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Third Newspaper Translation

Zizka

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Note to readers and teachers:
*As previously requested, I’ll provide the article link and my interpretations about the language only. The purpose of writing down my thoughts is to more easily pinpoint what I understand and don’t for the people who help me.

** I usually systematically ‘like’ comments to show my appreciation which is why I do not always type ‘thank you’. All replies to further my understanding are always appreciated. I really do try my best so if you feel like I’ve missed something in your replies do bring it up so I can address it. Patience is really appreciated as I don’t do mistakes willingly and learn every time I make one. I also believe they are unavoidable when learning a language.

*** I took the liberty of starting a third translation but will wait to proceed until I’m done with the previous one. This is only to put things in place.

Italics are used to provide the translation.
Bold is used to indicate which part of the sentence I’m having trouble with.

Link to the article: Click here.

Translation:
Article title:
福岡の地下街 店で働く人のために150の店が全部休む
The staff (working people) of 150 stores at Fukuoka metro station all take the day off.
 

Zizka

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I’m feeling fairly confident about this one so I’ll move on to the first sentence if you don’t mind me doing so.

First sentence:
福岡にある天神地下街は、九州でいちばん大きい地下街です。
So this time it’s taking place in Fukuoka which is a place in Japan. More specifically, at the Tenjin underground shopping market. That market is the biggest of 九州 (one of the four main island if Japan).
 

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Second sentence:
1日に30万人ぐらい客が来ます。
In a single day, about 30,000 people/customers come.
 

Toritoribe

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I’m feeling fairly confident about this one
Well, unfortunately, no.

福岡の地下街 店で働く人のために150の店が全部休む
The staff (working people) of 150 stores at Fukuoka metro station all take the day off.
You can see a space between 福岡の地下街 and 店, right? This means 福岡の地下街 is a title, just refers to the area. The same goes to "鳥取県 中学校の給食で" in your other thread.

There is no word "metro station" there. Look at all the kanji more carefully.

Pay more attention to particles. What the function of ために or が? Actually, 店で働く人 is not the subject of 休む.
 

Zizka

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Oh well, live and learn. Let’s try again.
福岡の地下街 店で働く人のために150の店が全部休む
ために is for the benefit of someone, “for the benefit of” to quote the beginner dictionary.
This 「地下街」means an underground shopping center not a metro.
So at tenjin underground shopping area.
For the benefit of the working people at the stores then.

“Actually, 店で働く人 is not the subject of 休む.”
店 is. 150 stores suspend business.
So for the benefit if the workers, 150 stores at tenjin underground market suspend business.
 
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That's not exactly a translation of the sentence, but it seems like you understand the points.

But, "suspend business" is strange English for this circumstance. "Close for the day" is natural, or even "Take the day off". The one day period is not included in the Japanese sentence here, though.

"Close for vacation" is reasonable in the context of the sentence. It is a strange expression for a one-day closure though, so less reasonable in the context of the whole article.

1日に30万人ぐらい客が来ます。
In a single day, about 30,000 people/customers come.
30万 = ...
 

Zizka

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18日、天神地下街にある150の店全部が休みました。
“On the 18th, all of the 150 stores at tenjin underground market closed for the day.”
 

Zizka

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「天神地下街は、今まで1月1日だけ休みでした、客少ない2月と8月の18日も新しく休みにしました。」
Am I right in saying that the first が indicates a subject while the second one is the disjunction が?
Regarding だけ here, it sets a limit, right? As in “only until now”.
「少ない」means a few, or maybe insufficient here.

In the last part of the sentence, the subject is the customer. But at the beginning of the sentence, the topic is the underground market. I think the stores are taking more new days off because there is too few customers but in this case the third が serves what purpose? It’s an identifier particle I suppose but there’s no mention of that in the dictionary. If the は does the action of the verb, how would you define the purpose of the third が?
 
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Toritoribe

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Am I right in saying that the first が indicates a subject while the second one is the disjunction が?
Yes for the first が. It's the subject of 休みでした.
As for the second one, I've never heard "disjunction". が is adversative conjunction like "but".

Regarding だけ here, it sets a limit, right? As in “only until now”.
Yes.

「少ない」means a few, or maybe insufficient here.
It's a few.

In the last part of the sentence, the subject is the customer. But at the beginning of the sentence, the topic is the underground market. I think the stores are taking more new days off because there is too few customers but in this case the third が serves what purpose? It’s an identifier particle I suppose but there’s no mention of that in the dictionary. If the は does the action of the verb, how would you define the purpose of the third が?
客 is the subject of 少ない, and 客が少ない modifies2月と8月の18日. Thus, 客 is not the subject of the second clause. Remember 子どもたちには、自分が住んでいる町のカニのおいしさを忘れないで育ってほしいです. 自分が住んでいる modifies 町, and 自分 is not the subject of the sentence. It's the similar structure here.
 

