魔女の宅急便 (Kiki's Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 1

AH okay I thought it was here so I didn’t even think to look elsewhere. I swear I know how to computer.

Thanks for the link!

What determines whether or not a word/phrase will be spelled out with kanji or hiragana? For example, 人間 vs. ばあい(場合). Is it the author’s personal decision on what they think a child will understand? I’m noticing a lot of words that I’ve already learned through WK that are written out in hiragana.

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That’s the impression I get, although I don’t have any specific information on it. I do know that manga authors don’t write in furigana[1] (as the text is redone for the print release), so I would expect that leaves room for the editor to change what does and does not use kanji. I imagine it’s the same for a novel, where an editor, or maybe the publisher, has some standards on certain kanji usage based on a targeted age group.

Again, I don’t have any direct knowledge of whether this is the case. It’s just the impression I get based on seeing when a mangaka shows a preview of an upcoming page, or when an online manga gets a print release, or even comparing a re-release with the original.

[1] Since I wrote statement as an absolute, it’s probably wrong.

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It’s probably highly subjective based on the author’s assumed age/grade range of their readers. I would expect they would like to keep things close to the Jouyou kanji taught at the approximate grade level(s) of their intended audience. I would expect one is not going to use a bunch of high-school-level kanji for a book meant for primary school students, for example.

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That was me, actually. And you’re welcome. The deck is actually from this go around, the vocabulary is from last go around’s spreadsheet.

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it’s also in the home thread’s OP under “Decks”…! :blush:

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Could use some help with clarification for the following phrase: これも一つの魔法といえらかもしれません

What is the purpose of the negative conjugation here? Is it to affect implication and/or possibility, since the sentence is talking about black cats being considered another type of magic?

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Do you mean かもしれません? That’s a set expression which means “maybe” / “perhaps”. (And a super-common one, fwiw)

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Ah, thank you! Good to know, especially that it’s a common phrase and not necessarily conjugated due to context. I keep forgetting to use Jisho; it’ll most likely solve the vocab/idiom issues I’ve been running into haha.

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Wow this chapter got a tad poignant at the end with the description of the witches and the role that black cats play in their lives. Having the little drawing of Kiki and Jiji on the last page as the author talks about them being an important partner and friend as they grow up is absolutely heartwarming.

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This grammar (which I would often see as the less formal かもしれない) was difficult for me to really grasp and remember until I watched CureDolly’s video on it. Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion (with the video linked below):

Hidden for length.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00nKUtmnzvI

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You’re a saint.

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In case you don’t know about it, ichi.moe is pretty good as well. It parses out the expression.

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Oh heck yeah that’s totally the kind of linguistic content I live for. Fascinating explanation and makes total sense now. Thank you so much!

Oooooh that’s a really cool resource. Thanks for sharing! Always good to have more tools in my belt.

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Win! Finally caught up with this chapter, so I’ll move on to chapter 2 tomorrow :sweat_smile:

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Thanks to the coronavirus I only got my book just now :roll_eyes: I will try to catch up asap! :muscle:t3:

Page 12
「台所からは、ちょうど居間の正面の壁が見えますが、どこの家でも見られるような絵や写真の代わりに、木の枝を束ねたほうきが、大きいのと小さいのと、二本ならべてかざってあるのが、ちょっと変わっているといえましょうか。」

This sentence broke my brain. Thanks to @LucasDesu’s explanation I get the meaning of it, but the がs still puzzle me a bit.

ちょうど居間の正面の壁がみえますが、
This is a ‘but’ が.

木の枝をたばねたほうきが、
Is this a subject が with an implied みえる?

二本ならべてかざってあるのが、
A subject が, where の nominalises the preceding bit? What is the implied verb? Or does it somehow function as the direct object of いえましょう?

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Wouldn’t necessarily translate it with but. Think of it more as a sentence connector.

Nope. No implied みえる. The sentence is 木の枝を束ねたほうきが […] 二本ならべてかざってある
with 大きいのと小さいのと embedded to describe it in more detail.

This が is just a connector to the next sentence and doesn’t mark any subject. The の has the explanatory function here.

Hope this helps to brake down the sentence.

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About this sentence, I was wondering why it is なりかけ (masu-stem) + でした? Is this a particular grammar point I am unfamiliar with?

The so-called “masu-stem” of a verb is actually a noun, see http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/polite#The_stem_of_verbs .

Therefore, this here is just the ordinary N + です grammar (in past tense).

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Omg this changes everything! How exciting :grin:

Why would one choose to use this instead of just past tense なりかけた?

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