What's new

Reading the gospels and asking questions about specific sentences

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
Hi everyone!

I'm considering reading the four gospels in Japanese. I can easily access the English translations, I know the story and the syntax is pretty simple (at the very least in the English version), so that should help. Below are two screenshots from the edition I found. My question is: is the language used here reasonably modern in style , or is it rather archaic? Obviously there will be words for ancient objects, but as long as these terms themselves are not archaic and the grammar is modern, I don't mind.

(The sceenshots are taken from the second chapter of the gospel of Matthew):
 

Attachments

mdchachi

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,604
Reaction score
474
It's written in modern grammar and it looks like it's made to be easy to read and very accessible since it includes the furigana for every kanji even 1st grade level words. Plus it shows the verse numbers which makes it very easy to find the matching line in English. So it's actually not a bad idea to use this as learning material I think.
 

Majestic

先輩
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
1,620
Reaction score
616
I think you'll find it very rough going, and you will progress much faster if you use a textbook. At your level, it would be like "studying" hieroglyphics. I don't know precisely your current level of Japanese, but if you look at those two pages and are wondering if the grammar is modern or old, it tells me that this level of Japanese is already above your pay grade. If you are an elementary-level speaker, it would be good to try an elementary level text at first.
But...there are many paths to enlightenment. There was a guy here who was using Harry Potter as a study tool. I thought he was out of his head. But he persisted. I often wonder what became of him.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
15,169
Reaction score
2,133
I agree with Majestic-san. Textbooks are far more usuful for beginner learners. For instance, it would be hard to interpret the meaning of お生まれになった or 知らせてくれ only from a dictionary or something, without knowing the structure of expressions "お + masu stem + になる" or "-te form + くれる".

There was a guy here who was using Harry Potter as a study tool. I thought he was out of his head. But he persisted.
I have to point out a fact that he was already at the level between intermediate and advanced at that time. He could relatively easily understand properly-written materials such like example senteces in textbooks or news articles. However, he was not good at colloquial or conversational exressions, so I recommended him reading a real material. Then, he chose Harry Potter series (probably because he could easily get the original English version).

I often wonder what became of him.
Yeah, indeed...
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,604
Reaction score
474
The others had good points. If you don't recognize most of the grammar there already then you should take a step back and start with the basics. On the other hand if you won't listen to reason and insist on trying the brute translation method of learning the language, this is much better material than Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland.
 
Last edited:

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
I'll try to reply in Japanese. Any corrections are much appreciated!

エムディーチャチさん、マジェスティクさん、とりとりべさん、ありがとうございます。 私の日本語のレベルは日本語能力試験のN4より高くてN3より低いと思います。毎日文法書使いますがまだ知りません文法的な規則が沢山あります。文法を勉強し続けるつもりですけど、簡単な本文も読んでみたいです。

この本文ならどうにか分かりますが簡単ではないです。それに読書はたくさんの時間がかる。

I asked the question just to make sure it's reasonably modern. I came across a few expessions that seemed to me a bit archaic, such as 身重になった and possibly による in ユダはタマルによるパレス[...[ の父[...]であった in the first chapter, but these were kind of wild guesses.

Guess I'll stick to grammar books for a few more months, then we'll see....
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,604
Reaction score
474
Looks like you're coming along. I don't think there's anything wrong with tackling text like this if you're also working through textbooks also.
You can skip the grammatical forms you don't know. Or take a stab at them and ask here for clues.

身重になった
I didn't know this word. My wife says it's not unusual or archaic. Just probably not something you'd hear in conversation.
ユダはタマルによるパレス[...[ の父[...]であった
I don't see the entire sentence but it seems like normal grammar.
 

Majestic

先輩
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
1,620
Reaction score
616
簡単な本も読んでみたい

OK, I don't think the gospels are 簡単, but If you can read those gospel passages that you posted, and are just tripping up on some of the exotic vocabulary, then it sounds like you are doing OK. The Japanese used is modern grammar, so if it is interesting and fairly readable for you, give it a try. But if each sentence is a struggle, and its more like 解読 rather than 読書, then it might be slow going and frustrating for you. But if you want to give it a go and post any questions about the grammar, you can post here and we can try to help.

