Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Daily Bunshou: Birdfight


うちの庭には大きな木が一本あって、そこにはハトの巣がある。近所のおじさんいわく、先日、カラスがハトの巣の中ある卵を食べようとして、ハトの親とけんかになったそうだ。

うち - home

庭(にわ)- garden

一本 (いっぽん)one (long, thin, cylindrical thing). Refers to the tree here.

ハト(鳩)- pigeon

  • Note: this is in katakana instead of kanji. Why? A common excuse I hear is that the kanji for certain animals is hard to remember. Then, why not hiragana, since these are native Japanese words? It's just a mystery we shall have to accept. Same goes for ネコ and other animal names.
巣(す)- nest
  • You can almost see this one in the kanji. Above the tree (木) is a box of sticks with a few sticking out.
近所(きんじょ)- neighborhood.
  • Made of 近い (near, nearby) and 所 (ところ, place).
いわく - say, report
  • This is different from 言う. It's a little older, a little more formal, and it indicates a statement from an authority. It's a little humorous in this situation to use this word. It's practically archaic, like "Confucius say, weather today is nice."
先日(せんじつ)- the other day (vague)

卵(たまご)- egg

食べようとして - tried to eat, seemed to be trying to eat

親(おや)- parent(s)

Translation:

In my garden there is a tree, and in that tree is a nest of pigeons. An old man who lives nearby imparted to me that, the other day, he saw a crow trying to eat the eggs inside the pigeons' nest, but then it seemed that the mommy and daddy pigeon fought with the crow.

3 comments:

mukur said...

I'm interested in a question of Japanese learners, why some certain animals' name are written in katakana, not in hirakana.

Here below is a part of today's bunshou written only in hirakana.
そこにははとのすがある。
It can be misunderstood that;
There are "mother" and "nosu" there. そこに”母”と”のす”がある。
I don't know what "nosu" is, but If you don't write cat, or ネコ in katakana, the above kind of misunderstanding may happen.

I automatically choose katakana instead of hirakana for some words to avoid misunderstanding.

Hope it explains a little.

aak said...

Naruhodo! (I see.) So katakana is used to avoid misunderstanding.

Sometimes we Japanese learners get hung up on the little things and stop seeing the bigger picture. The sentence, written in hiragana, is much harder to understand. Thanks!

mukur said...

You're welcome!

Here is another good example why three different characters are used.

にわにはにわにわとりがいる。
庭には2羽ニワトリがいる。
There are two hens in the yard.