karanguni: (Default)
Assignment:

  • Learn the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs
  • Get familiar with the most common ones
  • Practice hiragana and basic kanji using those


So, I've been wildly derelict in these lessons because life ate me whole, but I'm determined not to go another couple of weeks without. So in the meantime, here's a short lesson!

Transitive versus Intransitive

I'm not a huge fan of going into grammatical details in these posts, but there's no getting around transitivity with Japanese. Here's a PDF that offers an explanation, but the gist of it:

Transitive verbs have a direct object that is acted on. Intransitive verbs have just a subject.

Transitive: (Someone) opened the door - (だれかが)ドアを開けた
Intransitive: The door opened - ドアが開いた

Once you go through a few examples, it's easy to get the hang on. Transitivity indicates some sort of direct action. Intransitivity describes state.

Transitive verbs take the particle を. Intransitive verbs take が (general actions) or に (actions that have directionality)

パンを食べる Eat bread
ペンを買う Buy a pen
人を見る See a person

----------

ドアが開く The door opens
人が見える A person can be seen

スーパーに行く Go to the supermarket
ここに来る Come here

Common Examples

A lot of verbs are innately either solely transitive or solely intransitive.

Transitive: 飲む・食べる・買う. It would be pretty hard to do these without a direct object.
Intransitive: 行く・来る・死ぬ

The worst of the confusion will come from remembering verbs that have distinct transitive and intransitive forms. But fear not! 90% of the time, transitive verbs have an え noise somewhere in there.

Practice: Intransitive・Transitive

開く・開ける
閉まる・閉める
見える (to be visible)・見る(to see) <-- Exception
立つ・立てる (The intransitive form is often use for something like, say, a building)
入る(to enter)・入れる(to insert)
始まる・始める
出る(to leave/exit)・出す(to take out/remove)

Find some more pairs of your own and practice.

Practice: Translate

Try translating these, switching between formal and informal, then negative and non-negative to practice your verb forms.

() indicates a part of speech that doesn't need to be explicitly translated in the Japanese

* The door opened
* I opened the door

彼(かれ) = he
財布(さいふ) = wallet

* He took out (his) wallet

紙(かみ) = paper
私(わたし) = I/me/myself/mine

* I will cut (some) paper

Verb hint: 倒(たお)・?
木(き) = tree

* The tree fell over


* I stood up
karanguni: (RUFUS looks)
It's that time of the year again! [community profile] snowflake_challenge time, that is. Hello to anyone who's randomly drifting by.

If you want to read about: translations, Japanese language stuff, intertextual rubbish - clicky! I talk less about my fics (of which I've picked 2) and more about the background behind their canons and how they're consumed: rakugo stories and the Tale of Heike.

Day 1: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created )
karanguni: (Default)
I'm sure a grand total of zero people have thought very hard about how English translations of classical Japanese texts are forged into being, but here's a post all about it anyway. If you've ever wondered about what it is you're quoting, what might have been lost in between, or how to torture yourself by being excruciatingly thorough with a classical grammar, then read on. Otherwise, you'll probably fall asleep. You're probably already asleep. I'm sorry; I just needed a break (uh) from writing fic.

Way too much about the opening lines of Tale of the Heike below )

Here's the gloss, sans particles:

祇園精舎Nの鐘Nの声N、諸行無常Nの響きNありV-SS。
沙羅双樹Nの花Nの色N、盛者必衰Nの理NをあらはすV-SS。
奢れるV-RT人Nも久しからずADJ(SHIKU)-MZ、唯ADV春Nの夜Nの夢NのごとしAUX-SS。
たけきADJ(KU)-RT者Nも遂にADVは滅びV-RYAUX-SS、偏にADV風Nの前Nの塵Nに同じADJ(SHIKU)-SS。




Key:
N: Noun
V: Verb
Aux: Auxiliary verb
Adj: Adjective, with subtypes "Shiku" and "Ku"
Adv: Adverb
Inflections: MZ, RY, SS, RT, IZ, MR as per the order above.


So now you know! And probably are making a point never to become a Japanese literature major.


tl;dr: translations omit and lie, but the people who chose to craft those lies are probably hugely overeducated, so just go cautiously with the flow

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A universe of unmapped grief and love
And new master light is beyond
The pleiades and plow and southern stars.

O soaring
Icarus of outworld, burn bright
The traceries of known skymarks,
Slide the highway planets behind
Your clear waxed wings.

Go conquer the everywhere left
Beyond your sad confinement
In a predicted bonehouse,
Witch thrown riddle of flesh
And water.

O soar until nothing
remains but great glittering holes
In the black godspun shirt over your head.

- John Fairfax