Zizka

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“As for the second one, I've never heard "disjunction". が is adversative conjunction like "but".”
In a dictionary of basic grammar they describe the “but” が as a “disjunctive coordinate conjunction that combines two sentences”. So I called it a disjunction but we’re talking about the same thing here, “but” が.

So 「客が少ない2月と8月の18日」is meant to be one ESU then.
How can I tell if the が is the subject of a clause or not? Is there a surefire way to do so or is it one of those things which come with experience?

What is the subject of 「〜休みにしました。」then? Is it 天神地下街?

In his book,Tae Kim says that he hates the term “subject particle” because it means something completely different in English. He then says that he calls it the “identifier particle” because the particle indicates that the speaker wants to identify something unspecified (p. 36-37). He then says that 「が」identifies a specific property of something while 「は」is used to bring up a new topic of conversation.

It seems like the が identifies the customers as being few.

I don’t know if this can be explained as simply as possible as I’d really like to understand but sometimes find the grammatical terminology a bit daunting I’ll admit.

Could this be a 〜wa 〜ga structure like mentioned at p.525 in the dictionary?
 

Toritoribe

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How can I tell if the が is the subject of a clause or not? Is there a surefire way to do so or is it one of those things which come with experience?
You already wrote it by yourself.

I’m reading through the dictionary. At the very end, there’s a short paragraph about ‘Extended Sentential Unit’. The dictionary explains that the modifier precedes what is being modified. There is then a list of ESU (Extended Sentential Unit). The modifier and the modified together consists of an ESU. The author goes on to explain how being able to identify ESUs is a must. So it’s something I’d like to put into practice.

Check the list in your dictionary. I don't know the book, but I believe there must be some kinds of explanations there.

What is the subject of 「〜休みにしました。」then? Is it 天神地下街?
Yes.

There is a well-known theory among Japanese linguists that there is no subject in Japanese sentence (主語不要論). Anyway, I don't recommend using special terms which are not well-known, and used by only one author.
 

Zizka

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So I guess it comes with experience like bentenmusume said.
“Until now, tenjin underground market was closed (day off) only the first of January but since there are few customers on February and August 18th, they are also newl’y off (the 18th of February and August are new days off along with the first of January).”

Am I right?
 

Toritoribe

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So I guess it comes with experience like bentenmusume said.
modifier: blue
modified noun: red
店で働くのために150の店が全部休む

福岡にある天神地下街は、九州でいちばん大きい地下街です。

18日、天神地下街にある150の店全部が休みました。

客が少ない2月と8月の18日も新しく休みにしました。


もうすぐ卒業する3年生の給食に、


宇宙には、使わなくなった人工衛星やロケットの一部など

オーストリアのウィーンにある国連宇宙部で署名をして、

この問題で国連と協力するは、日本が初めてです.

ウィーンにある国連日本代表部の引原大使は

There is an obvious pattern, isn't it?

“Until now, tenjin underground market was closed (day off) only the first of January but since there are few customers on February and August 18th, they are also newl’y off (the 18th of February and August are new days off along with the first of January).”
Sorry, I wrote "客が少ない modifies2月と8月の18日", but it should be "客が少ない modifies2月と8月". When customers are few is the two months February and August, not the two days.
 

Zizka

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The modified noun is preceded by the modifier if that’s what you’re aiming at? Which is what I need to refer to when parsing text?

Regarding 「客が少ない2月と8月の18日」since both 2月 and 8月 modify the 18日, isn’t it the 18th of February and August? I understand where there are few customers in February and August but I don’t see how the 18th fits in all this since it is modified by 2月 & 8月.
 

Toritoribe

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The modified noun is preceded by the modifier if that’s what you’re aiming at? Which is what I need to refer to when parsing text?
A nouns is put right after a verb or an adjective in all the cases. (Well, actually, the modifying clause is not always put right before the modified noun, though.) 少ない is put right before a noun 2月, not at the end of the sentence, so 少ない is not the main predicate (verb, adjective or copula) of the sentence.

since both 2月 and 8月 modify the 18日, isn’t it the 18th of February and August?
Right, but 18日 only refers to "the new days off".
Think about a phrase 持っているカバン "the color of a bag I have". 持っている modifies カバン, and カバン modifies 色, but 持っている doesn't modify 色. You only have a bag, not the color of it. 客が少ない2月と8月18日 has a similar structure to it.

since there are few customers in February and August, they decided to take the days off newly also on the 18th of February and August.
 
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“but” が as a “disjunctive coordinate conjunction that combines two sentences”
In that description 'conjunction' is the primary label, and the common grammatical term.

In his book,Tae Kim says that he hates the term “subject particle” because it means something completely different in English.
It is considerably different, but the issue is that the common terminology is to call が the subject marker and は the topic marker. We don't even have a grammatical topic in English. That, and that 'subject' means something different in Japanese than in English is just something you have to get used to. The reference books aren't going to change, at least not in the time that it takes you to learn Japanese.

Could this be a 〜wa 〜ga structure like mentioned at p.525 in the dictionary?

