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

Good to know :relaxed:

I just ordered a copy of this book, but it won’t arrive until January ;_;

But, hopefully the pace of this read-along is slow enough that I can catch up.

i’m finding it hard to understand this sentence blue book page 10:
でもたまにはいやがる子もいるので、10歳をすぎたころ、自分で決めてよいことになっていました。
i’m thinking something along the lines of "but sometimes, stubborn kids (one’s who don’t like the idea of being a witch) that pass 10 years old start to decide for themselves what’s best for them to become.
自分で決めてよいことになっていました。
よいこと i’m thinking is good thing, or better thing.
なっていました is i think to become as in naru.

Also the final sentence on that page:
「 ひとつでも多くの町や村に。。。。。。あったのです。」
i’m just guessing it means something like: but it was a good way to know that in even the biggest village or town that there was still at least a witch there. But i’m not sure how it means that, like i can’t put together the sentence in my head.
A question about the plot: Does a witch have to look for a town/village where there are no other witches in?

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You can request a free sample from Amazon, it’ll give you access to the first two chapters :slight_smile:

Yeah I think you got it! I basically had the same interpretation:

“However, since there are kids who are reluctant (to become a witch), once they turn 10 years old, they decide by themselves what they will become” (よいこと giving the nuance that they’re deciding what’s best for them, as you mentioned)

As for the last sentence, I was a bit confused at first also but I think I finally figured it out:

「ひとつでも多くの町や村に 、そしてひとりでも多くの人に 、魔女がまだちゃんといることを知ってもらうためには 、いい方法でもあったのです 。」

ひとつでも多くの町や村に:
ひとつ = one
でも = even if
多くの町や村に = in the many towns and villages
–> “even if it’s one of the many towns and villages”

そしてひとりでも多くの人に:
そして = and
ひとり = one person
でも = even if
多くの人に = many people
–> “and even if it’s one person of many people”

魔女がまだちゃんといることを知ってもらうためには:
魔女が = witches
まだ = more
ちゃんと = properly
いることを = presence
知ってもらう = get to know
ためには = for the sake of
–> “for the sake of more properly getting to know the presence of witches”

いい方法でもあったのです:
いい = good
方法 = method
でもあったのです = also was
–> “it was a good method”

So altogether contextual interpretation:
“Even if it’s only one of the many towns and villages, even if it’s only one person out of many, it was a good way for people to get to know the presence of witches.”

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Page 7 done! I just read my first page in a Japanese book! ^o^/

It wasn’t too bad. I know some of the kanji, and then I have to lean on the vocab list a little as well. =)

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I love that I was having trouble with a couple of sentences and when I opened the thread @z3aabi and @MissMisc had just posted about those exact ones. This Book Club is really useful! I feel like I’m learning a lot.

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I have a question about some… punctuation? In location 28 there is a line with apostrophes next to each character. I’m not certain what they’re called or what they denote. The line is
ちっちゃなくせに

I thought maybe it was an error in the digital version, but they’re in my physical copy of the book as well.

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I finally finished the first page (I know, busy week), and although this is slow and tough for me, I have to say that I really feel like I’m making some genuine progress with reading comprehension. I just cracked a sentence which was alien to me 5 minutes ago and I couldn’t be prouder.

Also, these townspeople are really mean so far. Poor Kiki

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What page is this on and in what version?

Oh yeah my version has those too. Weird. Maybe it is just a typo of some kind…

Oh I see it! Yeah, that looks like a typo to me.

The dots are called 傍点 and they are an equivalent of italicization.

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Hi all! I’ve managed to finish the chapter and understand most of it (thanks to some previous posts on this thread <3 ), but there’s a few phrases I’m stuck on.

Mostly, this one about broom-flying (pg11 blue book):

“ただ、ちょっぴりおとなになりかけでしたから、飛んでいるといろいろなことに気をひかれてしまうのでした。”

ただ , ちょっぴりおとなになりかけでしたから,
-> However, Kiki was almost an adult, so …

飛んでいると
-> when she flew

いろいろなことに気をひかれてしまうのでした。
-> she (unfortunately) was attracted to various things (???)

I found that 気を引く means to ‘attract someone’s affection’ but I’m not sure how that fits here.

The next sentence I think translates to:
‘For example, the pimples that she often gets on the side of her nose, and the dresses she wears to her friends’ birthday parties.’,
(not sure if the subject of this sentence is kiki or just people in general?) again I can’t see how that fits.

Can anyone figure it out? :slight_smile:

they are also in manga but show up more as ・ rather than commas

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i got the same feeling. Eventually though i think i got it.
So the fact the she became slightly more mature is referring to the fact that she was able to fly on the broom really well, like being able to fly the broom is like an achievement that makes you more mature as a witch.
The other part confused me a little, i kept thinking that as she flew she kept seeing things like pimples appearing on someone’s face and wearing a dress to a friends party, it didn’t make any sense. I kept on reading to the part where she fell , and then i dawned on me, the 気をひかれてしまうのでした basically means she kept drifting off and thinking about other things when she was flying. In other words this is what i think it means.
“But as she flew on her broom, Kiki would always get distracted thinking about many different things like the pimples that would show up on her face or the dress to wear for her friends birthday party.” Then for the following sentence “One day while she was absorbed in thought over her new undergarments that she was wearing, she didn’t notice that she was slowly falling.”

I hope this helps.

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Oh! That makes so much more sense, thank you. I skim read over the next section and thought it was something like her new lace underwear got stuck on a telephone pole. :joy:

I think the first section is about her being a teenager (so thinking about silly teenage things all the time). So maybe something like:
'But, Kiki was not quite an adult (/still a teenager), so when was flying she would often get distracted … ’

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I noticed a lot of 気 words/phrases packed into this short chapter.

気をつけて
その気にならなくちゃ
気が気じゃない
気をひかれて
気づかず
気がみじかい
(and, of course) 気持

I wonder if the author did it on purpose? hmm…

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on a second read through I am understanding a lot more (could be because of @keithb’s summary of the chapter, thanks for that XD )
I should probably try and read the chapters twice or so before asking questions

I searched the topic, but I apologize if this was already asked. Towards the end of page 7 (blue book), it says:
この鈴は、嵐でもないのにときどき大きな音をだすことがあるのです。

Can someone explain what 嵐でもないのに means in this sentence? Best guess I have is “even though it’s not like a storm”, which would make the whole sentence “Even though it’s not like a storm, this bell sometimes makes a loud noise”.

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