ハリー・ポッターと賢者の石 - chapter 4

On to chapter 4! Are you still reading along? How do you like the Japanese version of the book?

We’ll spend 2 weeks on chapter 4, October 12-25. The home thread for this bookclub is here .

Who will read Harry Potter chapter 4 now?

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m still reading but I haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’m not participating

0 voters


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over a glow-in-the-dark wristswatch of forgotten birthdays—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“'Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door.”
Quoth the raven, “YER A WIZARD, HARRY”




I’ve gotten into the habit of using Google Translate as a sort of jog-my-memory/broad-strokes verification for my reading of each paragraph. And it has led to some amazing mistranslations, however this chapter has had the best:


I won’t use spoiler tags because (spoiler alert, this translation is quite wrong :P)

Eventually, I met Potter at school, and they both went somewhere and got married. And you were born. Yeah, yeah, I knew it. You’re the same. It’s the same weird, the same … it’s not decent. Then my sister blew away on her own. Thanks to that, I was forced to do you!


Any suggestions on how to put the following into Anki?

On P71: バーノンおじさんっは奇妙な嗄れ声 を出した。

The furigana suggests 嗄れ声 (horse voice) is pronounced かすれ声 but when I when I it up in the dictionary it’s pronounced しゃがれごえ while 掠れ声 (meaning the same thing) is pronounced かすれ声.

How do other people deal with this issue?

I can’t find that line in particular, but it kinda seems like they’re trying for subtext. Using the Google test, the order of prevalence for the four ways of writing it are かすれ声 >> 掠れ声 >>>> しゃがれ声 > 嗄れ声. However, the kanji 嗄 actually means “hoarse”, while 掠 means “sack, pillage”, so it feels like they wanted to emphasise the meaning of the former while retaining the (more common) reading of the latter.

But… given that かすれ声 is easily the most common usage, why have either kanji at all?


Done with chapter 4! Definitely took a little longer (double the time chapter 3 took lol [but admittedly I spent an embarrassing amount of time sidetracked by various youtube videos]). I forgot how much I adore this series. I’m a pretty emotional guy, but I’ve already started being 感動した by some of these scenes to the point of tears. In particular:

When Harry says “ごめんなさい” and Hagrid starts to get mad.
When Harry’s envelope has “海の上、岩の上の小室、床” written on it
When the letter starts with "親愛なるポッター殿”
Hagrid’s letter to Dumbledore XD "ひどい天気です。お元気で”
When Hagrid is talking about how Harry survived "“あやつが目をつけた者で生き残ったのは一人もいない。。。お前さん以外はな”

As for comprehension, I haven’t had any problems except for one part. Hagrid says (and apologies for no furigana, not sure how to add that) “黙れ、ダースリー。腐った大すももめ”
I had no idea what 大すももめ could mean, did anyone else struggle with that? I think it might be Hagrid’s speech style that’s throwing me off. I got out my English copy of the book and that sentence is “Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune”. I’m still a little confused about that last "め” but oh well.

Something I thought was interesting is that it says that “Happy Birthday Harry” is written in "砂糖” I wonder if it’s common to refer to icing as just sugar?


すもも = prune
= a rude thing to call someone

It’s 砂糖細工, which isn’t in Jisho, but Wikipedia renders it as “sugar sculpture”… though that feels a bit more intricate than just icing words on a cake…

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Fascinating! Seeing it with the kanji makes sense. Is that a common usage?

In the Kindle version I have, it just says "上には緑色の砂糖で”. Do you mean that the 砂糖 is an abbreviation for 砂糖細工 or is your version different?

I’ve seen it in more than a few manga, but I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone use it in real life. :stuck_out_tongue:

My version is different, apparently.

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I’m super late (well, better late than never!), but I really wanted to comment on this:

I relate to this so much! :sweat_smile: :green_heart: I’m (very) easily moved, this is one of my favorite series and I’ve reread it so many times already… And reading it once again still brings all the feels!

tenor (2)

That scene on the first chapter, when they’re leaving baby Harry at the Dursley’s doorstep… I was crying almost as much as Hagrid! :rofl:

I’d say it’s quite common in fiction, but like Belthazar said it’s not something you’re likely to hear in real life.

Also, If you make it to book three you’ll see Dobby use it in the second sense: a humble way to refer to oneself!

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