Continued chapter one of 坊ちゃん and in the very next sentence I got a bit of context for my trouble sentences the day before. (@Belerith Turns out Kiyo thinks the protagonist has a good personality and is a cute kid, or however to phrase that. Also probably doesn’t like that his dad neglects him.) And this is just the set up of the story.
This story is making me dig into grammar points I know generally to understand them deeper. Good I guess, but makes the reading a bit annoying because I feel so uncertain over my understanding.
On to the more complex sentences from the rest of chapter 1.
Looking up grammar myself, but also needing some help. Thanks!
おれは泣かなかった。しかし、もう少しで泣きそうだった。I didn’t cry. However… ? I’m honestly not sure at all.
Oh, apparently もう少しで is a phrase meaning almost/nearly.
そうだ apparently can be applied to oneself, meaning one thinks one might do something (non-volitionally).
So almost/nearly, plus about to cry/feel like he will cry. Makes it SUPER close that he cried. Maybe he even did cry, but not confirming the matter? (That last part is my conjecture.)
For the next one, it is only the second sentence that I don’t have a grip on, but I think the first sentence is needed for context, so here goes:
Like I know all the words in that sentence, so in the roughest of roughest of senses, I think I understand what it is getting at. But also like not at all, if that makes sense. Is it something along the lines of: Somehow she looks so very small. ?
Perhaps I am missing some grammar here.
So yeah, this booklet in this Graded reader have me busting out my A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar for the first time (or like actually using it anyway). I’m so glad I bought that many moons (*cough* years *cough*) ago.
Well, the first two pages of chapter 2 and I’ve already looked up several grammar points. This story is making me double check that I do in fact know a certain grammar point to mean X, because so many of sentences feel like it could mean either X or Y. (aka opposites)
One fun word at least:
役割 = role, or as I thought of it when I saw it: division/separation of duties, aka your role/your share of duties.
And now on to everything I had trouble with…
Feel like I'm drowning... More me looking up new grammar things to understand what sentences mean
そんなことができたら、こんな田舎に月四十円の給料でくるものか！(The そんなこと is referring to behaving appropriately as a teacher, as in 正しい行動する) So, I get what the sentence is saying: If protagonist/he could do such a thing, he would not have gone to the countryside for a 40 yen per month teacher job. (Also I’m assuming 40 yen went a lot further back then even if it is still portrayed as a small salary.)
However, たら is typically not used for contrasting, or if it is, what are the markers in this sentence (if there are any)? And looking up ものか (that did not exist in my basic grammar book), apparently that is exactly what it does. ものか = speaker believes the opposite of what he said, a kind of a “like hell I will” kinda vibe according to Safarikai.
(始めから is referring to starting the job, he almost quit before he began) So I’m pretty sure I understand what the sentence mean, but I was trying to look up
I was wrong. I searched for ばいいのに and found the grammar point I knew existed about it. It has two meanings according to a blog: 1) reality is different and speaker is disappointed about it (not our case), 2) You/speaker criticizing someone’s behavior. And this second definition made me realize I didn’t understand the sentence at all.
I thought the first half (before なら) meant the principal was understanding about the protagonist not being able to live up to the high behavior standard, but no no no—or, not exactly.
I think this sentence means something more like this: If you (principal) understand so well that fulfilling that standard of behavior is so hard, then why didn’t you start by saying that?!?!?! (I liberally added in context from previous sentence(s) and wrote more colloquial English rather than a more direct translation.)
Well, learning new things and choring up old knowledge (or reminding myself of old knowledge) are good things, but also means a serious snail pace.
Normally I just kinda read and don’t worry so much about the details, but (1) I am getting some of these sentences entirely wrong and (2) most of them feel +1-ish—as in if I just look up the grammar point I’m kinda missing/not remembering clearly, I get the meaning of the sentence instantly kinda way.
Well, maybe someone else gets some joy out of my struggle too.
Edit: Also just remembered I’ve been forgotten to wish a happy birthday to @daikirai. A very belated but happy birthday to you!