Your Japanese above is understandable, and fine, I would say, except maybe slightly unnatural phrasing.
N4より高くてN3より低い →  you could just say N4とN3の間
文法書 → テキストを使ってます

FYI, I have JLNPT Level 1, and I didn't know the word 身重. Just goes to show that the learning process is endless.
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
Mdchachi, Majestic, thanks! Well, some passages do feel like 解読 so I think I'll wait a little longer and keep using the textbooks. I also have a 十分で読める伝記 book meant for Japanese fourth graders that I might read before the gospels, depending on which one I find easier. If I have any questions about that, can I ask them here or should I start a new thread?
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,604
Reaction score
474
Mdchachi, Majestic, thanks! Well, some passages do feel like 解読 so I think I'll wait a little longer and keep using the textbooks. I also have a 十分で読める伝記 book meant for Japanese fourth graders that I might read before the gospels, depending on which one I find easier. If I have any questions about that, can I ask them here or should I start a new thread?
Either is fine.
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
Hi guys! I've been busy woking with textbooks, seems the best strategy for the time being. I have found this example sentence:

この花の色の美しいこと。

The book says こと is a feminine sentence-ending particle indicating emotion and offers "What an exquisite colour this flower has!" Why is there の before 美しい though? To me that looks like the topic/subjiect, so I would expect が、は or an informal/emphatic equivalent..... Any help is appreciated.

@mdchachi-san: given your risponse, I'm going to use this thread to ask questions about specific sentences if that's ok.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
15,169
Reaction score
2,133
I editted the thread title.

That's an expression to show admiration/praise to the beauty/exquisiteness of the color of the flower, not to a fact that the color of the flower is beautiful/exquisite. You can think that こと only nominalizes the last adjective 美しい, not the whole preceding phrase, therefore you need to use the possession particle の to connect 色 to 美しいこと. In fact, it can be rephrased with using the noun form of the adjective 美しさ instead of 美しいこと.
e.g.
この花の色の(なんて/なんと)美しいこと。
この花の色の(なんて/なんという)美しさ。

彼の足の(なんて/なんと)速いこと。
彼の足の(なんて/なんという)速さ。

この部屋の(なんて/なんと)静かなこと。
この部屋の(なんて/なんという)静かさ。
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
That makes sense... a bit like saying "Ah, the beauty of this flower's colour!" then. Thanks Toritoribe-san for your detailed explanation, helpful as always!
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
705
Reaction score
108
You should stick to manga if you're into fiction...
Maybe they have a reason for liking to study that way. Maybe you should stick to manga for learning if that's what suits you. I don't see why this comment is even needed at all. It's not relevant to the topic at hand. Availability of an English equivalent might be a good reason for this method or perhaps personal preference. Unless you're unable to recognize that people that aren't you have personal preferences that don't align with your own.
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
Hi guys! Could you help me with this sentence from my textbook?

この作文は一年生にしてはなかなかよく書けている.

They translate it as: this composition is quite well written for a freshman student.

My problem is with 書けている. From what I understand, this is the ている form of 書ける, itself potential of 書く. I just don't undersand why it's used here.

-In the sentence, it seems that 書いている expresses result. I had a look on tatoeba and it seems this can indeed happen: 書いている written - Sentences - Japanese Dictionary Tangorin. I didn't expect that because I thought ている expressing result is only possible for what my book calls 'instantaneous verbs' ( 結婚する、行く、来る、覚える...), while 書く is classified as 'durative'...

- Also, if this is indeed a potential, could the sentence be rewritten with が? (一年生にしてはこの作文がなかなかよく書けている)

Thanks!
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
15,169
Reaction score
2,133
この作文は一年生にしてはなかなかよく書けている.

They translate it as: this composition is quite well written for a freshman student.

My problem is with 書けている. From what I understand, this is the ている form of 書ける, itself potential of 書く. I just don't undersand why it's used here.
The potential form of verbs expresses "state", so the -te iru form of it expresses "result". Thus, 書けている shows "result" there.

