魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 3

thank you very much! i ought to have been miles ahead but i’m not! i was on vacation and though i took the book with me it was too hard to read, look up words and make notes on the beach :sweat_smile:
i read this one instead. its a series of young adult novels only the first volume of which is translated from japanese to english. i thought if i liked the first book perhaps i could attempt the next volume in japanese. the writer of this book also wrote the moribito series which i really like (the anime especially)!


thanks again for the help! back to kiki now!


I watched the anime adaption of that book, and it was very good. Just based on the content of the anime, I get the feeling that it would be difficult to read in Japanese. How did you like the English version?

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yes, i think it’d be hard to read too. since its fantasy, there are a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts, which added to limited vocabulary and grammar ability might make the whole experience too frustrating. however, i’m dying to know what happens next. maybe when i’ve levelled up a little i’ll try. here’s a sample if you’d like to see for yourself:

the english version felt a bit too plain in terms of language though, i wonder if that’s the writer’s style or just the translation…

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Repeat Club Discussion (Week 3) Starts Here!

Chapter 3 Part 1

V1: Pages 32 - 44
V2: Pages 27 - 37
BookWalker: 22 - 31

Last line:
(Followed by a natural break in the text)

11 July 2020

Please briefly check whether questions have already been answered above before posting them, but otherwise don’t hesitate.

  • I’m reading along
  • I’m still reading but haven’t reached this part yet
  • I’m dropping this book
  • I’m a superhero who’s read it before but is here for chatting :books:

0 voters



Got through the first five pages with one question:
v1 pg 27:あなたたら、あしゃれはのぐらいにしたら…ほら、にしのくうをみてごらん、
The double "たら” tripped me up.
Does it mean If you are fashionable around this place… (as I see it), you see… please look to the western sky… that doesn’t make any sene though, i know it is incorrect.

Shoutout to @mrahhal as well, found ですもの again on page 30, instantly knew what it meant thanks to you.


It’s heartening to see we still have a healthily-sized book club, according to the poll. About to start on chapter 3 tonight. Looking forward to the discussion tomorrow!

Looks like my book goes from page 26 to partway through page 38. So weird that my book has different page numbering despite looking like V1. At 11.5 pages of text (One is a full page illustration), looks like I’ll be reading about 2 pages a night again.

I think you might be confused, unless you mean we’ll be at ~40 pages by the end of this week. Chapter 3 is split into several weeks to roughly match the pace of the previous chapter. Also, 四十パージ would be 40 purges, which is absolutely terrifying. You’re thinking of ページ. :wink:


It’s not double たら, you misread some kana there:
My interpretation: “Well, how about you stop it there (with the dressing up/mirror checking)… look, the color of the sky (in the west) is already getting faint

A bit of a breakdown

そのぐらいにしたら(どうですか)= how about you do it until this degree (and no further?)
Similar to how a teacher ending a lesson would say 今日はここまでにしましょう = let’s do it until here (implying “that’s it for today”)
〜したら(どうですか) is used to give advice. How about you (try to) do 〜?
The どうですか is optional, you can also simply use 〜したら? with a rising intonation, like a question.

If anything else is unclear I can try to provide further explanations / examples :smiley:


I know! It’s really annoying not having the same page numbers, it happened to me last time. What I did to reference questions was check the spreadsheet for pages. Actually it’s quite easy!

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Well, I started chapter 3 and have my first question on V2 p.27, the first page of the chapter.
Is it saying something like as if saying: you don’t need to be (feel) defeated ?
Thank you in advance!


Lol, probally why I coudln’t make sense of it. Thanks for the sanity check.

Page 33/28

I need some help.


I think the first one is “It’s better to look obediently.”
My take on the second one is “Even if it wasn’t like that, there are many people who complain about/find faults in witches”

That said, I first understood the second sentence completely different but went with it even thoough I kind of felt it was a bit off, but not as wrong as it turned out to be. I was using ichi.moe but it didn’t help me make complete sense.
I then plugged this sentence into deepl and it gave me a sentence similar to what I wrote above and it clicked as it made sense to me and I understood how the parts worked together.

My question is: (assuming it is really is the correct interpretation) Did it really click by seeing the English translation or does it just feel like I understand it now? I know using translators isn’t a good idea and I only use it for a few sentences at best, if I don’t get them at all and it felt like it helped me make sense a couple of times.
But what if a sentence is mostly incomprehensible and there’s no other way to check the rough meaning? Or when I think I understood it, but later realize I was wrong? How can I be sure that I’m actually learning from it? Or should I just move on since those sentences sadly are too high hanging fruit?

Sorry for the incomprehensible rambling. I think I’m doubting myself too much at the moment, as my bad WK retention is makes me feel frustrated. I’m a bit at a loss right now.

Anyways, two more sentence I want to check my understanding.

「パン に入れる薬草になにやら魔法をかけることを知っててね、そうするとくさらないし、かたくもならなかったのよ。もうわたしたちにはできないなんて、ざんねんだわねえ」

The first sentence I first understood as if コキリさん casted magic over the bread to make it last longer, but the second sentence made me doubt it and I got to the understanding that they can’t do that magic anymore and she’s just making キキ aware of its existence.


Here my understanding is that she thinks that it would be easy to to teach that magic and she doesn’t understand how it could have been forgotten. I’m not sure about the last sentence. “that’s how magic is” kind of thing? Or that magic is at it’s bottom? Or “I wonder if there (where?) is magic.”



Here’s the artwork for the first portion of chapter three covered in this week’s reading:


Gathering of Neighbors

Into the Night Sky

Bonus Images


Gathering of Neighbors

Into the Night Sky


(post signaling that i´m still alive and reading along just fine, but time to post is kinda scarce over here rn)

Very first page of the chapter, second sentence:

The vocab sheet says “とうと” meaning “precise”. But doesn´t it make more sense to think of 旅立とうと as volition + quoting particle? As in “旅立とう決めた” being “I decided that i will depart”?


That’s how I read it as well basically (my understanding would be “the day that she determined to be the departure day”), thanks for spotting this! Could you maybe fix the vocab sheet? Thx! :bowing_woman:


I’m still piecing this sentence together, but I’ve just found out that てはいられない is a grammar point meaning “can’t afford to/unable to” so… “As if he can’t afford to lose”? I don’t have the book in front of me, so will have to look later to figure out how it works with rest of sentence.


I’m glad you responded on this, AmomentOfMusic , because I’d meant to, and had forgotten.

The という tells me I can imagine quotes to help visualize the line:


Rather than Jiji actually saying the line, the ように gives a sense of “like he said” or “as if he said”.


As if Jiji were to say, “I mustn’t lose out”… (followed by his actions).

…if I understand it correctly. (I look forward to any corrections!)

Further reading:



Oof. Missed a day. Well, plenty of time to catch up, I suppose. I should still make it at a pace of 2 pages per day.

Questions from the first two pages of chapter 3, read two days ago:

  • 鏡の前で前をむいたりうしろをむいたり、大さわぎです。- What does the 大さわぎ mean here? I can take some guesses, but since none of them really mean ‘uproar’, they’re just guesses.

  • そうじゃなくても魔女のことをとやかくいう人が多いんだから - I understand the words, but I’m having trouble parsing the grammar here. What is being said?

  • パンに入れる薬草になにやら魔女をかけることを知っててね - What does “かけること” mean here? My best understanding of the sentence as a whole is Witches know something about putting medicinal herbs in bread. The next sentence seems to mean “That way, (the bread) doesn’t spoil or get hard”, but it’s still somewhat confusing even with this context.

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should be とうとう-- “finally”