魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 5

(Page 106 of the red book)

I’m not sure I can answer your question about how to pick a question from a statement, except by context, but I read this as a question.

Jiji, hearing the forecast - Listen, they say the weather’s going to deteriorate
Kiki, not making any attempt to care - What, when it’s this beautiful? Look, you can see the sea. Aren’t there heaps of people stripped off and having fun? It looks like the weather forecast is wrong. (etc)

I pictured a bunch of people still in the water as well as on the beach, with 裸 meaning “wearing less than their regular clothes” which fits with Kiki’s embarrassment at the idea of being seen in such a skimpy outfit when Osono-san first gives her the swimsuit.


Yes, it can be really confusing. Context is your friend. If you haven’t read Maggie Sensei’s exhaustive explanation of using じゃない in negative, positive, statement, question, gender language, etc., I highly recommend it. click here.

1 Like

Yikes! Between the flu and some good old-fashioned procrastination, I’m only on page 103 (red book) with 5 days to go. That means I need to do four pages per day this week to get back on track. 頑張りましょう!

The lack of questions this chapter seems to indicate that a lot of people are procrastinating. Unless everyone just thinks it’s a really easy chapter. :slight_smile:

(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)

Hmm I don’t really like where this is going

@trout despite its usefulness and thorough explanations, it’s a known thing that a lot of people find Maggie-sensei’s site hard to follow (I’m personally OK with it because I got used to it, but it can be overwhelming sometimes – you’ll see similar complaints in the bunpro thread :laughing: )

Let’s be nice to each other here, by reading @seanblue’s comments I really don’t see any bad intentions, let’s not escalate this further

Thank you for offering your help on the question, don’t take it personally about the site thing ^^ we’re here to help each other and you did just that, so let’s leave it there and move on from it and keep the healthy discussions going!

お願いします :pray:


I’m snowed under with other stuff this month, but will be back on the wagon (and updating the vocab spreadsheet) again in the not too distant future.

I’m a bit confused on page 110 (red book). Kiki is at the beach, speaking with a woman, who was poking a bit of fun at her broom (which apparently has become something of a fad), and who pointed out a boy nearby who has one.

Then she suddenly calls out “坊や 坊や…” I thought at first she was calling out to that boy with a broom, but reading on, I think this now her own little boy, who has wandered off.

Anyway, she calls to him: 「 お水のところでぺたぺたやってなさい。」 So, at/from the water, please ぺたぺた. But none of the meanings I can find for ぺたぺた make any sense here. What is she telling him to do?

Also a line or two later, the narrator is describing the floating device the boy is sitting on as オレンジ色のおぼんのよう. Like an orange おぼん. Is this “tray”?

Nice job catching up so quickly!

For ぺたぺた, I think it’s most likely the “sound of a flat surface repeatedly making contact with something” definition. I interpreted this as a slapping sound that kids would make playing in the water.

For おぼん, I assumed it meant the lanterns from Bon Festivals because of the orange color.


I think she’s saying that it must be a fad, since she’s seen two people with a broom today (Kiki and the other boy).

坊や generally refers to a quite small child, probably no older than five or six, so you’re right that she’s using it to refer to her own child, not the boy with the broom.

ペタペタ can be the sound of (usually bare) feet slapping on a floor, but I think @seanblue has the right of it and this is playing around in the shallow water.


I found the beginning of this chapter a bit harder too. But the middle and end was done in just two sittings. I’m so glad I have the Swedish version to lean on, or I’d be completely lost ^^;

I’m not sure exactly what the Orange thing is, but some kind of floating device.
Jiji is a good chap for going down to the water to watch over this kid for no good reason (just so the mother could relax more? ^^; )

And the last part, since some might not have gotten there yet:

I thought the boy was actually flying, but badly and thus crashed, not failing completely =P Apparently he just jumped with no success, hurting himself in the process. Kiki was a bit “evil” for waiting till he jumped on purpose :wink:

I’m actually having a lot of trouble getting through the chapter because of the lack of section breaks. After the first couple pages, the content is pretty easy. But without the section breaks I find it hard to pick back up from one day to the next since I don’t remember where I left off.

I’ve been doing okay with the chapter so far, but I got to a page that was confusing me - page 105 in the blue book. On a second read through I figured most of it out, but I still have a question about this dialog.

The context is that Kiki just noticed the kid that took her broom. From a few sentences back, the kid is about to try to fly with the broom. Jiji says that they should hurry and stop the kid.


First, 飛びたいんだから is about the other kid’s wants, right? I thought you weren’t supposed to use たい to describe another person’s wants, but from the context I still think this is the most likely meaning. Is it okay in this case for some reason, or just Kiki being casual?

Anyway, I think this means: "Since he wants to fly, we should let him fly. If he feels some pain, he’ll understand, you know? Be quiet. Isn’t taking people’s things terrible?"
Obviously Kiki is pissed about the kid taking her broom, which is why she wants him to understand her pain. Is that translation about right?


That’s about right.

I think using たい to describe another person’s wants is fairly casual (たい is causal in general), but I’ve never heard of a rule that you shouldn’t do it at all.


Well I just finished this chapter yesterday. Poor Kiki! I can’t believe the boy broke the broom her mother made for her! And now all she has is the sucky broom the boy made, which bucks like a wild horse, at least until she can make a new one herself. And all this after nearly losing Jiji (not to mention a little boy) to the waves! What an awful day.

1 Like

Finished the chapter. I have a question about the end of page 109 in the blue book.

The boy says:

I get that the kid is offering to help, but I don’t really understand the first part at all. Something about asking what he can do so Kiki can fly smoothly. But I’m not sure what かって is doing there and how it all connects back to his research.

I think that かって is the “way of doing things” meaning of 勝手, modified by the previous cause, “how to fly smoothly,” and itself modifying 研究 (research). So I read it as something like, “research into how to fly smoothly.”

The whole thing may be a bit halting, like he’s making it up as he goes along, something like “If I did research into how to fly smoothly, did it really well, somehow, might I not be able to help…”

But that’s just my guess; I’m no expert here. :slight_smile:

1 Like

That usage of かって makes sense I guess. Though jisho lists that definition as a noun, so it can’t modify 研究 if he’s being grammatically correct (which of course doesn’t have to be the case).

But I’m not sure if he’s talking about the research he already did or new research. The から after ずいぶんした is actually the reason I thought he was talking about past research. I’m not sure how you’d translate から if he’s talking about new research.

I’m still behind at the moment, but could this かって actually be a colloquial version of かというと?

1 Like

Here’s Chapter 6’s discussion thread :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like