魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 7

とこ is another way to say (see the other forms on the bottom). So basically she saying, “Well, you’ve been circling the same spot (this entire time).”

@seanblue my impression of this interaction is that the girl tries to play herself off as this worldly, experienced “woman” compared to Kiki’s ignorance of the world around her. The entire time, she flaunts some type of superiority that simply irritated Kiki. At the end of the transaction, the girl concludes that Kiki wants to know for her own knowledge, when in fact she probably wants to know if this guy will actually know that this anonymous gift actually came from the girl as the girl claims he will know. However why she wants to know isn’t explicitly said and given that Kiki doesn’t like talking to this girl, she mumbles イーッ which according to the link means one expressing their discomfort or dislike of something.


Other than that last bit about Kiki’s motivation, my understanding of the conversation and its tone is exactly the same as yours. And thanks for the link about. イーッ. It’s possible that the meaning here is to state Kiki’s dislike for the girl or her assumptions. But it could also be to state Kiki’s annoyance at the girl correctly guessing her motivations. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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OK, I’m almost completely befuddled by the conversation between Kiki and Jiji on p. 163 (red book). They have landed on the bank of a river to enjoy the autumn leaves. I think Jiji is not that into it. Kiki has suggested he go play with the foxtails, to which Jiji replies:


I know じゃま means hindrance/nuisance, so is Jiji saying something like “that’s a bother for me?” Or is it more like “you’re bothering me?”

Then Kiki responds: 「そう、じゃまなんだ」
Is this “what’s the trouble?”

Jiji then replies that it’s a secret, and (I think) Kiki response that, as she suspected… いけないかな? Does this mean “it’s hopeless”? Or “you must not do it?” Or something else?

Kiki (I think) then gives a longish speech (with my feeble attempts at translation interspersed):
But, stuff like breaking, losing things, getting dirty, are not the reason, eh?
It’s just a little [thing], eh?
It’s fleeting, eh?
Look sharp [?!?]

I have no idea what this last bit is about, or most of the rest of it, either. Is she saying that Jiji doesn’t want to go play because he wants to look good — maybe not get disheveled, as she herself has done?

Since I’m running out the door I can’t really go into detail about the conversation, but during this part in the chapter Kiki wants to read the poem the girl made to the birthday boy. So she lands and tries to get Jiji to go off to do something else because she knows that it’s wrong to open mail addressed to other people. Jiji saying ぼくをじゃまにするの is just the insistence that Jiji intends to stick around Kiki to see what she is doing. I believe じゃま is used because Jiji senses that Kiki wants him to get lost, thus Jiji is “intruding” on this time that Kiki wants to spend alone to peek at the letter. I don’t have ot time to address the other part, but hopefully that gives you context about what follows the じゃまにする interaction.


Thank you, I totally missed that. Well, I caught that she had considered it, but then I thought she concluded that it was wrong, and naively assumed that was the end of it. :slight_smile:

On page 147 of the blue book, what does this sentence mean?

答にならない答 = A response that didn’t become a response? This is the part of the sentence I’m having the most trouble with.
とんび = The bird? That’s the only thing I can find.
大きな円を描く = Make a big circle. In this context, does it mean that Kiki made a big circle with her flying (essentially turning around)?

I think you’ve got it. Or at least, my interpretation was the same as yours — she flew in a big circle like a kite (the bird) and began to descend.

答にならない答, I’m guessing, is a set phrase or idiom — an answer that was no answer at all. Which fits; Jiji had just said (in response to the Kiki announcing she needed a rest) “what, we just started,” and Kiki’s answer was “But, it’s autumn.” Not really an answer.


I’ve just popped over for a minute from the よつばと!thread to say hello, and to deliver to all you good people here the latest Kiki Delivery Service news!




I can maybe help a bit, but probably not much. Maybe @LucasDesu will come back to help with the end parts later.

That’s how I took it. As in “it’s hopeless, I guess you won’t leave”.

I originally read this as being Jiji speaking, but now I’m not sure anymore. Either way, I think what you put is close. Except instead of “losing things”, think “getting rid of”. So maybe something like, “But it’s not like I’m doing stuff like breaking you, getting rid of you, or making you dirty” (some of that still sounds weird though).

I took this as, “well maybe just a bit…” as a direct follow up to the previous sentence.

I don’t see a definition other than “fleeting”, but I have no idea how this fits in.

No idea…

I have a question about later in the dialog though.


That’s a lot of negatives at the end there. Can someone break down いえなくもないんじゃない for me?

The response right afterwards is also pretty confusing.

In this part, Kiki is pretty much saying that she probably shouldn’t do this (peek in the envelope). I’m basing this on the larger context that Kiki is having both a dialogue with Jiji as well as one within herself about what she’s considering to do. Having an audience when doing something you know is wrong would likely make sense with the “must not do” definition of this word.

You’re on the right track with this. Continuing from what I mentioned earlier Kiki is thinking out loud. I say this because Jiji replies, “さっきからなんのこと?それ” because Jiji has no idea what Kiki is musing about. The way I interpreted Kiki’s musing is like this:
“It’s not like I’m going to destroy it, or lose it, or get it dirty.” (“It” refers to the letter).

