Dragon Ball manga reading questions

So I’ve started trying to read a page or two of the Dragon Ball manga on a daily basis and I’m not far in and have a couple of questions. :sweat_smile:

In the first panel:

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So I get that this phrase is essentially saying something like “End of/Finished wood-chopping.” But what does the っと mean at the end of the sentence? I can’t seem to find anything in Tae Kim or my grammar dictionary about this. Nor does anything come up in something like Jisho. I expect I’m just missing something obvious…

In the second panel:

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So I get that ハラ へった (hara hetta) is a colloquial phrase to mean “I’m hungry” (or literally like decreased belly/stomach). But is there some significance to using katakana in place the kanji 腹 instead of writing it as はら in hiragana? It just seems an odd mix of katakana or hiragana.

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For the second point, it’s not unusual to replace kanji with katakana - whether it be for emphasis or whatever other reason the author had.

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Your DB is in color? I grabbed the first volume a couple years back, and its B&W…

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It’s not full color. These are just intro color pages mimicking how it was in the original Shonen Jump run. It’s the Sōshūhen reprinting from a couple years back.

Ah, mines Jump Comics

I don’t officially understand the っと part, but my guess is that っ is just there for emphasis again (it’s pretty common for small っ to get added, especially when people are shouting or exerting themselves). If that’s the case, then it’s just the particle と, which would be covered under Tae Kim’s guide as meaning “with” or “if/when/after”. I’m not sure how to translate it, but I get the sense that he has something planned for after he finishes chopping wood.

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I’m not sure how to translate it, but I get the sense that he has something planned for after he finishes chopping wood.

Ok that would make sense. In the following pages he does then go off to catch a fish to eat after he says “ハラ へったな”. Thanks! I figured I was just missing something obvious, but I’m still having issues with a number of grammar points.

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Yeah, this is what version looks like:

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Has nice, big print and makes reading the furigana very easy.

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There’s a lot of slangy colloquial language in manga, like わからない changing to わかんない, so it can be tough at first! The nice part is that people actually do use language like that in real life, so the knowledge crosses over in both directions.

(Of course manga also has a lot of old slang that’s not so common anymore too)

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I’m not sure if the っと technically counts as its quoting use in this kind of situation, but I think it’s more of a sound that people make. It doesn’t really add any significant meaning to the sentence in this particular case, it just gives it more of a natural speech feeling. It’s something I hear all the time.

And I second that the more you read, the more you will find uses of katakana that don’t follow any particular “rule.” Sometimes the kanji is rare or the word is emphasized, or the author just chose it for whatever reason. It often gets used for robotic speech, where the entire sentence will be in katakana and kanji instead of hiragana and kanji, which can be quite hard to read at first.

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I eventually also found a StackExchange article last night ( though I can’t seem to find it in my history nor when I try to search again) where it stated that the っと could also be used at the end of the sentence to signify the speaker talking to themself. I always take stuff from StackExchange with a grain fo salt but does that sound likely?

Yeah, it seems Toriyama has a lot of quirky uses of writing. Another one that threw me off at first as well happened to be just on the first page and the first panel where instead of using キロ for kilometer he uses the Chinese word 公里 for it instead. :sweat_smile:

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