They are talking there specifically about sentences that describe state, topicはsubjectがstate (花子は目がきれいです).

There are many other sentence structures that use は and が of course. は in general is discussed on page 21 and 516.

In 「天神地下街は、今まで1月1日だけが休みでしたが、客が少ない2月と8月の18日も新しく休みにしました。」
the basic structure is 「topicは sentence1 が sentence2」

Sentence1 is like page 525. 「天神地下街は(ある日)が休みです」.

The most basic structure of sentence2 is 「天神地下街は(ある時を) 休みにしました」;

This is a simple case where subject (of the verb)=topic, and you have a structure of topicはobjectをverb , no different from 私はハンバーガーを食べました. (of course in the original sentence も replaces を).

This is a fundamentally different structure from p525.

So, what about 客が少ない. This modifying clause has the same topic as the main clauses, and it's a descriptive clause ⇒「天神地下街は、客が少ない」, topicはsubjectがstate.
 
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So I guess it comes with experience like bentenmusume said.
It does take a certain amount of experience, but practicing carefully analyzing sentence structures and identifying the parts will help.

You shouldn't try to do a deep sentence analysis on every sentence you read, of course, or you'll never get any reading done. However, doing so on the sentences that you're translating for practice here would be useful. It's also, of course, useful to analyze a sentence closely for its grammar when you get confused by something you are reading.
 

Zizka

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Is there something I could do to become better at “identifying the parts” like you’ve said? If I could come up with a practical exercise for each sentence I’m translating I’d probably get better faster at it. What could I do to improve without going too deeply into it? Identify the role of each particle?
 
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Identify the role of each particle?

Identifying the meaning of each particle is important, yes.

As important, or maybe more important, is to identify your ESU's and the modifying/modified parts of them, similarly to the way Toritoribe-san did for you.


modifier: blue
modified noun: red
店で働くのために150の店が全部休む

福岡にある天神地下街は、九州でいちばん大きい地下街です。

18日、天神地下街にある150の店全部が休みました。

客が少ない2月と8月の18日も新しく休みにしました。


もうすぐ卒業する3年生の給食に、


宇宙には、使わなくなった人工衛星やロケットの一部など

オーストリアのウィーンにある国連宇宙部で署名をして、

この問題で国連と協力するは、日本が初めてです.

ウィーンにある国連日本代表部の引原大使は
 

Zizka

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“Until now, tenjin underground market was closed (day off) only the first of January but since there are few customers on February and August 18th, they are also newl’y off (the 18th of February and August are new days off along with the first of January).”


“since there are few customers in February and August, they decided to take the days off newly also on the 18th of February and August.”

Ok, I see what you mean. There are few customers in the whole months, not just on the 18th.

物を売る仕事なかなかが集まらないため働くが集まるように、休みを多くしました
Sort of like this you mean I think. I should probably pick a color for verb declinations maybe to make the analysis more complete?
 
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物を売る仕事なかなかが集まらないため働くが集まるように、休みを多くしました
Sort of like this you mean I think. I should probably pick a color for verb declinations maybe to make the analysis more complete?
Hmmm. I don't know that you can color it in place. It becomes problematic when an ESU contains another ESU. I'm also not sure what your other colors are indicating.

なかなか is an adverb here. なかなか人が集まらない could be rewritten 人がなかなか集まらない without making a significant difference.

物を売る仕事
なかなか人
が集まらないため
働く
(そんな)が集まるよう
 
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Oh, you can do it with parentheses though.

((物を売る)→仕事) に ((なかなか人が集まらない)→ため)、((((店で働く)→人) が集まる)→よう)に、休みを多くしました。

That may be more effort than making separate lines though, and the result isn't as visually obvious.
 

Zizka

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I like the line separation better I think. Maybe I can change lines when I come across a particle to identify what it does.
物を売る仕事 the work of selling things followed the particle に: target particle

なかなかSee here, how do you know it doesn’t act as a な adjective since it is modifying 人 which is a noun. I realise there’s a verb coming (below) in the negative so the meaning is “by no means, not readily” but from the onset?

集まらないため
To assemble informal negative followed by “For the benefit”

物を売る仕事になかなか人が集まらないため
For the first part, “The people at work selling things have no means of gathering”...
 
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how do you know it doesn’t act as a な adjective since it is modifying 人 which is a noun. I realise there’s a verb coming (below) in the negative so the meaning is “by no means, not readily” but from the onset?
Mostly because there is no な or の there. That said, you don't always know at that point. Sometimes you have to finish reading the sentence to understand the meaning of an earlier word.

に: target particle
That's just the designation of the particle as a part of speech. What kind of target, target of what action?

“For the benefit”
I don't think you can call it a "benefit" here.

物を売る仕事になかなか人が集まらないため
For the first part, “The people at work selling things have no means of gathering”...
No. What is に doing?

In the first place, where do you get "no means of gathering"? Is there a word for 'means/method' being negated, or a negative potential here?
 
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