-In the sentence, it seems that 書いている expresses result. I had a look on tatoeba and it seems this can indeed happen: 書いている written - Sentences - Japanese Dictionary Tangorin. I didn't expect that because I thought ている expressing result is only possible for what my book calls 'instantaneous verbs' ( 結婚する、行く、来る、覚える...), while 書く is classified as 'durative'...
In the 5 example sentences in your linked page, #2, 3 and 4 express "experience", not "result", as in the English translation "has written". As for #1 and 5, those are typos. 書いてる is the correct form in both cases.

- Also, if this is indeed a potential, could the sentence be rewritten with が? (一年生にしてはこの作文がなかなかよく書けている)
That's grammatically correct, but この作文 is strongly emphasized by が, so it works as a contrastive marker "this composition, not any other ones, is quite well written" in that sentence. が is usually used in a modifying clause, e.g., この作文がなかなかよく書けているのは、お父さんに手伝ってもらったからだ.
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
The potential form of verbs expresses "state", so the -te iru form of it expresses "result". Thus, 書けている shows "result" there.
That's grammatically correct, but この作文 is strongly emphasized by が, so it works as a contrastive marker "this composition, not any other ones, is quite well written" in that sentence. が is usually used in a modifying clause, e.g., この作文がなかなかよく書けているのは、お父さんに手伝ってもらったからだ.
I see. Thanks!

In the 5 example sentences in your linked page, #2, 3 and 4 express "experience", not "result", as in the English translation "has written".
I'd never heard of this usage! Is this the same as in the picture?

28266
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
15,169
Reaction score
2,133
That's right. 今までのところ works as a temporal adverb in #3. Although there is no such adverb in #2 and 4, the meaning of ~ている form is also determined by the context, for instance, it's not an on-going action since it's quite rare or almost impossible to be writing a number of exciting detective stories at the same time right now.
It's the same also in English. The perfect tense "has written" doesn't express "completion (the action "writing a number of exciting detective stories" was completed in the very recent past = has just written a number of stories)" in that sentence since it's quite uncommon, right?;)
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
That's right. 今までのところ works as a temporal adverb in #3. Although there is no such adverb in #2 and 4, the meaning of ~ている form is also determined by the context, for instance, it's not an on-going action since it's quite rare or almost impossible to be writing a number of exciting detective stories at the same time right now.
Some people like to read many books at the same time, but to be writing many books at the same time must indeed be rare...

Got it, thanks!
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
@Toritoribe-san, what about this one?

(6) 私が無断で会議に欠席したので、課長はかんかん (に) 怒っている。- The section chief was furious because I missed the meeting without permission. (The sentence and the translation are taken from my textbook).

I wonder if this is the same 'experience' usage you mentioned. The events in (6) seem quite insignificant and temporary compared to #2, #3, #4 and the examples in the picture. They also seem much closer to the present...

Maybe -te iru is used here because the speaker feels that the section chief is still angry at the moment of speaking?
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
15,169
Reaction score
2,133
Maybe -te iru is used here because the speaker feels that the section chief is still angry at the moment of speaking?
That's right. The -te iru form expresses more likely the pesent state resulting from the past action there. The section chief got angry at that time, and is still angry now. If it's just a past event that "he got/was angry", the simple past form かんかんに怒った is used.
 

nedkelly

後輩
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Messages
61
Reaction score
4
When citing the bible in English, one often notes which translated version one is using. Does this convention also apply in Japanese? I understand that there is more than one translation of the bible into Japanese.
 

Davide92

Kouhai
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
64
Reaction score
1
@nedkelly: I suppose there must be older translations of the Bible, as the first missionaries arrived in Japan in the 16th century... But I don't really know either...

I have a question about a sentence in my textbook:

そろそろお食事にされますか。"-Will you have a meal soon?"

I understand that されます is a more respectful form of します、but why is there に instead of を ? Is this the 'decide' usage of にする as in うどんにする "I'll have udon" ?  
 
Top