Both of these lines are rationalizations; along the lines of ‘I’m going to do this quickly’ (I’m paraphrasing both in that one sentence). もん is short for もの which is used for giving reasons. This supports the idea that she is talking herself into doing what she’s envisioning.

This was a bit difficult to parse, but I think I found out what is being conveyed here.
えい (see first definition) refers to a sound one makes when putting forth effort, summoning courage, or making a decision
見ちゃえ consists of 見る’s 見 and ちゃう which is the casual form of しまう. ちゃえ is the command form ちゃう. In other words, I think Kiki is trying to psyche herself out by saying ‘let’s do this’ ‘just look at’ (both paraphrased, because I’m not sure how to translate this into English).
っ is used in place of an exclamation point in this case.

いえなく - can’t say
もない - not
んじゃない - isn’t のだ’s negative form
Paraphrased: “It’s not that I can say that this is also for a witch’s independent enlightment”

The second part is Kiki continuing saying that if anything, she’s looking because of the girl who was putting on airs of being mature and whatnot. (At least that’s how I’m interpreting that part).


Thanks so much! I hadn’t considered that Kiki was largely talking to herself about the letter rather than talking to Jiji about getting him to leave.

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On page 152 of the blue book:

Can someone explain the function of より in this sentence? あやまる could be either 謝る or 誤る, but I’m not sure which. 謝る seems more likely since it’s in the non-past tense, though that depends on what より means here.

Tomorrow I’ll confirm with a friend about this, but I have a feeling this is 倒置法 where word order is played with to emphasize something.

Looking at what Kiki says previous to this
In any event, I’m going to have to pay the price of looking at [the contents] of people’s mail

Add this to the following line (using a normal order)
In any event, I’m going to have to pay the price of looking at [the contents] of people’s mail. So there’s nothing that can be done except for face the music.

より has the additional meaning of “except”. Please see definition #3.

Hopefully that helps, but like I said, I’ll confirm with a friend and get back to you.


That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for such a detailed explanation!

Spoilers for much of the chapter.

If anyone wants to compare the poems.

Version 1

お誕生日 おめでとう
でもなぜか 後ずさり
お誕生日 おめでとう
でもなぜか 後ずさり
あたしの手から あなたの手へ
でもなぜか 後ずさり
お祝いで 心いっぱいなのに
どうしても 後ずさり

Version 2

お誕生日 おめでとう
でもなぜなぜ 後ずさり
お誕生日 おめでとう
でもなぜなぜ 後ずさり
お揃いの贈り物 銀色の万年筆
あたしの手から あなたの手へ
でもなぜなぜ かくれんぼ
お祝いで 心いっぱいなのに
どうしても かくれんぼ

I love how Kiki and Jiji blurred their conversation with the girl with the poem itself. My favorite change is from 「贈り物をお渡ししたいわ」 to 「お揃いの贈り物 銀色の万年筆」. It got a bit over explanatory there. :laughing: Also, somehow it turned into hide-and-seek because they know the girl wants Ai-kun to look for her. Plus, なぜなぜ just sounds silly.


So I checked and as I suspected it does mean “I have to apologize”, with an emphasis on あやまるより by putting it in reverse order. Because this way of speaking is a bit hard to understand without a deep understanding of the context, this doesn’t come up as often especially with より ending its own sentence.


Question about the end of the chapter, page 159 of the blue book.


I get the general idea. Loosely, something like “In that moment, I got a feeling like ‘I can’t lose’”. I see 負ける also has the meaning of “to be inferior to”, so maybe “In that moment, I got the feeling of being inferior”.

I’m specifically curious about the どうしたわけか part. It looks like an embedded question, though I can’t pin down exactly what it means or how 負ける would interact with the embedded question. I’m sure this changes my loose translations above at least a bit, but I’m not sure how.

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I’ve just finished the chapter myself. And I am completely clueless as to what the girl (Mimi) is apologizing for.

It hinges on that same sentence you (@seanblue) point out above, but it makes even less sense to me than it seems to you. The previous sentence seems to say “When I came here to make the request, I saw that although we were the same age, you were very adult-like and pretty.”

And then the sentence above, which I don’t understand, followed by ごめんなさい… and then suddenly they’re friends.

So I’ve clearly missed the kind of the key bit of the whole chapter. Can anybody help? I don’t see why 負けられない would mean “to be inferior” (if anything it should be “to not be inferior,” nor do I see why that would be something to apologize for.

Reaching entirely from context, maybe she’s trying to say, because she was feeling inferior, that’s why she put on airs and acted all big and superior (and that’s what she’s apologizing for). But how you could get all that out of this sentence, I have no idea.

Actually that’s exactly what I think she was apologizing for. My translation above, besides missing the first part entirely, was somewhat loose. 負けられないっていう気持になっちゃって would mean: I got the feeling of “I can’t lose” or “I can’t be inferior”.

Before that she’s basically saying that she had no confidence about Ai-kun finding her. Like when she said her name he might say 「あ、そう」and whatever 「問題にしてくれない」 means. Then she met Kiki who she thought was very adult-like and pretty. And then the sentence in question with my high level translation. So she apologizes for putting on airs.

After that the girl realizes how similar they were (lacking confidence in themselves but thinking the other was mature), so she’s thinks they can be good friends.

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