :joy_cat:

Nah, just kidding. It was a pretty tough one actually, with the two commas and the quotation which kind of breaks the rhythm of the sentence flow. And tbh I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint it straight away, it was only your question that made me realize. So thank you, good teamwork :+1:

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Haha amen! It’s stuff like this that is really challenging right now. Like I said in the home thread, I just don’t have the brain-RAM for this yet. Reading more will surely help me develop it! Thanks a lot for the help :grin:

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