魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 6

It does look kind of ridiculous when you see it drawn out like that. :joy:

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Yay, finally I make it into Ch 6.

I read this as Kiki thinking ‘half of this broom is made by me (the handle) and half by mum (the brush part)’

My translation: It wasn’t as if Kiki hadn’t thought of using the opportunity to boldly create the entire broom anew. But she felt that there was a lot of peace of mind remaining in the brush of her mother’s broom, and she couldn’t get used to the idea of throwing it all out, no matter what.

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= Red book p126
I think Kiki is amused/slightly exasperated that people are friendlier (although in a rather condescending way!) now that she is clearly unable to fly as easily as she could earlier.
My take: (Some townsperson to Kiki) "I’m somewhat relieved, because whenever I saw you flying like a black streak, like you used to, you really looked like a wicked witch"
Kiki pondered this deeply.
“Being liked more as you get worse at something is a curious thing. I don’t think Mum realised that until now either.”

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So wait, are you saying that the first part in quotes there is still a townsperson talking and not Kiki thinking?

Also, welcome to chapter 6. :smile:

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Oh my goodness, I feel like that archetypal person who runs into a crowd scene, misinterprets what’s going on and makes a complete embarrassment of themselves :joy: I honestly read that as someone else talking, but now you mention it, it seems obvious that Kiki is saying it…

But then I re-read it and I think maybe it is still a townsperson. Because, before the other comments, it says …前よりずっと、町の人が声をかけてくれるようになったのです。And then it says また、こんなふうに言う人もありました. (There were also people who said things like this) followed by the comment about being relieved.

So I’m back to my original thoughts… but feel free to disagree with me, I am no expert!
And you trusted me to write chapter summaries! :rofl:

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Randomness from p130 red book (p117 blue book) - 穴ぐま - I had no idea there was a Japanese badger!


Also, I like the name 穴ぐま.
I explained the literal translation to my daughter, who suggested koalas should henceforth be called 木ぐま。:grin:

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According to the Swedish translation it is basically “people started to say things like” and a list of lines that are not in dialog, but separate things said at separate occasions that she remembers, and “one even said” followed by the line about her going by in the the black clothes made her seem more like a bad witch. The last part, about being liked better for being bad at it, she thinks to herself.
But again, this is how the translator saw it. He translator is a Japanese person who has learned Swedish and not the other way around.

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When I put it in google to look for more info I also got their very smart translation:

What a lovely hole bear :wink:

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The phrase “lost in translation” springs to mind at this point! :joy:

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Exactly :wink:

Which is why, even though I trust the Japanese translator much more than Google (by infinite degree =P ) I still make sure to always mention if the info I share is from the translation.

Next random point of interest - red book p132 (blue book p119)
I was a bit shocked at the idea of kids being able to buy 水素ガス to inflate 風船.
https://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/mall/水素+ボンベ/
Not something you can do in Australia!

Yeah, I found that interesting too. In the U.S., I’m pretty sure hydrogen is not a controlled substance, but it’s much harder to find than helium. I honestly have no idea where I’d get some, whereas helium can be bought at any party supply store. But I know that for a while, the U.S. controlled most of the world’s supply of helium; perhaps in Japan at the time of this story, it was just hard to come by there.

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I tried investigating about this form and had to ask a friend about this. He told me that this is speech that one would normal hear from an older generation: verb stem + いい means verb stem + やすい. So in essence Kiki is saying “Please devise something so that the painting is easy to carry.” As you would expect, v-stem + いい is not really in active use. Hopefully that helps.

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I think in this case きかす is more like "to make (someone) understand"
Going with the “walking the dog” analogy: “Fly holding the thick cord like a leash. If it looks like it is going to go somewhere with the wind, give it a sharp tug, okay, let it know (make it understand) what you’re saying.”

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You might be right, I don’t know. I originally thought 「また、こんな風に言う人もありました」 was referring to the previous lines, but I see where you’re coming from.

OK, I’m confused on p. 134 (red book), last paragraph, which says:

絵描きさんが大よろこびしたことはいうまでもありません。

I guess いうまでもありません would mean something like “isn’t saying as much as” or “doesn’t say as much”?

And then the first part, 絵描きさんが大よろこびしたこと: The matter of the artist being very delighted?

Altogether, it sounds to me like the artist wasn’t saying she’s very happy, but that doesn’t make sense in the story at all. I feel I’ve completely misunderstood the grammar here.


So It goes without saying that the artist was delighted.

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Ah! I don’t know why that didn’t come up when I was searching for it. But yes, that makes way more sense now. Thank you!

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OK, on p. 136 (red book), Kiki has apparently been in a bad mood for a while, and is trying to figure out why. I’m not really following it. It’s too much to spoiler-blur, so if you’re not up to this part yet, please skip to the next post.

So I gather there’s either attraction or animosity between her and Tonbo, or maybe both — I don’t have a lot of experience reading teen romances even in English, so maybe I’m expecting it to be simpler than it is!

そのときは、とんぼさんが自分をほめてくれたと思いました。
Is this saying: “At that time, she thought Tonbo came to praise himself”? That sure seems to be what it says, but I don’t understand how that fits the story.

Then we have a bit of Kiki remembering how he said “I don’t mind that you’re a girl” and how her eyes are cuter than in the painting, and then (Kiki speaking to herself): 「こんどは、さばさばだって、•••さばさばってどういうこと?」 So, さばさば can mean “relieved” or “frank/candid.” Not sure what she’s getting at here. Something like: “This time, he was candid… candid? What am I saying?” Or maybe it’s: “This time, I was relieved… relieved? What am I saying?” What do you think?

Finally, continuing from the above, she thinks: 「こういう大きな町の女の子っていうのは、とくべつなのかしら、•••そんなにちがうのかしら」 I know most of the words but still feel lost here. Something like: “As for this kind of speech, I wonder if big city girls are good at it… I wonder if it’s a mistake.”

Apologies for the long post, but these bits are all related, and I think it’s something important to the story. Thanks for any help!

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Page 120 of the blue book:
「これは確かに、本物以上の出来栄えです」

I’m not quite sure what this is saying. 以上 has many related meanings and I can’t figure out exactly how it’s used here. And 出来栄え is confusing me too. The jisho definition has a lot of options, and the Japanese definitions ([1], [2]) seem to just mean something being completed (and completed well?).

My best guess is that it’s something like “Certainly, this (painting) is completed better than the real thing”, but I hope I’m wrong because that’s just mean.